Doubt Kills Dreams.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014



I think if my parents would have taken me to the doctor more than once every five years as a kid they might have found out I have anxiety. I've never had an actual panic attack (I don't think?) I've never been diagnosed per say, but I've finally realized after so many years of life that when I say "I have the feeling like a tornado is coming" that might be classified as anxiety.

And that's how you know I'm from Nebraska, because I mean that phrase very literally. Having grown up in tornado alley, I have always been terrified of them. Each time I would watch the news and see that Madison County was in a "watch" my stomach would drop and my hands would clam up. I would sit out the rest of the night in pure agony awaiting my fate. And if the "watch" should be moved up to a "warning" by the National Weather Service I would grab my loved ones close by (which were my Beanie Babies and Polly Pockets) and haul ass to the basement to start praying. Our Fathers, Hail Marys, I said them all over and over and over.

And that my friends, is only the behavior of a high strung little kid who probably suffers from anxiety. Or as my parents liked to call me, "a very focused little kid." One in the same, obviously.

*Just to give you an awesome visual this is the exact suitcase I used to keep my most prized processions in. And yes, I was born in 1971.

Fast forward a few years and I still find myself saying from time to time "I just have that feeling like a tornado is coming" and I realized two things. A. I should stop saying it like that because it sounds very hick. And B. it's probably anxiety. Or C. if it's during the months April-June and it's eerily still and green outside it could be both. And in that case GET TO THE BASEMENT!

Lately that tornado has been hanging over my head almost every single day and it comes in the form of the little voice that whispers, "Why aren't you where you want to be yet? Why haven't you done what you want to do yet? Why didn't you start sooner? Time is running out. Hurry hurry hurry." I've lived my entire life in a rush. The last thing I need is a tornado telling me to hurry it up.

It's exhausting. But the fact of the matter is that I want to do a lot of things. And it seems like every morning I'm reminded that I'm not doing those things yet. Sometimes it feels like I'm on the right track, but other times I'll look at my myself and wonder what in the hell I'm doing. Why do I even bother with stand-up because who knows where it will end up? Why do I spend ten hours a week at iO and Second City because sometimes I end up leaving those buildings feeling more lost than I did before? Why did I spend six months writing a book that now just sits on my computer because I'm scared too finish it?

And why am I having daily soul searching conversations with my dog?

But questions like these kill. Because they're rooted in doubt. There will always be the possibility of a tornado lingering in the horizon, but I suppose that's what keeps me on my toes. So I guess my only option is to keep my loved ones close by and pray for the best outcome.


 photo signature-23.png

41 comments:

  1. I'm so right there with you!!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I hail from New Jersey and we have a handful of tornado watches when I was a kid. I hauled all my beanie babies and polly pockets to the basement as well!! My parents thought I was nuts but better safe then sorry!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have these fears as well. I think in reality no matter how we portray our life we all do. we just keep going and working hard and hope for the best

    ReplyDelete
  4. Were you really born in 1971? I couldn't tell if that was "real talk" or sarcasm.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I get those feelings sometimes too, like we´re not moving forward. I mean even Polly Pocket evolved...theyre not "pocket" size anymore, how sad is that?

    ReplyDelete
  6. I think everyone feels like this to a certain extent. Also...not to bring you down or anything, but the older you get, the worse it gets because you realize you are running out of time faster.

    You can only live your life the best you know how. If you are doing that, you are on the right path.

    bisous
    Suzanne

    ReplyDelete
  7. I actually just wrote about doubts and dreams this morning, and in a weird way this was comforting because it means I'm no the only one who has them.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I understand 100%. I was just diagnosed with anxiety - after a year of having anxiety attacks, sometimes none for 3 months, sometimes 3 in one week - and it's pretty clear that I've had it much longer. I was borderline one last night, actually, so I put away my connections to social media, deep cleaned the kitchen, and watched a movie. Sometimes the anxiety gets in my way. But what I've learned over the past year is that anxiety is just like other maladies that affect the body (and since I've been dealing with chronic illness for 13 years, I think that I'm pretty qualified to say that). And you need to take care of yourself when your anxiety gets high, whether or your not actually have an anxiety attack.

    ReplyDelete
  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Used my wrong account above .. ugh .. hope that is removed soon.

    I feel the same way. I have a lot of shit going on in my life that totally hit me like a ton of bricks and I didn't expect it. (I'll just say, if you think something is wrong with your loved ones - four legged included - TRUST YOUR GUT.) That combined with the usual stressors of life, and I feel like I'm in a black hole. I try to laugh it off and put on a happy face, but that frequently makes it worse.

    Surround yourself with those you love and those that lift you up. They will help you come out on the other side.

    Hang in there ..

    ReplyDelete
  11. I needed this today. I can FEEL doubt killing one of my dreams and I'm not about to let it.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Keep dreaming and working towards your goals and pretty soon your heart and head will be so full of confidence that there'll be zero room left for doubt. Go home doubt, we don't like you.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I've got a great therapist off the brown line if you're interested (partial joke, but also serious). She's a little crazy, but she works wonders for ppl with anxiety/"go getters" like you and me (wo meds)! I go there every once in awhile when I feel like a tornado coming (which I'm also terrified of, even to this day).

