“Don’t Worry, Be Happy,” Says the Artificial Fish Trophy Hanging On The Wall

I’m trying to write through my anxiety.

I’ve been having a really hard time writing lately, which historically has meant it’s what I most need to do. So here goes. No promises.

I’m like most of you, sometimes swallowed up by the sadness in the world, the darkness in the people,  I’m afraid of the winds of change that’s blowing through humanity, or, maybe, more accurately, I’m afraid of the stillness, or the regression. I’m afraid the bad guys always win and that has gone on forever and will go on into perpetuity. I’m afraid that movies lied to us. Heroes just get shot or die of dehydration from drinking contaminated drinking water.

I worry about never being enough. Enough of a woman, enough of a mother, enough of an employee, enough of a writer. And now, after marriage counseling last week, enough of a wife. Enough of anything.

I worry about worrying, because I think it’s a female trait and I hate that. I feel it undermines my power. I worry about worrying because the anxiety affects my health and my work, my family and my creativity. Sometimes I look at my kids and think that they’re going to be hurt by having a mother who is emotionally less-than. Or more-than, maybe. I don’t know.

I wonder if the condition of the people we love is a reflection of how we feel about ourselves…and worry that my insecurities, my self-doubt and loathing might negatively affect my kids? Marvelous.
Other times, the better times, I think my worry and sadness is all normal and healthy and just a function of being a sensitive, emotionally aware person. I am very vulnerable to the hurts. There have been times in my life that this has been a weakness, but by now, at thirty-six, it’s deliberate. I’m an adult, I could choose to scar down with cynicism and closure and ego and thin distractions like the accumulation of stuff/stature. I think I have the script for that. I think the props are TV and alcohol, credit cards and cell phones. I get it.

OK, Glennon! Ok! I hear you! I’m trying to remember! Keep telling me!
But I’m not. I’m keeping myself open and raw, trying to live clearly, simply, honestly, and showing my whole mess to others. It’s exhausting, but it’s what makes sense to me. And even though I worry that my worry will harm my kids, I also think that being emotionally honest is a positive thing to demonstrate and promote in my kids. They do all that instinctively now, as children, but will eventually also face the option to shut it down. I hope they won’t, even though I know how hard it all is. I’ll remind them and me, constantly in repetition, that it’s OK to talk about insecurities and fears, purge and release them, and occasionally trip on them.

So, I’m trying to be tender with myself. I’m throwing a handful of words down on the page and I’ll try not to hold my breath until I know if anyone reads them or hates them. I’ll keep sharing my feelings, even when they’re ugly little bastards. Not gonna shut down, not going to shut me down. Just one word at a time.  I’ll listen to music that makes me glad, and to the sound of boots on the wood floors and acknowledging that they’re mine, and I’m safe. I’ll work at seeing my kids’ faces full of joy and sun and not see their earnestness as potential for harm in a horrible world, but instead feel glad they’re throwing out their sunshine into it, making it just a little bit warmer and brighter. I’ll try to throw some of my own.

I’ll soon share about marriage counseling. It wasn’t great the first time. It was actually really annoying, and I’m for sure going to write this therapist into a story or play some day when I’m out of my writing slump. BUT, the session did open much conversation and truth truthnesses later between Robb and I, and we’re feeling hope. And that’s good.

Thanks for always being there to let me dump my stuff. Lord knows you are all better listeners than this marriage counselor. Weeeew, I’ve got some stories. For a later time.

(But, seriously. She wore dominatrix shoes and she’s at least 60. Ok, I’m done.)

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