Getting Back Into It

The hardest part of writing is knowing where or how to start.

This has been one of my biggest challenges. Not only in writing new blog posts, but business emails, text messages, and social media updates as well.

It’s not that I don’t know what I need to say, or what I want to write about. It’s in organizing those thoughts in a coherent and logical way, and then finding the words to begin.

I’ve been having a particularly hard time with this lately, which is why I haven’t posted here in a while. My brain power has been going toward business emails, proposals and calls, which has taken a lot out of me mentally. One day when I can afford it, I’m going to hire someone to do those aspects that I struggle with. But for now, I’m on my own.

So, yes, I have two new clients (thanks to my therapist), and two more potential ones lined up. All of them psychologists—my ideal market. It’s been great to have work again and that sense of purpose.

I also got an unexpected cash deposit from an old pension fund I was a member of in my first “real” job many moons ago. It’s a long story, but I’m glad I got it now and not when I was supposed to earlier in my life. I would have wasted it back then as a lot of us do when we’re younger. It came at the perfect time and was very much needed.

Therapy has been going well. My therapist came back the day after I wrote my previous post, just like she said she would. She’s technically still on maternity leave, but working a little here and there. The first day back I got to go to the practice. I was anxious and wary. The first while I couldn’t even look at her, and didn’t want to take my mask off, even though that’s the first thing I usually do when sitting down (I hate wearing those things—but they’re great for hiding behind). The thought of taking my mask off felt like I would be getting undressed in front of her. Eventually, I started feeling more comfortable and my walls slowly came down.

It was a good session, and I’m glad I got to see her in person the first time back. She had come in about 5 minutes after I had arrived, and left to go home after me. So I was the only person she saw that day. I think that fact helped me feel closer to her again, and like I do actually matter to her. Since then we’ve had two in-person sessions, and the rest has been online.

There have been a few frustrating and sad things happening in my life too, but I’m just grateful that some good has come as well.

The past three days have been difficult. I think I pushed myself too far, and over-did things. I tend to jump into work in an almost manic way. Not giving myself much time to rest or relax. So I burn out. There was also so many other things to do and places to go. A lot of anxiety. It’s only now settling down.

My startle response and sensory system had gone haywire the day before yesterday. The smallest thing made me jump. Even those things that are a regular occurrence, such as the fridge making it’s “settling” sound every now and then. Everything was too bright, too loud, too rough or too soft. I’d hear the lady next door talking to her daughter, or the man speaking on his phone, and I’d be both irritated and fearful (every slight voice level above what it’s been and I felt the same fear at the anticipation of a fight).

So now I’m in a mental place where I can’t do any of my work. Even forming words to reply to voice notes or talk to anyone out loud just isn’t happening. Spent most of yesterday sleeping. I’m in shutdown mode. Good thing it’s weekend so I have an excuse to stay in bed and not do anything.

I need to learn how to balance things better, and protect myself from reaching this point.

Maybe I’ll get there one day.

Time Doesn’t Stop Flowing

I received an email this morning reminding me that my birthday is coming up soon. Well, thanks for that. But hey, they sent a voucher as well. For something that I have no interest in.

And once again I was sent down a rabbit hole of existential angst.

I’ve recently give my business a bit of a makeover, complete with a redesigned website. Since first starting my business I’ve learned a lot. Both from personal experience, and theoretical knowledge through courses, books, webinars, other entrepreneurs, etc. I’ve reworked my business model a bit and feel more confident with my direction.

Running a business reminds me of life. If we’re not growing, changing, or experimenting, we can’t expect anything to be different. Sure, we may fail more than we succeed, but that’s part of the deal I guess. Here’s hoping that my persistence will pay off eventually.

I don’t have much to show for my life. I don’t have anything to my name. I’m not financially independent. But to that voice that shows up way too often, and is often way too loud to ignore… I’m trying dammit! And I’m proud that I haven’t given up on my business or myself. I try to be a good person, treat others with respect and kindness, and give where and however I can. This all has to count for something.

On another note, I got to see my therapist this week. No cancellation. It was a good session and a lot got cleared up. I feel confident and secure in our relationship again. It was our last in-person session until after her maternity leave, so from next week it’s video sessions. There are going to be weeks when I don’t see her, or where she might have to cancel. But we’ve discussed it, so I feel at peace.

It’s been such a busy week, what with my laser-focus (forgetting to eat/sleep/etc) on my business. I’m officially running out of steam now, so have decided to step back and rest this weekend (well, from with what’s left of today).

I’m not that young anymore after all. Except in my own mind of course.

On Feeling “Not Good Enough”

It felt both scary and wonderful to get my first full salary from my new client at the end of last month. Why scary? Well, I’ve never earned so much money in one month before. But most of all, I felt like a fraud. Like I didn’t deserve it.

I know that’s not the truth. I worked hard and did well. At our month-end meeting my client had nothing but good things to say about my work. But still, those thoughts of “I’m not good enough” and the accompanying feeling of panic that I don’t really know what I’m doing and will be exposed, kept raising it’s head.

Imposter syndrome? Perhaps. The thing is, I’m used to doing things for next to nothing. To give in when someone can’t pay me for doing something, or charging them a price that didn’t take much of my effort and time into consideration. This caused me so much anxiety and stress. I was doing too much for others with little in return and becoming burnt out. A lot of it I would use as an excuse “it’s good for my portfolio or for practice”. Sure, that’s valid, but not to the extent I was taking it. Now that I’m charging more I feel guilty for it.

My therapist had to listen to me complain about these things and saw how it was affecting me. She helped me get to the place where I realized that way of doing things wasn’t working for me, and wasn’t worth it, and I could start putting proper boundaries in place. It’s still hard to stand firm, especially with friends and family, but I’m doing it.

This client is the ideal client for me. He’s honest, to the point, and doesn’t rush me. I’ve already learned so many new things and am becoming more confident, but I still get my days where I feel “not good enough”. One thing I really appreciate about him is that he will often send me a “good job!” or “well done”. So that helps tremendously.

Whenever I start experiencing those “not good enough” thoughts, and feelings of panic or fear, I try to remember to challenge them with more helpful thoughts. “I’ve come this far and I’m doing the best I can”. I also try to find moments where I can look at my work and say “I’m proud of myself, I did well”.