    ReplyDelete
  14. I think we all have these fears! I'm no where near where I want to be, but I hope I will get there someday. And I also have soul searching conversations with my dogs. LOL

    ReplyDelete
  15. I hate that feeling, it's one of the worst. Just keep going, finish your book. If your blog is any indication, you are extremely talented. You'll get there.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Your post is literally a written versions of all the thoughts bouncing around in my head. I have come to terms with the fact that I have anxiety, and I have since I was a kid. I've never been diagnosed since that plays into my fears of the whole issue, and I know that I don't want to be on any form of drugs daily to cope with it. I constantly find myself falling into the black hole, but you just have to step back and take time for yourself.
    I usually try to distance myself from people for awhile and clean, or read or paint or start something that I want to do that I feel like I haven't had time for. Also, getting lots of sleep seems to help me as well and surrounding yourself with those who won't judge you if you burst into tears for no reason.
    Keep following your dreams, and don't let the anxiety take over. You're extremely talented and I must say, I want to read some snippets of this mysterious novel that you have hiding on your computer :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. I didn't get diagnosed until I was 23 but my mom, sister, aunts and grandmother all have depression. And I'm turning 27 soon and hear that doubtful voice more and more lately!! Why haven't you figured your life out....why don't you have kids yet...thankful for my husband who helps me realize that life isn't a competition all the time and the journey is what makes it worth it :)

    ReplyDelete
  18. Your parents and mine both…doctors were for absolute emergencies and then maybe even not.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I was absolutely terrified of tornadoes as a child, and we really didn't get very many! However, we got the watches and the warnings every spring, and I would practically break down in tears. Anyway, I definitely have those anxieties as well, and it is really hard to turn them off.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Woah this post hit home!

    I feel like we're all wired to feel doubt and the real struggle is to fight it. Just remind yourself that you are exactly where you're supposed to be and keep on truckin'.

    ReplyDelete
  21. i can't even watch the movie, twister, cause it scares the ever living crap outta me!!

    be thankful you've never have experienced a panic attack..they are just as scary.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Oh that little voice, I know it well. Sometimes I want to yell at it to shut the eff up - but sometimes it can be sort of helpful. It gets you places. Except for doubt - doubt isn't helpful whatsoever. Great title!!
    Know you are not alone in your anxiety and self-doubt, we all suffer from it - some more, some less.
    Keep on doing what you're doing if it makes you happy, you will end up where you want to!

    ReplyDelete
  23. I struggle with this all of the time. A lot more recently actually. It's great to feel like someone else has the same worries that I do.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I have been having the same career worries/anxieties/stresses lately and I just hate it. It quickly turns in to a snowball effect of terribleness. I am in the midst of trying to give up worrying for Lent...it's going oookay. Not great and these fears of mine don't help but I'm trying to push through it.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I'm trying to focus on my doubt as doubt. I often disguise my doubt at "reasonable caution"... Which is quite a crock really.

    Good luck with yours. Maybe we should start a support group, complete with a lookout for tornadoes.

    ReplyDelete
  26. you get this kind of post so right, so on the money, every single time.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I'm so with you. The 'Hurry, hurry, time is running out'-voice in my head, has been my number one enemy since I was a teenager.. And hey - I would pay good money to read any book you write!! Please finish it ;)

    ReplyDelete
  28. Daily soul searching conversation with your dog are (in my experience) the most real and valuable conversations you can have. Don't question them! xx

    ReplyDelete
  29. I am no stranger to anxiety & constantly questioning basically everything that I do. And I have soul searching conversations with my dog all the time... she's the best therapist I can afford.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I hear you and I have experience anxiety in my life time

    ReplyDelete
  31. I think that doubt can seriously be crippling, but at the same time, if it's not at least a little scary, is it worth it? The fact that you have this anxiety shows that you're all in and that you're going for something that is actually important to you.
    -Rachel @ With Love, Rachel

    ReplyDelete
  32. It appears we've been drinking from the same "I suck at life" cup o' kool-aid. but you'll always have hate mail via a target blog. I think a person fighting for their dream is doing some kick ass, life-changing work every day. keep at it!
    http://bigloveandepicfail.blogspot.com/2014/03/questions.html

    ReplyDelete
  33. I'm right there with you. I wake up every morning with those same thoughts and it doesn't help the motivation factor at all. Doubting yourself is the worstttt. Let's figure out how to get over this, shall we?

    ReplyDelete
  34. omg yes. I have had legit panic attacks (like I had to pull over on the side of the freeway asap because I felt like I was going to pass out at the wheel) and it's NO FUN. But I take drugs for it (legal and illegal btw….or ftw depending on your morals) so all is good.

    STILL not sure I could EVER do stand-up. I mean…so scurry!!!

    ReplyDelete
  35. I live in Chicago as well. I have the same feelings as you, why am I not further along in life? I mean who am I comparing myself to? Some advice from someone who has been diagnosed with anxiety...there's anxiety where you worry about things and then there is anxiety where is starts messing with your everyday life. If you start experiencing the latter it's time to do something about it, because then it really can hold your life hostage. I wish you well and anxiety free!!!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  36. I have the same feelings and every once in a while it leads to a panic attack. This best thing you can do it talk to someone about it, take deep breaths and do some yoga! Take some time to relax :) you will get there!

    ReplyDelete