Coping Challenges: Fear of…

REJECTION…SHARING MY OPINIONS….SUCCESS

An extra post today just because…

A while back, I made a comment about reading through many posts and blogs, but not always sharing or commenting on them.

It was unintentionally offensive for many reasons.  The bloggers I read have a wealth of knowledge and do a great job getting followers, staying true to their messages, etc.  If I don’t share many posts here or comment on their blogs, it’s because of my personal fears.

Fears that come and go like ocean waves.  Sometimes stronger and more obvious.  Other times weaker and distant, almost invisible for a time.

SHARING MY OPINIONS

I am afraid of commenting on blogs and review sites.  It stems from being made fun of, bullied, shamed, and criticized whenever I spoke up in the past.  Because of this, it takes a long time for me to believe my opinions have value and be brave enough to risk commenting in spite of potentially attracting the attention of trolls.

Related to that, I find lots of wonderful information, but am never sure

  1. How to relate it to the purpose of this website and blog
  2. If sharing someone else’s post is okay or not – permissions, plagiarism, pirating, etc.
  3. Whether or not my website and blog has enough value to be worthy of sharing the author’s content

In short, I question the value and worth of my opinions often, especially when my goal is to share useful information.

REJECTION

Making a comment, sharing someone else’s content, reviewing a book/video/presentation, is equal to putting myself in the spotlight.  That makes me vulnerable to both positive and negative reactions, heckling, feedback, etc. from anyone who visits here.   It also makes anyone who visits, comments, or likes what I write vulnerable rejection too.

So, if I don’t share a lot from other bloggers or make comments, it’s because I fear rejection.  I fear others reading my comments and a) ignoring; b) responding with something mean or hateful or shaming; or c) backtracking to harass and bully not just me on my blog, but any of the guests who might or might not comment here too.

SUCCESS

This blog came about as a rejected book idea, an unsuccessful business venture, and many missed opportunities.  I only went through with it because I didn’t think the blog would work, and I was afraid of trying to find success as a published writer in traditional venues.  I never thought the website or the blog would be successful in any way.  Or that so many people would support this site and welcome me into the blogging community with acceptance, respect, and compassion.

Every  time someone liked a post or commented or started following the website and/or blog, I got scared.  Then I started pressuring myself to be more successful in traditional blogging terms – write better content, add more photos and videos, get more followers – and started feeling anxious about writing and sharing here.  Suddenly, I didn’t want to write posts anymore.  And when I did, writer’s block came to visit.

I literally did almost close down everything last December.  It felt like giving up and giving in to my fear because I wasn’t good enough to continue making this a success.  Not if it meant adding features and trying to get more and more followers, likes, comments…

That wasn’t how I measured success.  It still isn’t.

SO WHAT CHANGED?

I did.  My alters did.

We re-defined what success meant to us.  And then we decided that this website and blog started slow, really slow.  And it will progress just as slowly.  Rushing never got us anywhere we wanted in the past.

WORKING WITH MY FEAR

When I started this website and blog, I did not expect to have anyone visit, let alone comment or follow my work.  The website was meant to exist and be a safe place to visit once in a while.  If it helped even one person find hope in the darkness, the website did it’s job.

The blog was meant to be a place where I and my alters could freely share resources, information, and stories about ourselves and our fears.  Sure, some of the writing would be polished, professional, and great.  But other posts would not be any of those things.  They’d reflect the personality, thoughts, and feelings of the alter or alters who wrote the post.

GRATITUDE

I am thankful for the many guests who visit and follow my blog.  Thankful to the people who check out the different website pages beyond the blog.  Thankful for the people who share this site with others.

But most of all….

Thankful for the many people who may or may not have figured out who I am, who might now each other outside of the Internet, and still maintain safety and anonymity that is the cornerstone of this community within a community.

FEAR

In conclusion, yes I am afraid of many things.  I am afraid to leave my apartment, be in crowds, participate in conversations, and talk in public among other things.

But I’m also ready to face those fears and start commenting more on other blogs while also sharing information from those blogs here.

Thanks for reading.

Back to Basics: Building Small Successes

In terms of life, this week sucked.  Flashbacks, panic attacks, nightmares, more spider bites, and unexpected costs of flight/hotel to go visit family just made me miserable.  On top of  that, I’m still mostly unpacked, feeling low energy, and having noise/heat issues again.  Still, these heat and noise issues are nowhere near as bad as as the last place.

