Tuesday, April 03, 2007
Lately, I've started feeling exposed.

More so, dread. A fist in my stomach. Anxious - but without provocation.

Driving home from a perfectly enjoyable evening with friends, my mind will start filtering through the conversations of the evening - things I said, how I responded to things other's said - and I start flipping through mental images of myself, trying to reconstruct in my mind, whatever folly I must have committed to feel such a sudden rush of embarrassment, that horrible swell from your stomach, like after you've crammed your foot in your mouth.

But as I said, it's without provocation. Logical Mella knows that she didn't say or do anything to warrant feeling like an idiot. Yet I do.

Same goes for writing, lately. Shortly after the whole Family Circle debut, I started to get waves of nausea at the very thought of people reading that story. I still haven't been able to pick up a copy of the magazine and read anything aside from the judges comments or the editor's note. And since then, I've begun to go through inner monologues after submitting work to other magazines. And, even after posting things here or on my other blogs. I contemplate taking down The Stealing Season all together. Simply because it's a place where I'm vulnerable. Exposed.

I'll probably think of this post on my drive home tonight and discuss with myself whether or not I should've posted it. If I should take it down.

Run. Hide. Squeeze my eyes closed and pretend that the world can't see me if I can't see it. (Oh, if only that were as true as my little Boss-man thinks it is...)

This can't be normal. These waves of anxiety. Perhaps, they're related to stress, to finishing things with my MFA, to graduating again into an unknown future. Or, maybe it's a fear of failure as I begin to submit work elsewhere - my stomach ties itself in preemptive knots, awaiting the rejection letter or email to come (as the little devil on my shoulder tells me it surely will.)

But, I do wonder if this is more than self-doubt or stress. And while I'm thankful that for the time being, I'm still listening to the logical side of myself, the one who assures me, they're not all going to laugh at me - And that, no, I'm not a blathering imbecile. It's still not a good feeling, this whole pit-in-your-stomach, state of constant fretting.

And on that note, I'm off to see my comforting, don't-take-yourself-so-seriously husband who always seems to be able to untie my knots, one way or another.

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Blogger zhoen said...

Logical or not is not the point. It's how to stop it.

Thought stopping can work, replace with anything more positive. Like distracting the Boss when he gets upset. Present toy, stop your inner toddler from crying all day.

Good luck, it ain't easy. Worth it, though.

Blogger TrappedInColorado said...

Watch The Secret. It'll cure what ails you! I promise.

Blogger Darkmind said...

Yes, YES!! A great hurricane will form from all of the wind made by millions upon millions of people laughing at the short story in Family Circle Magazine! Thier snickering will thunder into the atmosphere and devestate crops and small villages. World wide chaos will ensue as mobs of enraged readers of Family Circle Magazine burn the copies of that article and break into homes searching for more copies of the March edition. The Pope will declare that the entire month of March be nonexistant, and March rememberance cults will be rounded up and drowned in the ink vats pilfered from Family Circle Magazine headquarters. Giant statues of Mella will be erected only to be burned in protest against what is arguably, nay DEFINATELY, the worst possible collection of words in the history of written language! Publishing will be outlawed, all written records will be burned in town squares around the globe, creating updrafts of smoke and heat so great that the planet's weather system is permanently changed. Civilization as we know it will crumble. Dear GOD woman! What demonic devistation hath thee wrought?!?!

BWA HA HA HA!! Just kidding. The story was great. I have a copy of the magazine, and not only is the story good, but there are no creepy illustrations of dead mothers or anything to put you off. Feel free to read it in the magazine (though I'm sure you already know the ending).

Blogger dillyweed said...

Anxiety. I know that too well. And nausea... that too.
Each morning I battle both like a pair of mean, bullying, conniving school-aged girls. Sometimes I manage to give them a well-deserved time-out. And sometimes they win.
Big hugs. You are loved.
p.s. You are a GREAT writer. Know THAT.

Blogger Mella said...

Thanks everyone. I'm pretty sure that it's stress related. Well, stress coupled with post-partum.

The little attacks tend to happen a little more often when I'm at the height of stress (re: t-minus three days 'till thesis is due in the mail - and I'm stuck in an office for 8 hours, as I was yesterday)

Thankfully, logical Mella prevails more often than not. And, like I said, when she doesn't, my husband's there to fix me.

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