Self Doubt

Even as I post this, I'm wondering if I should. After all, friends and family read this and the natural response to discouragement is encouragement. But this isn't about that. It's about me trying to figure things out. All of that authenticity and transparency that blogging serves as a discipline for.

And now that I re-read that first paragraph I realize that it makes no sense whatsoever In fact, it sucks so perfectly horribly that how can I even say I'm a writer? (Because it does actually say that in the header of this blog.)

And if you are thoroughly and completely confused, well, thank you. You've now joined the status of my head for the past month.

I don't know when it happened, but somewhere along the way I've become completely immersed in self-doubt. For a girl who cut her teeth on performance-based acceptance and tends to set course on some intangible internal radar, this is the worst possible sort of malady.

I don't know what to do. Where to go. Who to be.

Somehow the discouragement hit me to the core and flipped a switch, and all of the sweet words about how wonderful I am (husband) or even affirmation in my profession that I'm "doing it right" (meetings this week) and I still feel this awkward feeling like I just don't fit. That I'm simply not enough.

Intellectually, I'm okay. I see my accomplishments. The tasks I check off. The dollars I produce. But on a heart level there is a miss. As if somehow all the i's and the e's went away. (Ideas, imagination, intuition, insight, inspiration. Enchantment, excitement, emotion, empathy, edge.)

I wish I could flip the switch back again. I wish I knew my place in the story. And I fear that this will produce a slew of "you're okay" comments--which though nice, can't fix the problem. (John's been pretty fabulous at immersing me in it lately.)

What I'd really like to know is what you do to get it back? The i's and the e's. How do you reignite them when they pack up and move away?

I do have the advanced marker class on Saturday. But my guess is pinning all my hopes on that is a lot to ask.


Robin said...

Thanks for sharing this - unfortunately i seem to live in this area for no apparent reason that i can see other than focus. Maybe you're focusing on the wrong things right now - maybe you're just in a funky place where it doesn't feel right but feelings aren't always truth. But it doesn't change the way we feel. Sorry don't want to over-encourage - just commiserating with you.

On another note - wish i could take the marker class with you!

Unknown said...

Cathy, do you really want “it” back (perhaps to meet the same inevitable destiny), or do you want to explore the land on the other side of this bridge? Leave the past just that- it’s a mystery too deep to know. This is a great gift from God aimed right at your fertile heart- don’t try to change it or hold it at bay, press in and embrace it for all the potential it has. Let go of the rope- I mean really let go of the rope - and see where He leads- it’s an amazing new road (that you need to blog about!).

NancyJ said...

Robin's right - feelings aren't always truth. Amy's right - press in and embrace it as a great gift from God. David W's right in his BLOG post from 2.10 - God's presence is an action already happening in you, it cannot be manufactured through church attendence or quiet times...consent to God's presence IS His presence. Nancy-the-Insightful just thinks we should always go on trips together so we can have heart-to-hearts about these things while watching Buffy in the hotel room! :-)

Happy said...

Hi, Cathy...

As someone who only knows you through a couple of conversations and your blog, my 2 cents is probably not worth quite as much as those who know you better in the details of your life - but I just wanted to tell you that a) you're a brilliant writer, and I knew what you meant in that first paragraph. b) I'm sorry you're so confused - but if it's worth anything at all, I'm pretty sure this is NORMAL for an artist. and c) I think the i's and the e's will come back on their own as you persevere, and continue to trust what you *know* to be true.

Romans 15:13.

praying for you,

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Maira Gall