Anxiety and Writing and Getting Stuck

Why prioritizing creativity is never a waste of time or energy and will always provide value to everything you do.

Anxiety and Writing and Getting Stuck
Photo by Tandem X Visuals / Unsplash
"Sometimes my anxiety gets hard in ways that you might not expect. If you struggle with anxiety you probably know this feeling. . .the paralysis. Supposedly when you're scared you have a fight-or-flight response. You either stab the shit out of whatever scares you or you run from it. I don't do either, though, partly because I can never find the knives and hate physical exercise, but more because before I get to fight-or-flight I get stuck. Literally. I can't move. I can't speak or write. I worry about every little thing. I worry about the silence I'm stuck in. I worry that the silence speaks louder than the person I am. And then I get more stuck. And suddenly it's been days since I replied to people on the Internet and the pressure gets worse and I panic that people I haven't responded to are mad at me so I ignore their emails and I don't look at my DMs or my texts and I don't answer my phone or listen to voicemails because if I just wait until my mind gets better maybe I can deal with this then. But I don't. Because it doesn't. And instead I look at these unopened emails from friends and family and colleagues until I have memorized the subject lines by heart and think about how strange it is that they probably think I'm ignoring them when in fact I am utterly haunted by them." - from"Broken (in the best possible way)" by my hero Jenny Lawson

Hello! In June, I started to write a blog post about why I have difficulty writing blog posts. I intended to publish it in July, but my brain wouldn't let me finish it. Go figure. My life has been very busy over the last several months, and though I've desperately wanted to share all of it with you, I couldn't get my mind to cooperate.

Then, today, I decided to start a project I've been thinking about for years but put off because although I recognized its value, I couldn't justify the time and energy it would take when I have so many other unfinished projects that seem more important. I changed my mind this morning after watching a video about how ADHD affects prioritization. I decided to take just an hour of my day to start the project, and doing so led me here: to this blog post.

At the beginning of 2022, I published a blog post about why it's hard to wrap my neurodivergent mind around long-term planning and goal-setting. Despite those difficulties, I outlined three main goals I wanted to work toward for the remainder of the year:

Of those three, the one goal I've consistently worked on is prioritizing creativity. Unfortunately, that creativity has manifested almost entirely offline, AKA not on this blog. That really bums me out because I LOVE sharing here. I want to share everything all the time, including WHY it's so difficult for me to share here.

Then, this morning, I watched a video about ADHD and prioritization and decided to put my energy into a creative project I'd been meaning to start for years; a project I didn't think I could justify working on because of the time and energy it would take away from all of the unfinished projects I had been avoiding, like writing you...

I spent exactly one hour working on this project, and at the very end of that hour, I came across the quote by Jenny Lawson that I shared at the beginning of this blog post. As soon as I read it, I knew I needed to share it, and that need to share was so strong that it enabled me to do something I hadn't physically been able to do for months: open my blog and draft a post.

I'm not going to lie: I nearly talked myself out of it. I told myself that my first blog post in over a year couldn't possibly be just one quote. I told myself that I had to include more context and that I didn't have the time or energy to provide that type of value. I almost called the whole thing off. Almost.

Then I reminded myself that this is my blog, and I make the rules. I told myself that if I wanted to open a blank page and post a quote from my favorite author that speaks directly to what it has felt like not being able to write here for so long, I was allowed to do just that. I allowed myself to dispute the rules about what a blog post ON MY OWN BLOG should or shouldn't be.

And it was only when I granted myself permission to share exactly how I wanted to share that these words came tumbling out - that I became unstuck.*

As always, thank you for reading!


*For now, anyway... Remember my other goal of managing expectations? Mmmhmmmm