Blogging, Mental health

Ugly Truth 029: I Am Scared of What I Write

“The thing you are most
afraid to write

Write that.”

― Nayyirah Waheed, Salt

Dear Readers,

Welcome! As we return to the Ugly Truth Series for the third time this week, I want to look at the writing process once more. In the past I have written openly about my reluctance to write my truth, or the way I have had to climb my own walls to be a more transparent writer. The truth is, I write for myself as well as others. I write for others because I have a heart for service and would have given anything to have felt less alone growing up. I write for myself because the release is therapeutic, and with a slipping memory – I enjoy writing love letters to myself.

Over the course of my last two publications, I realized clicking that “Publish” button came with the riddle of trembling anxiety. Since writing has remained one of my best sources of self confidence (and I live with the curse of relentless introspection), I had to examine the why.

Sometimes I challenge myself to be more creative, to have better grammar, or to achieve a certain word count. I aim to be more readable, more relative, or more revealing. Regardless of the layout, however, the most important reoccurring theme on this blog has always been to get to the heart of the truth – no matter what it may be.

In general, I am a proud truth telling writer. I do this because I am passionate about breaking through barriers and combating mental health stigma with proper information. I do this because I have lost loved ones to suicide as a direct result of the inability to find sufficient help. I do this because I have everything to gain by using this platform to revisit my psychology, even if it is completely self indulgent at times. I do this because this space is mine, and mine alone. I don’t have to worry about the pitter patter of my son’s feet, my partner’s gentle inquisition, or my cat’s meow. I don’t have to worry about my phone ringing or who on earth needs what and when. In some ways my love of reading taught me how to hide. Perhaps writing does the opposite.

There are plenty of exercises to endeavor while writing that are designed to teach you about yourself, your strengths, and your literary voice. The first thing my creative writing teacher taught me in high school was how to hush that relentless inner critic. You know, that nagging voice that tells you to crumple up your work and aim for the nearest trash can? While I have been guilty of rewriting the same piece countless times only to never use it, I realized last night that this was not what was causing my unease. It simply was that I do very much care what my reader’s think.

Perhaps my writer’s anxiety stems from the seat of authenticity. Getting it down on the page has never been a problem for me, only getting it down fast enough. In the name of all that is mental health, I want to get this right. I want to become a name brand resource for all psychological queries . I want to be a reliable place of origin for friends and family members of loved ones with mental illness or dysfunctional relationship dynamics desperate to better understand. I want to tell my story. This is all fine and well, and yet I still experience a great deal of resistance when free associating my unfiltered sincerity. After all, what if my little sister reads this? My father? My employer?

Well… So what.

Perhaps these are big important concepts that warrant a note of caution. Perhaps it is worthwhile to consider the consequences of going public. Perhaps it is not my audience that concerns me, but my own ugly truth staring back at me. Perhaps it is nothing at all. Perhaps I am getting in my own way. Perhaps a fear of failure will lead only to the inevitable said failure that may have been avoided altogether if only the fear had been managed.

What are you afraid of?

**If you’re a mental health survivor or mental health provider and want to tell your story – please email me at contact@deskraven.com!**

For more excellent insight and entertainment through a collaborative approach to all things mental health, including a guest post from yours truly, visit the Blunt Therapy Blog by Randy Withers, LPC! For additional perspectives on suicide prevention from master level mental health providers visit, 20 Professional Therapists Share Their Thoughts on Suicide!

In collaboration with Luis Posso, an Outreach Specialist from DrugRehab.com, Deskraven is now offering guides on depression and suicide prevention to its readers. For more information on understanding the perils of addiction visit, Substance Abuse and Suicide: A Guide to Understanding the Connection and Reducing Risk! In addition, for a comprehensive depression resource guide from their sister project at Columbus Recovery Center visit, Dealing with Depression!

Mental health

Ugly Truth 013: Self-Sabotage Slows Progress

“What is required for many of us, paradoxical though it may sound, is the courage to tolerate happiness without self-sabotage.” -Nathaniel Branden

Dear Readers,

I have been a self sabotager all of my life. I believe this is a facet of my childhood abuse and abandonment. Self sabotage is a function of imposter syndrome, control, fraudulent thinking or familiarity in a seemingly powerless universe.

As an adolescent my false beliefs blossomed into fundamental distortions such as, “I am not good enough,” or “Who am I to think I can…” or “I am unworthy of love.” This left me with nothing more than a gaping hole at the center of myself, and a personality partial to self-loathing melancholy.

The truth is, children of abuse or abandonment have a unique ability to blame themselves for the shortcomings of their environment. Likewise, they are made to believe the worthlessness that is instilled in them, indirectly or otherwise, because the message comes from the source of those promised to love and protect them most. However false, we find it naturally credible at the time.

As an adult, my inherent worthlessness clashed with the elevated speeches my father used in attempt to build me up. Likewise, my foolish romantic choices did not match up with my intellect. After a series of uprooted relocations and exposure to multiple severely traumatic events, I grew deeply weary – which shifted my distorted thinking from poor self worth to suicidal indifference.

The truth is, I often resent the fact that my life has been saved. When you’d rather be dead you tend to become complacent, counting your days as blessings rather than practical opportunities. However, I remain deeply discontent. When I combine my restlessness with my resentment – and throw in a dash of fear convictions – I achieve only paralysis. Unfortunately, insight isn’t everything.

After years of therapy, I still find it incredibly difficult to set and execute life goals. Aside from episodic mental illness, the only excuse I have is a fear of success.

The truth is, anguish can be an excellent catalyst for change, or it can hold us back from that which we are easily capable of by swallowing our personhood and keeping us warm at night. Likewise, when you have suffered a traumatic event you may find that excitement feels dangerously close to anxiety or panic, thus you avoid it completely. You may be familiar with this if you know what it feels like to be “too happy.”

Catastrophic thinking holds us from our own potential despite the sense of self preservation we may feel. Perhaps this is why motivational speakers or perspective adjustments like those found in spirituality can be so powerful. Afterall, not all lessons on how to harness human ambition are hocus pocus. Sometimes, it is exactly the healing affirmation you need to hear. Sometimes, it is mind over matter.

I have released my need for control, re-defined my personal truth, and no longer trigger seemingly meaningless conflict in my relationships. This has left me with only one stone unturned: familiarity.

As an extremely stubborn individual, I find a no-nonsense approach to self development is best. So, what can you do if you’re getting in your own way by engaging in problem behavior such as self-harm, substance abuse, stress eating, interpersonal conflict, or procrastination?

Additional Reading: 8 Ways to Stop Self-Sabotaging Your Success from Entrepreneur Magazine

**If you’re a mental health survivor or mental health provider and want to tell your story – please email me at contact@deskraven.com!**

For more excellent insight and entertainment through a collaborative approach to all things mental health, including a guest post from yours truly, visit the Blunt Therapy Blog by Randy Withers, LPC! For additional perspectives on suicide prevention from master level mental health providers visit, 20 Professional Therapists Share Their Thoughts on Suicide!

In collaboration with Luis Posso, an Outreach Specialist from DrugRehab.com, Deskraven is now offering guides on depression and suicide prevention to its readers. For more information on understanding the perils of addiction visit, Substance Abuse and Suicide: A Guide to Understanding the Connection and Reducing Risk! In addition, for a comprehensive depression resource guide from their sister project at Columbus Recovery Center visit, Dealing with Depression!