Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Darkness of Doubt

Have you ever had one of those days where you want to scream or simply cry in a pillow? Well, I’ve had one of those months. I just wanted to beat my head against a wall. Okay, not my head, but someone’s head.

Between the stagnation of my writing career (limbo where I have an agent and now I’m waiting), my urgent need to find a house in Florida since I’m moving this month, and a necessary transition regarding my situation of paying government dues (yes that last one was deliberately vague) I had my pick of what to be frustrated about.

For those of you who don’t know me very well, I’m not the kind of person who wallows. I think it’s a waste of time and energy. However, I do believe in venting, which is healthy. October was a tough month to see the cup as half full.

I even received good news, found out I’m pregnant, but it turned into weeks of endless worry instead of celebration. We tried last year and suffered a miscarriage, which left me a wreck. I know the advice is not to tell anyone you’re expecting until you hit the second trimester. I didn’t tell anyone last year, except for my husband of course, and we simply went through the devastation in silence without support. So, I’m shredding the rules this year!

My point is that sometimes we hit a zone where things aren't going the way we want or expect. That zone might be so dark it overshadows the good stuff around us or makes it difficult to see the light on the other side.

Whenever you hit a rough patch and wonder IF things will turn around, stay focused on one undeniable thing. Nothing ever stays the same. Life is dynamic, fluid, shifting with the tide of the universe.

You are the single greatest catalyst to change your life. Start by changing your perspective. Focus on what you want. Concentrate on the end result of what you hope to will achieve.

In my darkest moments of doubt, I turn on “a light” and visualize reaching whatever destination I’ve chosen. Yes, the journey may be long and riddled with obstacles, but only envision success in the end.

It’s not always easy to find “a light” to help you see through the darkness. For me, music motivates and uplifts every time. I’ll leave you with the one song that helps me snap out of a defeatist mind-set and remember that I am the architect of my own destiny.

This is going to be an amazing month! Anybody else feel that way?

Thanks Alex for starting this once a month Insecure Writers' Support Group.

What do you do to snap out of a funk? Does music help change your mood? If so, do you have a theme song?


  1. Isis,
    You have the most cheerful and supportive disposition. Yes, I don't know you well. Nevertheless, I can see that your spirit is glass half FULL. I'm glad October is over and we are moving on to a fabulous November. Congratulations on your pregnancy and I'm glad you disclosed. We want to celebrate with you. And be there for you. :)

  2. I allow myself a set time to wallow, grab a good book and some chocolate, and go at it. Usually by the time I'm done with the book and/or have given myself a bellyache with the chocolate, I'm over it.

  3. I hope this month is fantastic, Iris. Where in Florida will you be looking? I'm in the south. Congrats on the other news and I'm glad you won't let the doubt win.

  4. Oh, yes, yes, Yes! It's already a great month. In tough times, I tap into my faith...but sometimes I'm challenged to have faith. Good for you for rising about the negative.

  5. Welcome to Florida! That might improve your month in and of itself! :) I'm in Cape Coral and love it.

    Your attitude will surely go a long way to making that inevitable change you spoke of take you in a positive direction.

    Great month ahead for ALL! Woo hoo! One song that never fails to cheer me up (and is apropo to writing) is Natasha Bedingfeld's "Unwritten". If I'm looking for a happy dance, it's gotta be Hot Chelle Rae's "Tonight, Tonight" or Neyo's "Give Me Everything".

  6. You have a fantastic attitude. Like Linda says, give yourself a little time to wallow, then shed the skin and step into a new day. I think November will be awesome :)

  7. You go, Isis! I hope you have a good time in Florida and congratulations for your pregnancy!

    Music is the second best thing (next to writing, of course) for me! My mind is is overflowing with songs and I probably have an ipod lodged up in there. If I hear a sad song, I'll cry. If I listen to a song about the past, I instantly think about mine. If I hear an upbeat song, I'll be skipping and humming the whole day! I always have what I'd like to call an "artist phase" where... Okay, now I'm starting to ramble. I sort of have habit of doing that. But Good luck in Florida and I hope you have a fantastic month :D

  8. "You are the single greatest catalyst to change your life. Start by changing your perspective. Focus on what you want. Concentrate on the end result of what you will achieve." - I LOVE this! I needed this motivation today :) Found you via the blog hop. And I agree...Music never fails to motivate and inspire. I wish you much luck with all that's going on in your life. Hope November ROCKS!!

