Case in point: I am in talks with a television producer about a pilot script I wrote for a new science fiction series. For most people, this would be cause for celebration. Even if nothing comes of these negotiations (which the odds say are most likely), it is still reason to be proud and shouting from the rooftops.
Instead I am totally freaking out ... and not in a good way.
Exactly. But in letters a mile high.
I can’t sleep. My stomach rages. My mind constantly worries over every little nuance that the producer utters. Will he offer me an option? Will the project see the light of day? Did my natural social awkwardness doom everything right from the start to sink like the Titanic? What if things go well? What if the unlikely happens and a television show is greenlighted? Will I have to move my family away from family and friends and the support system we’ve come to rely on? Can I handle rejection? Can I handle success?
On and on my brain churns. I exercise like I’m training for the heavyweight championship of the world to distract myself. I meditate to clear my mind. I keep plugging on with everyday life, reminding my anxiety-prone personality that if things do fall through, then nothing is lost. Life will continue on in its comfortable, well-known order. My life is already good. I don’t need this type of success to be fulfilled. It would just be icing on an already scrumptious cake.
But then I start thinking again. Thinking begets worry and worry begets obsessing. I’m much too good at obsessing. I should wear the Queen of Obsession crown. That’s how amazing I am at it.
The right-hand side is also what my brainwaves
look like at this point...a big tangled mess.
If you happen to cross paths with me, please forgive the wide-staring eyes; the mumbled, half-coherent responses; the nervous shaking. Be gentle with me. The opportunity of a lifetime is crashing on top of me. I’m not dealing well with it. Remind me to breathe and remind me that no matter how this turns out I will be fine. I know all that already ... I just need the rest of you to keep repeating it to me. Maybe at some point, that squirrely part of my brain will believe you.