Endless OnionCategory: General   Feb 28th 2018  12:44PM   0

So much is happening suddenly, I feel like life is snowballing...in a good way, to be sure, despite that it's also kinda panic-inducing. After many years of buildup I'm hitting peak speed and momentum. I should be excited by this. People keep saying that—This is exciting! You must be so excited! I nod and say (or type) "Yes, I am excited."

In truth, I mostly vacillate between cautious, numb, and semi-panicked. I keep it to myself. I don't want to disappoint anyone.

I've told one or two friends. Also my publisher and publicist. I don't think they get it. They don't know what I've been through or what I'm up against. A stranger on Facebook gave some great advice, and my best girl friend also, earlier tonight. I'm seeing a trauma specialist next week, in the hopes that EMDR will get me past this tsunami of "exposure" anxiety.

To say I've worked hard to get this far is a gross understatement...from one foot in the grave to successful published author is no mean feat. I'm no shrinking violet. I have brass balls and wisdom of the ages...all that good shit. Yet the realization of my biggest dream is reducing me to a three year old, on a daily basis.

When the really severe anxiety kicked in, a couple weeks ago, I told myself it would pass. But it's worsened. Every time I picture the future I feel nauseous. It's irrational, so I took a good look at it, and realized I'm being triggered. I know enough about the psychology of trauma to know I'm awash in it. That I didn't see it sooner is surely due to my Gen X status...you know, the generation of latch-key kids who learned to take care of themselves or die trying. Since the day I got sober, that's been my perspective.

Anyway, without too many boring details, the spotlight to me is the seventh circle of hell. I've never craved it, nor tolerated it well. Yet I'm about to be immersed in it, and will be expected to excel. 

If I've developed any skill in that area, I have to say it's only this: I am more able to accept my flaws both personally and in the public sphere, than I was for most of my 50 years. Which is to say, when I make an ass out of myself-—which I will surely do, to some degree, as this nightmare/dream-world unfolds—I won't shrivel up and die inside. I may not even pass out! (Also, I may very well pass out.) Thing is, I'm not as worried about being seen in my humanness, as I am about the drain on me these other humans promise to have.  

My first review came out yesterday. In it I was called a good writer, twice, in two separate ways. Mention was also made of my "interesting" background. For no good reason I can think of. Like the writer was idly picking at a scab.

I thought I had explored every layer I have...peeled to my navel-gazing, hyper-introspective, 21-years-sober (read: inventoried to death) core. Every issue and personal trauma from childhood to now. Wow, was I wrong. 

The trauma expert is fitting me in right away, as she believes this cannot wait. I agree, I have zero time to waste. Within the next few weeks I will come face to face with my biggest, fiercest demon. I intend to spit in its face.


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