  9. Wonderful attitude! I wish you the best for your latest creation and hope the 1st and 2nd trimester progress uneventfully (blissfully so). Stagnate careers...focus forward. What else can you do. Am there and hope it will change. Best of luck.

  10. Such a beautiful post! October--which is generally one of my favorite months--wore me out this year too. We are the catalysts (love that line, btw) to make November shine. I wish for you the strength to turn that light on all month long!

  11. Thanks for sharing this. It reminds me that there is so much more than writing in life. There's a whole world out there. =)

  12. Isis, I'm so sorry you've had such a hard time lately. Visualization can change much in life. And a big congratulations on finding out you're pregnant!!! I hope it all goes well for you. The world is all the better because you're in it. :)

  13. Congratulations on your pregnancy.

    When things aren't going the way I hope, I keep reminding myself that everything happens for a reason. Although it sure would be nice sometime if we got to know what that reason was.

  14. Well congratulations!! Life changing moment indeed. And you've had a rough month, but like you said, if you keep putting one foot in front of the other, something's gonna change. And for the better. :)

  15. Wow, you have an agent - cause for celebration! And congrats on your pregnancy. Don't let an overload of stress take away that joy. And yes, share it - our family's had its share of miscarriages, but sharing in those helped spread the burden to make it a little easier to bear between us all. Sending you good thoughts.
    Love the visualization technique.

  16. Favorite music du jour: Florence & the Machine, Laura Pausini, Evanescence, Sting's renditions of traditional Irish songs...

    THanks for sharing, Isis! Your bravery and courage are wonderful to behold.

  17. This was a wonderful post, Isis. Huge congratulations on your news, and I hope all goes smoothly for you.

  18. Had to put on the uniform and pay some govvie dues today, so I'm way behind on responses and visiting blogs.

    Brinda ~ I think disclosure is the best policy this year. I'm definitely ready to celebrate something!

    Linda G ~ I like your philosophy. Eat chocolate until tummy ache, then get over it, haha.

    Miranda ~ I'm determined to make this month a great one.

    Em ~ I know what you mean. At those times, my husband seems to find a way to remind me how powerful faith can be.

    Jennifer ~ I love "Unwritten". Glad you're a music lover as well.

  19. Carol ~ The mind is a powerful tool. I actually received bad news on the professional front this morning, but you know what, I'm still smiling.

    Sabrina ~ Thanks. I'm so looking forward to moving to the land of sunshine.

    Charissa ~ Love your name!! This month will rock. By Turkey day, I plan to have loads to be thankful for.

    Kate ~ I appreciate the positive energy :).

    Julie ~ Hugs to you.

    E ~ It's easy to lose focus as a writer, but we are so much more than our craft/profession.

    Laila ~ Awww. That's super sweet of you.

    Linda ~ I'm so with you on that one. I'm keeping a list so that when I get to the pearly gates I can get some answers :).

    LG ~ Tell me about it. Keep moving forward.

    Cate ~ I agree that sharing does make it easier to weather rough waters and to soak in the happiness.

    Beth ~ My husband just downloaded the latest Florence and the Machine album to my iPod.

    Sarah ~ Thanks so much. I haven't been able to post to your blog. Is it me or is it your blog?

  20. SQUEEE!! Congratulations, Isis, I'm so happy for you and your husband! Sorry about the bad news on the prefessional front, but even that will become good news soon, I have no doubt. :-)

  21. Isis - congratulations on your pregnancy! and, I'm glad you told us - friends celebrate and grieve with you. It is a privilege.

    To get out of a funk I do silly things - watch cartoons, color in a book - something that sets me free!

  22. Make that 'professional front'. I really need to start proofreading my posts...LOL

  23. Isis, that's some serious s*#t you're dealing with. You can wallow, you can swear, you can turn on some music and shimmy a little. That helps me. And lots of chocolate and some really steamy romance.
    Congratulations on the pregnancy, and on the move to sunny FL in winter, and on the agent. Hey, now I'm in the mood to celebrate for you!
    Sending love and light

  24. Wow, October seems to be no one's month. I had a bummer month as well with some sad family news. I admit, I wallow. I like to stew and quietly vent, but eventually a friend or my hubby cheers me up.

