I’ve mentioned before how long it took me to pluck up the courage to do this. To do anything, actually. Because I didn’t know that blogging about the life and times of me, and becoming some kind of un-masked mental health crusader, would be what I ended up doing.
I have notepads full of pros and cons lists; new career possibilities ranging from teacher to beautician; the beginnings of tens, if not hundreds, of ideas for creative projects from children’s books to photography to a sitcom.
Throughout my life, particularly as my PR, marketing and communications career really got going, I have been grappling with dissatisfaction, disappointment, almost shame – and the overwhelming feeling of not being able to get out what I know is cooped up inside.
That being has gotten stronger and louder as I’ve gotten older and also since I’ve had my children, when I decided to take a break from the only career, however unwanted, that I had.
But I didn’t know how to talk to this being, the creative and ambitious inner Jo. I didn’t know how to speak her language, how to decode her messages. So she got cross. Like, Fatal Attraction cross.
And she took it out on me. She told me I was nothing, that I would always be nothing, that I was making zero meaningful contribution to this world. She’s a really harsh critic.
It took our near-miss last year to finally get connected. To learn that maybe we couldn’t speak the same language yet, but why hadn’t we ever bothered to try?
So when I said “sod it, what’s the worst that can happen?” and started My Anxious Life this year, it was amazing how quickly I could see a change. I started to feel good about myself as a person again, and remember all the things that I have to offer. And man, did inner Jo respond. She started encouraging me to try new things, to be brave. If something doesn’t work, try something new. No big deal! And for the first time, I listened to her. I believed her.
I’ve come to realise that she isn’t the enemy. She’s my best ally.