Did I mention the smoker who breaks the rules and smokes pot in the building?  No?  All I can say is that I can’t wait to start blending and diffusing essential oils in my place again.

But all the small stuff adds up, accumulates until my mind is overwhelmed and unable to cope with normal stuff.

So, back to basics.  Stay home.  Sleep as much as possible.  Set small goals.  Ask for help.  Act on the help.  Use every known coping strategy or technique available.  Then use them again.  Set a goal.  Conserve energy.  Accomplish the goal.

This week’s goal: set up my new bed frame and sleep on it.

With Ikea bed frames, it helps to also be creative, resilient, and resourceful – all characteristics trauma survivors learn in order to cope with the craziness.  Here’s an example of my resourcefulness:

Headboard to frame...
Cushions prop up the frame so one person can attach the headboard without help

Now, it’s Sunday night in the US, possibly edging into Monday morning depending on your time zone.  And in spite of some misgivings and one wobbly bit, I now have a bed frame put together.  Yay!  A real bed to sleep on.  With my new peanuts blanket and favorites sheets.  Fresh pillow cases to lie on too.

And here is the finished bed:

New bed
Bed first, the rest comes later 🙂

Hope the spiders don’t follow me in there.

And for anyone else struggling for whatever reasons, please remember that you got through it once before.  It was hard then; it’s hard now.  But you’ll get through this time too.

Thanks for reading!

Quotes & Affirmations: Revisiting the home page quote

INTRODUCTION

Today I am reminded that failure is more about perception and beliefs than reality.  In the same way mistakes are learning opportunities, failure also offers chances to learn and improve for “next time”.  Because there will always be a “next time”.

Since I made the decision to move and then followed up by moving, I’ve experienced many mistakes and failures.  Shame has been a companion as I tried and failed to become part of interesting groups or clubs.  Sadness came from an application that got denied.  Anger and frustration from being railroaded/blocked/ignored by people while trying to achieve goals and objectives.

PROCESSING INFORMATION (coping strategy)

My previous therapist used to ask me what I learned from each experience.  And then we talked through or “processed” my thoughts and feelings.  It was during the “processing” part that my imagination and problem-solving skills engaged.  We discussed options:

  • next steps
  • what didn’t work and why
  • what did work and why
  • and (most important) how could I change my words and actions to achieve the goal?

SHAME & SHAME RESILIENCE

And one night when the shame of past experiences overwhelmed me, I called the hotline asking for help.  I didn’t want to give in to self-harm or OCD compulsions to put myself in reckless, dangerous situations.  The pressure inside kept building up squeezing my chest and head until I couldn’t think or feel.  And the hotline volunteer talked to me about shame.  About resilience.  About research into coping strategies and something called “Shame Resilience”.

The counselor offered a TED Talk by Brene Brown as a coping strategy.  I was so moved by the TED Talk that I followed the link to her other TED Talks.  Then looked her up online and found her books.  My goal was to learn more about her knowledge and perspective of shame.  But then I started reading her book.  The topics sparked connections in my brain.  But it was the opening quote that pulled the connections together.

Connections that helped me understand why I kept going, kept trying, kept living in spite of the shame and the doubters working so hard to make me stop.

THE QUOTE FROM “Man in the Arena”

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LIFE LESSONS

I’d rather try and fail; apply and be deniedlive and make mistakes than stand aside and watch the world move around me.  How will I know if I can do something unless I try?  Life is an experiment.  Success or failure, each one is a chance to learn.

So maybe this time I failed or was denied acceptance into a program/group/etc.  That only means I’m not ready yet.  There is more to learn and experience.  And next time I will succeed.

Which next time?  Maybe the second, maybe the fifth – doesn’t matter as long as I keep on trying.

Failure really isn’t failure if I learn something same way mistakes are opportunities to learn (Thanks Mrs. O from 7th grade math)

If I did everything possible to succeed and failed because of circumstances beyond my control, is that failure or success?

CONCLUSION

I chose the “Man in the Arena” quote because it reminded me to live full throttle and not listen to the critics in the stands.  What do they know about living in the arena?

I hope this inspires you all to live full throttle too.

Thanks for reading.