With my debut novel coming out in two days, lately, I’d been feeling anxious, stressed, going on nights without sleep. My shoulders were hurting and my neck felt stiff. My body was simply all over the emotional map. Add on a mini-panic attack and my mom practically demanded I go see a lady chiropractor who uses a form of Chinese energetic therapy called the Yuen Method to relieve pain. The premise is that our bodies function like computers that run on binary (one and zero). They are either on or off; strong or weak. And I don’t have to be an engineer to understand that. Oh wait, I am.
My beautiful mom knows me too well; she had me at Chinese. She knows I have a huge love affair with all things Asian. I actually think I may have been Asian in a previous life, because I’m obsessed with oriental medicine, healing practices, meditation, mahjong, martial arts, Sushi (does that count?), Acupuncture, Buddha, you name it — the whole shebang.
Fast forward a couple of days and I’m sprawled on my belly over a massage bed and my chiropractor is telling me that I’m a mess, very tense and charged. At one point, she said she got tired energy-wise of releasing all these emotions trapped in my physical body. She also said that I am terrified of success and constantly sabotage myself.
I am a darn hard worker. I know it. I recognize it. But it always feels weird and silly to me when people credit my accomplishments. It makes me feel uncomfortable. I’ll smile, say thank you, but in my head I’ll go, “are you sure?”, “do you really think so?”, “maybe you’re exaggerating.”
Ultimately, it’s negative talk. It’s that little voice inside me that says, “you’re no good.” I don’t want to listen. I know it’s destructive and unhelpful, but I am my worst enemy.
I don’t mean to be. Maybe I am so used to things not working out. Maybe I’m too much of a perfectionist. For example, if someone criticizes my book, I internalize that far more quickly than I do a positive review. Why? I don’t know. It doesn’t make any sense. The bad has more impact than the good.
It’s not that I don’t like compliments, they actually motivate me to do better. It’s that it’s hard to receive praise, because they don’t really know how it was done. At the same time though, I have this drive, these goals and ambitions, but I can’t acknowledge when I achieve said things. I call this an oxymoron, a very moronic oxymoron.
It’s a jungle in my head.