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.
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.