The Scary ‘Publish’ Button
Why anxiety gets in the way of sharing my story
On days such as these, I feel more likely to write a dozen incomplete draft blog posts than to publish a single one. It doesn’t matter whether writing brief thought pieces, with no purpose but to exercise a few daemons through limited literary prowess, or if they are lengthy posts, backed with images, research and, ideally, the odd piece of insightful opinion. Regardless, I seem to stutter at that final step. But, with this post, I insist upon fulfilling the contradictory irony of ensuring I click that ‘publish’ button.
A bit of a lead. A segway and a signifier of everything that has held me back in life. It’s never been more important for me to identify those triggers that hold my legs as I attempt to take one final step. Towards victory? towards failure? Who knows. I am so rarely willing to take the risk to find out. Whether attending class in my teens, lecture halls in my 20s or blog posts in my 30s, getting over the final hurdle always seems to be said hurdle too far.
Really, what I fear most is the judgement that comes at the end. No, not that kind of imposing, existential (or no longer existential) judgement that comes at pearly gates that may or may not exist, but one that simply puts me into the spotlight and asks “how have you got on?”. Isn’t that what lies at the heart of all social anxieties, the fear of how we are viewed in the world. No matter whether the consequences if my actions are tinged with negativity or glowing in the certainty of positivity, I always steer away from bestowing others with the judicial gift of ranking my value, or lack thereof, as a human being.
What makes matters worse? The fact that this remains such a strongly imbedded part of my reasoning process, even as I sit here, attempting to exercise aforementioned demons in a dance of fingers against rapidly fading plastic keys. This blog should be a place where venting not only helps others, but helps me.
Of course, there are so many reasons to question the incentive of the ‘publish’ button.
Perhaps it’s gaze would be more drawing, were it not for the fact that, along with the fear of being judged, I have to go through the standard proofread. My standard proof read. Not your mother’s proof reading trade of a quick grammar and spelling check. Rather, my own proofreading process becomes a long, drawn out slog. It is suffocated by an uninvited predilection to unwillingly obsess over the minutiae of my writing. The result? Anything written down could easily end up tangibly poorer by the time I am done with my editing hat on.
The irony of obsession preventing action cannot be lost on any of you with similar ailments in life.
Of course, this barrier to finality, this lack of decisive intent, is an inevitable component of my social anxiety. In a cycle of self vengeful protest, it is the social anxiety that stands as the final barrier between my thoughts and the outside world; an outside world that you discover to be caring and helpful, if you are only able to connect with it.
I have never been in greater control of my anxieties. On a conscious level, they defer to me on the days plan of action. But, when it comes to the subconscious, I can never turn a blind eye to the unstoppable instinct of my mind and heart to disconnect; for what I have mindlessly decided creates an easier life, it not a happier one.
It’s just a classic case of me getting in the way of myself.
Through awareness of this, I hope I can understand myself better, and that you can share and identify with a person who, like you, can be a slave to a mind that refuses to always play fair.
I hope I can publish this now without too much worry. Let’s see…
If you just read this. I did. Another victory over anxiety. Always a good day.