I need to find a convenient label so I can describe where I am in my life. I have searched through all of the clichés that might come close: “It’s two out in the bottom of the ninth,” “It’s do or die,” “My back is against the wall,” “It’s time to pay up or shut up,” “It’s crunch time.” None of them fit. I am not going to die – yet. And most likely nothing bad is going to happen to me.
Then why the drama?
Over the past months, my words have dried up and my focus has been spun in all sorts of directions. For a guy like me, that could be described as typical, but it’s not. I am in this predicament because I have made PROGRESS in dealing with my anxiety. And, just when one hole is covered up nicely, another one opens up – only this time the holes are bigger and more frequent.
My troubles began as soon as I finished my book. You finish a book, it gets printed. People buy it and they want you to talk about it. Talk? Oh, no, I can’t do that. That would involve getting up in front of crowds, all alone and speaking…words…out loud…making sentences. This is just too much.
But guess what? I have to do this. I made a promise to myself to do this, and I won’t back down. I don’t care if this is a disaster. I don’t care if I sell any more books. I have to do this, and that is that. Case closed, end of story (more cliché’s to follow later).
So what did I do? I scheduled two book-reading events in front of real human beings. One is on June 17th, and the other a few days later on June 21st. (Check the obituary section of your local paper to read the humorous story of the author who died at his book premier. It promises to be a laugh riot).
Is that all that is making me anxious? Of course not. I would not have asked that question if there wasn’t more – so much more. Get a load of this folks: the guy who has trouble going out his own front door is taking a trip – to Germany! Yup, I must be crazy.
You see, my brother lives in Germany and he has always wanted me to visit. I finally said yes.
This isn’t going to be easy. This trip is going to test my powers of relaxation, which I don’t think I have. Then again, if I don’t try this, my whole blog is a lie. I have to do it, even though the thought of stepping on foreign soil is keeping me awake at night. What if the people look at me funny or they have weird bathrooms that are hard to operate? What will I do?
I don’t know much about Germany or the people or the food. I heard they have something called schnitzel, so I guess I better try it or that would be rude. All I know about schnitzel is that it is in that song, “My Favorite Things,” so it must be good. I guess I will try it. Had it been in a song, “Don’t Eat This Garbage,” I would not.
So, here I sit, on the eve of my departure – well I should have chosen a better word there. My stomach acid level just increased 10 times when I read what I wrote. Here I sit, on the precipice…nope, no good. I am almost ready to board the plane (better) and my anxiety is through the roof. I am going to have to meditate, visualize and self-talk my way through the next weeks. It’s going to be interesting to see what happens, so stay tuned.
The good thing about all this is that I know I am making progress. How do I know? Because I am constantly on the verge of a panic attack. My “bad” inner voice is telling me to run away and hide in a safe place. I am pushing myself and expanding my boundaries – because I want to.
There is another cliché or saying of sorts and it goes something like this: “Nothing worthwhile comes easy.” That is very often the case. I want to do all this, so I am going to take the plunge. I hope to see you when I come up for air.