Doubt

It is an insidious little gremlin that creeps up on you when you least expect it. It wakes you up in the night with thoughts of “what the hell was I thinking? I can’t do this.”

Parents in particular are fraught with doubt. When you hold another’s life and future in your hands, you cannot help but doubt your ability. How do I know I’m doing a good job? How do I know I’m doing the right thing? What if I get it all wrong? If I don’t get this right my kids will suffer.  Why did I think I could do this?

Doubt isn’t always about the big things. It’s not always about your career or your kids or the bigger picture. Sometimes doubt is about the little things, but it is always, always, about your inner most fears.

The things you try not to look at.

The things you try to hide from the world.

It is the very reason for our facades.

I am in a struggle with doubt this week. I have been quiet, and contemplative and distant. Hubby keeps asking me if I’m ok. And I am, I think. But in the boxing ring of my mind doubt is winning.  Already, one month into my blog, I can’t help but wonder who the hell I think I am to be writing this stuff.
I am an expert of nothing.
The doubt and the fear and the constant battle in my mind keep me awake all night long.

Why am I doing this? What is the point? Who even cares? I can only hope to reach people beyond my little circle. Mum likes it because she has to, that’s what mothers are for. My family are just being nice. If it were good I wouldn’t be awake at 3am worrying about it. If it were good, I’d be sparking thought, and conversation and debate. I’ve had 1600 page views and only a handful of comments. When I read something I relate to I can’t help but comment. I have to say ‘Yes! Thank you. You understand!’ and the reverse is also true. Grood writing invokes a response, whether negative or positive is irrelevant.  My words are failing, my writing is failing. What the hell was I thinking?

Plus I am giving myself, my truth, my reality in a way I never have, and that is beyond terrifying.  Every post is my soul stripped bare; and the silence is deafening.

I have sat down to write many times this week and the words will not come. I usually don’t have to try, I open my laptop and the words just flow. I started a few things and stopped. It just isn’t right, this isn’t me, this isn’t working.
Perhaps I am done; perhaps I have said all I have to say. Perhaps this is over now.

Then I realised something that I had been trying to push down. Something I had been trying to avoid. 
The words have not been flowing because of the fear.
I have been subconsciously censoring myself. 
When I sit down to write wearing my mask of protection I obstruct the flow of truth.
And I cannot write fiction.

So here I am, writing the truth. For everyone and no-one.
For myself.
Because I have to keep going. For me.
Whether 2000 people read this or only 2 people read this. I might just remind one person that it’s ok to be real. It’s ok to be who you are. It’s ok to take the mask off, and let the truth out.
Not everyone will appreciate your truth, they may not even like it. But you have to do it anyway. You have to be true to yourself. Be brave and realise that braveness is not the absence of fear, but rather the strength and courage to keep moving forward despite the fear.

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16 Responses to Doubt

  1. I’m glad I’m one of the commentors you speak of. You have more balls than me to write these truths! I find your writing style really fresh and always making me keen for the next installment. Do you find it therapeutic? Maybe that’s a reason you write? Or is it “Rach” time? 🙂

    • it’s therapeutic, but also it’s the hope that I can say something for others to relate to. I hope that by me pushing myself to be real, I can encourage other mums to be real, and more accepting, and less judgemental.

  2. Melinda Terri says:

    The silence of most is due to their fear that their opinion isn’t welcome.

    • All opinions are welcome here, the point of this blog is to encourage discussion and debate and thought. Not only that but to also foster acceptance of those differences. Is there something that I am not seeing that implies otherwise?

  3. Irene Hansford says:

    My first thought is ‘what if people like Mother Theresa, Martin Luther King, Winston Churchill, Ghandi etc., had kept quiet where would the world be?” It is always a simple truth that can change a mind, an action, a world and it doesn’t matter who speaks that truth, the most important thing is that it is “out there” provoking thought/change. The fact that you doubt yourself proves that you are not just shooting from the lip but being genuine, honest, thoughtful and have an opinion without being opinionated. You are not always going to be right, but you have the guts to put yourself on the line and be judged, and that takes guts that not many of us have. You go girl and keep up the great work. xxxx

  4. Val says:

    I’ve been blogging on various platforms for the past nine years, and prior to my current blog (which I only started a couple of weeks ago) I had one on wordpress.com for two years. If my current one were my first, I’d be getting few comments too. However, most of the people who comment in my blog know me from my past one.

    The point I’m trying to make is that you’ve only been blogging for a very short time, and loads of hits does not equate to an equal amount of or even a lot of comments, it never has done.

    I’m like you – I see a post I like and I comment on it, but most people don’t. They will ‘Like’ it or they will pass on to something else. The internet’s main users have the attention span of a flea! Also a lot of us (me, included) subscribe to and follow a lot of blogs and it gets difficult to keep up with them all. I’d love to comment on every single one of them but, if I did, I’d die from it! 😉

    Your writing is amazing. I love it. You’ve a fresh voice, you’re using your own voice not a rehash of anyone else’s, and that’s really the way to go with blogging. That way you create your own style, your own ‘mark’ and in time people will come to associate your voice with your blog and will comment more and revisit often.

    Don’t worry about the self-doubt. We all have it.

  5. Jennie says:

    Don’t you dare let your doubts and fears stop you. I love your writing, it is honest, thought provoking, and very real, you, like the rest of us aren’t “right” whatever that is all the time, it is ok, your honesty shines through. I say expand your writing, I’m sure you will at some point in time. Reach for the stars.x

  6. Give me a break…you can’t write fiction?! Confessional, auto-biographical posts ARE fiction! We all accept some version of our own life story and reject unauthorized versions. We lie to ourselves about who we really are EVERY DAY. And that’s fine. Just work to make sure the story of you that you tell others is worth reading. Leave out the boring bits, and organize it into a properly effective dramatic or comedic structure. Every life is meaningful. Practice, to gain the chops to show others.

    • I have to respectfully disagree. Crafting something, organising a piece of writing into a comedic or dramatic structure is art, it does not make the content fiction. It is the emotion and realism and inherent humanness that make it non fiction. I know what you’re saying about lying to ourselves everyday, that is the fear that I speak of, that is the facade. It may be a lifelong process, to recognise the truth and live it, but an aknowledgement that the fear and facade exist is half the battle won.

  7. Irene Hansford says:

    I love your intellect and your honesty. You write in the same way you speak, and what you say is worth listening to. I love it that you are the same person in public as you present in the written word, and in reading your blogs I’ve come to appreciate that you are not afraid to approach controversial material, and you that you articulate your points so clearly. Please don’t stop. I look forward to reading more.

    George

    • Thanks George, it is so nice to have such support. I decided to be brave and keep going, I realised that I have to do it for myself and if I can make a difference good, but if not, that’s ok too. xo

      • Glenn Mathieson says:

        I think it will come with consistency, you will gradually develop a following to your blog, those that don’t like it wont be back and that’s fine as long as you enjoy writing it – we can say we followed it from the very beginning 😉 People will comment more when they get a better feel about you and others that post here (its not that the content or tone of your writing implies otherwise). Myself I haven’t commented as I find I go away and digest it, but then get easily distracted by the next blog entry, and I must confess I look forward to checking FB to see if there is a new post. Shout out to Kate on doing a great practical thing to help widen the audience of your blog, I’ve gone and liked her page too!

  8. Steve Toms says:

    Love your writing Rach. I do. I’m not just saying that because you made me feel guilty for saying nothing. That’s all I have to say 🙂

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