You know that thing people do when they’re not entirely sure if someone is talking to them or someone else, they look over their shoulder? I’ve been doing that a lot the last few weeks. Probably mixed with a bit of rabbit-caught-in-headlights too. You can’t seriously mean me? OK, you are. Panic, doubt, worry.
Losing one’s inner Voice should be a good thing but actually it’s slightly unnerving. Sure, I’m not feeling guilty all the time over everything (which in itself is kind of weird, partly because I can’t remember before the Voice, it’s been so long) but now I feel guilty that I’m not feeling guilty. Am I being insincere? Am I being uncaring? Am I being selfish? I’m not sure, surely I should feel terrible when someone goes out of their way for me or does me a favour? I don’t know. How do ‘normal’ people react and feel in these situations? I don’t know!
I feel a little lost at times, almost as if I’ve lost something as important as my compass or even my conscience. The ground beneath my feet isn’t quite where it used to be. And that’s going to take some adjusting to. A lot of adjusting to. Have you ever had a heavy load taken off you? You go all wobbly for a bit, it almost feels like you’re still carrying it sometimes. That’s what I’m like at the moment, unburdened but very unsteady.
But I think that I was living with an impossibly heavy burden because life and relationships are going so much better now that I’m not dragged down, swamped in paranoid guilt all the time. That kind of guilt, that level of guilt is crippling and it’s not sustainable. Although I seem to have been carrying it for most of the last two decades. It destroys your life and you.
Without it, I’m having to get to know myself all over again. The survival skills that have kept me alive all these years are turning into positive qualities, when I have the confidence to trust them and myself. I’m probably even coming across as outgoing. That’s weird, very weird.
Guilt has held me back too long.
Now I need to try to find a life without it. I’m still a little wobbly.
I’m working on accepting compliments American-style, that is graciously. Instead of guiltily and self-deprecatingly.
I’m having to dare, to dare believe in myself and my talents (still questioning whether I have any though!), to dare to dream.
If the present isn’t a burden and the past can be forgotten then the future is possible. I haven’t believed in a future for a very, very long time. It’s a little scary. So I’m just going to take it one day at a time.
So when I received an email asking me to guest post on a proper writers community blog, I did look behind to see if they did really mean me. Maybe they got the wrong email address or something? No, it was me, they’re talking to me. Cue rabbit-in-headlights. I can’t do that! I’m not good enough!
OK, deep breath. Accept graciously. Be accepted. Panic. What on earth can this little idiosyncratic waffler contribute?
Decide to ignore it for time being.
Post idea slowly forms in head, doesn’t really want to be written down though because I’m probably blocking.
Deadline comes up rapidly.
Have to write post.
Why is that posts are never as good as when they were first drafted in your foggy head at some unsociable hour?
I get husband to proof the post, it would be mortifying if there’s a mistake in this one. This one post that introduces me to a world of proper writers.
Wait for post to appear.
Realise that with all the different time zones available, I actually don’t know when it’s going to appear.
Spend day anxiously checking website, fretting all the while.
I did it!
I have written my first ever guest post, it’s over at Studio30 Plus. Let me know what you think.
It’s been quite a journey.