I have happiness in my heart and a thorn in my soul

Doing things that scare you

on November 16, 2013

I’ve spent a lot of my life making grand plans, wanting to do things but never quite doing them, or doing half of something. I place a lot of the blame on my mental illness, for years I was told I suffered fromΒ  “chronic depression and anxiety” but a year and something ago I was diagnosed as bipolar. So I do have a tendency to start something while manic and then trail off when a depressive episode hits, this has happened to me more times than I can count because when a depressive episode hits I can barely get out of bed or go to the shops to buy milk, but when I’m manic I feel like I can take on anything and often do.

So I’m 32 years old, I have half of two bachelor degrees, a few certificates not worth much and am currently working on another degree. I’ve been writing on and off since I was a child, starting mainly with short stories and poetry, then songs and poetry and essays. I recently completed a manuscript and showed it to a friend who now wants to pass it to their literary agent, something that scared the shit out of me. I’ve also been pitching ideas for – not a site i read all that often but a friend showed me a link to writing for them and i thought it would be an interesting challenge. Since then I’ve been researching freelance writing jobs online, I’ve submitted a piece to a celebrity gossip site and had an offer to write for them. I did it more to see if i could, it only pays $25 an article and I’m not that invested in celebrity gossip lol but i wanted to know if i could.

I think when you have a mental illness so much of your energy goes into just coping, just existing, that the thought of putting ourselves out there, opening ourselves to possible rejection on a mass scale becomes a ridiculous fantasy. But I’ve decided I need to push myself, I need to do things that make me uncomfortable, otherwise another decade will pass and I will have little to show for it. I enjoy writing immensely, it brings me such joy and peace and gives me an outlet for the abundance of thoughts and emotions that are racing through my mind at any given moment, so why not push myself and maybe make some money at this? I know I’m not crap, but I also know I have a long way ahead of me, that I’m not yet the best writer I can be, but the only way I’ll get there is by doing it more and more, by experiencing trial and rejection and different types of writing and formats.

If you have a passion, I implore you to go for it. Don’t believe that success is for other people but not for you, I believed that for so long but now I realize, it CAN be for me, I just have to TRY. I have to be willing to accept the good and the bad and genuinely put myself out there. Follow your passion, restore hope to your life and really try. So what if you don’t become the best of the best, at least you’ll have given it a shot. When you’re old and grey do you think you’ll have more regret over the things you tried and didn’t succeed at than the things you never bothered to try at all? I have a feeling it will be the latter. I also know that a part of having a mental illness is accepting a fate of misery, but it doesn’t have to be that way, if you do something you love you’d be surprised at the effect it can have on your well-being in general.

So I’ve decided to let my friend show my manuscript to his literary agent, if nothing else I’ll get some helpful feedback. It’s scary but exciting, and I’m proud of myself for finally trying. That itself improves my mood greatly, and hey, if I get negative feedback it will make me feel shitty, but that will pass, I’ll pick myself up and try again.

19 responses to “Doing things that scare you

  1. Rose says:

    Woot woot, McKarlie! πŸ˜€ I loved this post and it just makes me think, well, Rose, what are you passionate about and why don’t you get going on that? Food for thought, my dear, at least for me, because it sounds like you’re getting after it! Do so much love your blog. Best always, Rose

    • mckarlie says:

      Thanks lovely! I hope you find what makes you happy and you pursue it with fervor. I spent too much time relying on my diagnosis as an excuse not to try, success is available to anyone who wants it enough πŸ™‚

  2. timbush222 says:

    A good message here. It is tough for the bipolar, but we have to live too. You have to be able to do what makes you happy no matter what. Go for it!

  3. Oh man, I’m so excited for you!

    I have also started a million things and never finished any of them. I have never pushed myself to study because I know I will just give up. I basically have no faith in myself.

    I can write – I know that, but the minute it stops being just for me, and becomes something professional, I get angry with it, myself and lose the plot (ha!) completely. I even do this with both of my blogs.

    I am so incredibly excited for you! And so in love with your ability to take the risk and push yourself – I’m starting to push myself now, maybe one day I will also get to the point of doing something with my writing.

    Best of luck, please let us know how it goes! xx

    • mckarlie says:

      Then write a story for me, I will give you honest feedback from a place of love and adoration. We gotta start with baby steps, this has been a long time coming for me and I tell you when I got some negative comments after pitching to cracked I felt like giving up. Instead I stood up for myself and called them on their shit and they actually apologized lol go figure.

      I’m not expecting much from this manuscript I wrote it more for myself but I am starting work this week on something I’m trying to tailor for being published, scary but so so fun.

      I believe you are capable of awesomeness, you have quite the head on those shoulders hun xo

  4. Yeah! This is an awesome blog post- power to you!! πŸ™‚ Be proud of yourself, you have every right x

  5. words4jp says:

    Wow – you are an inspiration. I wish you all the best with the manuscript. xx

    • mckarlie says:

      That’s so amazingly kind of you, I’m just a girl who is tired of living a half life. Letting my butt be kicked by life, I want to kick back a little. Thank you πŸ™‚

  6. I really enjoyed this. There’s so much I can relate to. Great job!

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