It’s been a rough year.
I’ve gone from being on no medications to being on six. I feel like I’m secretly in a movie that has some bizarre aging process, or that a sudden plot twist will reveal that I’ve been possessed by my grandmother. She did have quite a few opinions about my child-rearing and housekeeping efforts when I went to see a medium last year…maybe Grandma stuck around. It would explain my unrelenting cough.
In the past year I was diagnosed with ADHD, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Hypertension, and Severe Sleep Apnea. I also had Pertussis, which had me coughing from March to July, and has still left me unable to laugh without choking because my airway is still healing. My kids say they find me in stores by following the cough. And the pelvic floor that survived carrying and delivering twins has been officially ruined by coughing too hard. I was probably too smug about that anyways and had it coming.
Even though I have probably had the ADHD, anxiety, and sleep apnea most or all of my life, it’s been a bit overwhelming to accept. I’ve been on a medication roller coaster (with no fast pass) and feeling relief and hope alternating with frustration and disappointment.
Shannon Day and I put out our first book this year, Martinis & Motherhood: Tales of Wonder, Woe & WTF?! which was such an amazing accomplishment that I am very proud of! But I’m not going to lie…it’s a lot of work! By the time the kids got out of school for the summer, I was ready for a break, and looking forward to hanging out with them.
The problem with a break for a writer (particularly one with ADHD and anxiety) is that when we stop writing, we realllyyy stop writing. And instead of writing anything we pace around the house fretting about all the things we should have written. And getting back to it feels insurmountable because the words feel more important when you’ve written less of them. Like yelling a word across a canyon and waiting for the echo…you want the word to be profound, not fart or echo.
So instead I organized my dresser drawers and spent a lot of time hitting like on Facebook…the social media equivalent of a fart echo.
While doing this I began to panic about the social media conference that I am attending next week. Not just attending, but acting as an ambassador for. How on earth was I going to be a leader of any use to anyone when I haven’t even been able to string more words together than a Facebook status in months? Feeling like a fraud, the temptation was there to put on my sweatpants and eat bonbons while deleting my blog and going into hiding.
But I’m not going to do that.
Okay, I am wearing sweatpants. But I’m not eating bonbons. Mostly because I already ate them and there won’t be more bonbon money until Friday when Nerdguy gets paid. Turns out writers who don’t write anything don’t earn very much bonbon money.
But I am not deleting my blog. Only partially because I don’t know how. Mostly because I have a narcissism streak too and there’s some great stuff on here. But also because I always regret the stories I didn’t write. I know that I just need to get my head out of my ass and just write without overthinking it. It will come back.
And I am not going into hiding. For one thing, I would be terrible at disappearing. I’d be that person in the witness protection movies who calls home or tweets their location and blows the whole operation.
I think a lot of people think that social media or blogging conferences are only for the people who are established and have it all together, so they don’t go if they feel too new or they don’t know what they’re doing. Or they do go, and they look around at everyone and feel too intimidated to talk to people with bigger sites or lots of followers. But the truth is that I think most of us feel insecure. I’m always blown away that people I was always too nervous to introduce myself to, because they seemed to have it all figured out, are actually shy and socially awkward, and are relieved when someone else makes the first move and speaks to them. We’re all in this together, and I never feel this more than I do at Blissdom Canada. People genuinely want to help each other succeed.
So I know that hiding in my shed is not the right thing to do. Especially because the rodents terrify me. Going to Blissdom Canada is exactly what I need right now. To be inspired. To be educated. To be filled with bliss. To be with my tribe. My tribe includes every single one of you attending, so please say hello. We can chat while you help me find my keys!
Who cares that I’m more of a cautionary tale right now than an inspiration? (Hopefully not the Blissdom Canada team…please don’t fire me!) What matters is that I am putting one foot in front of the other and that I am taking care of myself. And part of that is putting on my oxygen mask next week (read my post from last year Bliss Made Me Breathe).
And if Bliss doesn’t make me breathe, there’s always the CPAP mask I get to be fitted for when I get back.
Luckily, not only big time people who have it all together go to these things, or we never would’ve met. Can’t wait to see you next week! 🙂
Jessica recently posted…It’s Just a Phase. Right?
Can’t wait to see you Jessica!! xo
Ooof, now that’s a year you’ve had. I think Blissdom’s exactly what you need, too. It’s always such a positive experience, and whether you leave there inspired to write or not, it’s the connection with your community that matters most. I love this post, and I look forward to seeing you at the conference this year.
Alex recently posted…Show me your brave
Thanks Alex! You’re right…Blissdom IS exactly what I need – I can’t wait for it to start – I always feel so good after I’ve been. Looking forward to seeing you too!
Linda A Cassidy says
I am so glad that you are still going to attend, and thanks for sharing because as a first timer I fret so much about will anyone want to talk to me, what do I do, will I be alone so its reassuring to know we are all totally socially awkward
Thanks Linda – a big number of us blogger and social media types are socially awkward I think so we’re definitely not alone! Let’s make sure we connect…and promise to tweet me @nerdgirlmom when you’re feeling anxious!
This is a great post, Tara, and everything you’ve said about writing and Blissdom is so true. You’re no cautionary tale, lady — everything you’ve been through and accomplished this year is an inspiration, and you will be a fantastic ambassador at the conference. I can’t wait to see you there! I hope things will get sorted out and you’ll feel more at peace on the health front soon. xoxo
Thank you Lisa!! I can’t wait to see you – I always enjoy spending time with you! xo
Gimme a shout if you need to talk to someone who understands and deals with anxiety. You are awesome; don’t forget that!
Courtney recently posted…Johnny Canuck
Thanks Courtney! You are awesome too and I hope we can chat this weekend!
I can’t wait to meet you at Blissdom. New blog, first conference for me – after trying to get it up and going for sooooooo long! You have much to share through your successes and your struggles
Thanks Joan! Congrats on your new blog! You’re going to love Blissdom – I’m so glad you are coming, and I can’t wait to meet you!
Heather van mil says
I love so much about this post it’s hard to know where to start! Mostly I’m just sorry we didn’t get to spend more time chatting at Blissdom, we have so much in common. Hopefully it won’t be too long before another event bring us together again!
Heather van mil recently posted…#GoodFriendsFriday Linky Party #8
Thanks Heather! I was disappointed we didn’t hang out at Bliss too…the whole thing is over before I know it, every time! I hope to see you soon!