    But, it's a new month and the pregnancy news is great news. Congrats!

  25. Congratulations on your pregnancy and your new agent. I hope all goes well for you!

  26. Donna ~ Big thanks and hugs to you. Fingers crossed from good news soon from my agent. You can get away with the writing glitch on comments. We're all rushed, no worries on a typo :).

    Robin ~ You are so right. Friendship is about sharing the good and the bad! Thanks for being there. I appreciate it.

    Sonali ~ Thanks for the love and light. I definitely need some celebrating buddies.

    Patricia ~ Maybe it was something in the alignment of the stars, but Oct kind of sucked. I'm Determined to make Nov a killer month :).

    Kirsten ~ Thanks. Hoping all goes well too!

  27. I'm so sorry you had to go through so much, Isis! Hugs.

    Great advice--def keeping a positive attitude helps. Keep up the good work.
    Congrats on ur pregnancy! Praying all is well.As well as the house and finding a home for your ms.

  28. My mom and daughter are drama queens over a hangnail so I've learned to not wallow, because I wouldn't be noticed anyway. LOL

    But if it does happen I go window shopping and stop at the Barnes & Noble for white mocha, a sugar cookie, and some new books. I'm a simple creature, it doesn't take much to make me happy.

  29. Mart, thanks! Fingers and toes crossed on all three fronts.

  30. Jill, I envy your simplicity. If all it took was a white mocha and some sugar cookies, my husband would a happier guy, lol. Honestly, a sunny day here in England is sometimes enough to turn my frown upside down. They are so rare, they demand full appreciation.

  31. i went thru that loss after telling everyone, it was the darkest time.
    now i have 3 boys terrorizing our lives!

    you are right about not letting the darkness consume us. we must find a light r rope or door to get out and move forward!

  32. Pregnancy hormones changes the game. Trust me. I've been through it three times. :) I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers for this pregnancy.

    I know you are always an uplifting person, but I'll tell you I needed to hear this today. Sometimes always being positive isn't helping others. I've had an EXTREMELY difficult month and the one phrase you wrote, "Life is dynamic, fluid, shifting with the tide of the universe," made me cry. It provided more hope than you could imagine. I'm a private person so I tend not to share, but in this case I wanted to tell you one thing. Thank you.

  33. Congrats Isis! Good luck with finding a place in Florida. I truly believe that the mind is a powerful thing and a positive outlook can go a long way. It's going to be a great month!

  34. Tara ~ That's very encouraging to hear. Three boys! I hope to be so lucky one day. Thank you.

    Ciara ~ I debated about this post and whether or not to put it out there. So glad I did because of your comment. Wishing you the best.

    Jessica ~ You are totally right!

  35. Great post, Isis! Yes, like everyone, I, too, have bad patches. But I try to always focus on what I do have that makes me happy instead of what brings me down. That's MY light.

    As for music, well, my favorite music is very dark. I use it for inspiration when I write since I write dark psychological thrillers. But for those times when it all gets to be too much (a depressive episode usually associated with a medical condition), I do have a BE HAPPY playlist on my iPod. It's kind of my last defense so I don't slit my wrists.

    Mostly though, I turn to my husband, my son, and my friends for help when I need propping up.

    Lastly, congratulations on your pregnancy! I hope it works out well for you and your husband. Take extra good care of yourself!

  36. Hi Nancy, you have a great light that you can turn on anytime, anywhere :).

    I have a "be happy playlist" that's all showtunes. Shh, it's my secret weapon.

  37. Congratulations! And Big Hugs!!! and the hope that you are surrounded with love, hope, light, and great music for the next 9 months and beyond.
    Music definitely helps me when I'm down - sometimes I sing, sometimes I listen to music - Tonight by Toby Mac is great, or "One More" by Superchick! - both of these have helped immensely lately - also, "Hey, Hey" by Superchick - but that's more of a "sing the song you feel, and be true to yourself" kind of song.

  38. Great post!!! Music does help me get out of a funk. It helps me write, too. I love a great song like Awake and Alive by Skillet. It gets me encouraged and motviated. :)

  39. Tyrean ~ Thanks for the upbeat vibes!! And the hugs :). I'll have to check out some of those songs.

  40. Lynn ~ Music has such power. I find it amazing that so many writers can't write while listening to music. Glad you enjoyed the post!

  41. Yeah, if you're in a funk, just wait - things change!
    You've gone through a lot - now is your season. Now it is time for the upswing!

  42. 'You are the single greatest catalyst to change your life. Start by changing your perspective. Focus on what you want. Concentrate on the end result of what you hope to will achieve.'...Now that's some solid advice right there. Glad I dropped in on you, Isis. I've been doubtful about another direction I'm about to go in. I'm definitely putting one foot in from of the other, but sometimes we need to hear this stuff.

  43. Wonderful words, Isis. And congrats on the pregnancy! I hope you and the little one stay healthy and all goes well this time around!

  44. Congratulations on all the exciting events happening in your life and good luck with all the changes to come!

    I'm so sorry to hear about your loss and then your recent struggles. I deeply admire your strength and fighting spirit.

    Happy wishes...:)

  45. Congratulations on your big news. My fingers are crossed that you have a healthy pregnancy and baby.

    We share the same philosophy. I try to focus on the good stuff, and remember some of the harder things I've had to face. Those things help me to put everything into perspective. :D

  46. I'm really sorry to hear that you had a miscarriage and that you had to suffer with the grief alone. I am happy, even thrilled, that you are pregnant. I hope things go well for you. Keep us up to date.

    You're amazing. Focusing on the positive is hard when you've been through (and are going through) what you've been through. But, with that outlook, it does improve things somewhat.

  47. A huge congrats on your news, and I hope and pray that you will enjoy a healthy pregnancy. I think focussing on the positives is the best (and only) way to go.

  48. Sorry October was such an awful month for you, but you do have a great outlook and I'm sure things will work out. Congratulations on your pregnancy! I can tell what a caring person you are, and I know you'll be a wonderful mother! Good luck with everything Isis! Julie

  49. Alex ~ I'm ready for an upswing.

    Joy ~ Changing directions can be scary, but we can't let fear hold us back. Wishing you the best as you move forward.

    Lydia ~ Thanks so much!

    Jamie ~ I appreciate the sentiment. I know it's a process we all go through, the highs and the lows. How we get through it determines who we are.

  50. Stina ~ Remembering what we have already overcome definitely fortifies us. We've proven we have the strength to get through our current circumstances.

    Clarissa ~ I'll definitely keep you guys posted, good or bad. It's better to share than hide.

    Lynda ~ Focusing on the positive is much better use of our time and energy.

    Julie ~ Aww. Thanks so much!

  51. Congratulations on the pregnancy, Isis. You'll be in my prayers every day until that baby is delivered.

    I've had many months like the one you're talking about, and it's not fun. No one should suffer alone.

  52. Congratulations on the news of your pregnancy, hope all goes well for you. I hope your dogs don't go too crazy on bonfire night.x

  53. What a wonderful post, Isis. Wow, I can see why October might have been difficult for you! So much on your plate now!

    Massive congrats on your BIG news! That's fantastic, and I'll be sending you loads of positive vibes. Good luck with your move, too. I know how difficult trans-Atlantic moves can be.

  54. Isis, congratulations on your big news - that's awesome! I hear you on the career frustrations. Everything about publishing seems to take forever these days. But hang in there - I bet 2012 is going to be a great year for you!

  55. Congrats, Isis. I wish you great health and less stress. The writing, the gov't, the house, are all just lumps in the oatmeal. A pain in the butt, but nothing more than that.

    I'll keep you in my thoughts for a much better November.

  56. Sandy ~ Friends are so important, whether in person or connecting through social media. And yes, no one should have to suffer alone. Hope all is well with your husband.

    Eve ~ I'm sure they will. They don't care for fireworks at all.

    Talli ~ I need all the positive energy I can get. Wish I could bottle it and tap in when I need it most. Moving across an ocean is tough, but I've done it once, so I can do it again :).

    Vanessa ~ I have no choice. I must hang in there. Quitting is not an option, ever.

    Mary ~ Love that, just lumps in the oatmeal. Great perspective and thanks!

  57. Sorry I'm so late to the party but with the head cold I just had writing simple sentences was difficult :)

    Love your post Isis, so right on target, and much needed. Thanx!

    I don't have one specific song but music definitely helps me too, whether I want to wallow (cause sometimes there is a time to let yourself wallow, not forever though) or be uplifted I can always find a song to help.

    Thanks again for the great post.