Marc R. Micciola
Do you ever get overwhelmed?
If your answer to that question is yes, then you are probably like most people in the world. I think everyone gets overwhelmed at times; some more than others. It's an upsetting feeling that can come with other feelings that really throw your day, week, or even entire month out of wack. I think in this day and age especially, it's very difficult to avoid being overwhelmed. There's a lot of pressures put onto people by society to be a certain way, and when you don't fit into the roles that others have for you, things can get a bit complicated. Some will try extra hard to force themselves into these roles to get praise from others, or just to feel like a part of a group. Some will feel like they're never going to be good enough the way they are, and I think for a long, long time, I was in that boat.
Get a good job, work loads of hours, ignore stress, fight through the pain, contribute this particular way. Stresses of becoming an adult were always going to be there, but for someone who struggled to maintain all sorts of relationships, battled with mental health issues, and craved a greater sense of freedom when it came to how to live their life, things were incredibly stressful for me. I tried my best to appease the people around me, so much so that I forgot what I wanted, and it eventually got to a point where I actually believed what I wanted didn't matter. I was miserable, anxious beyond belief, unable to properly process my emotions, and in the end I found myself in the hospital because I just couldn't handle everything anymore.
Overwhelmed? I know the feeling all too well. Even after I left the hospital and decided things were going to change, I still got overwhelmed at times. There were so many different paths that I could take then, and there's still many paths for me to take now. Sometimes I struggle to determine which one is the right one, no matter how big or small the paths are, and I find myself in that familiar paralyzing, defeated panic. It wasn't easy, but with years of therapy and proper medications, as well as wonderful support from true friends and loving family members, I found my way.
I became a full time writer, and while I feel an incredible amount of joy following a life long dream, it still has its warts. For example, the writing industry is extremely flooded with works from all types of people thanks to the increase in services helping people self-publish. It's a business that doesn't only require you to have a good piece of writing, but you also need to market yourself and your product all on your own. For someone who only wants to do the writing part, you can imagine how many times I get upset when sales aren't coming my way.
Still, I've continued to grow as a person and as an author, and I've taken steps towards being more confident in myself and my work, allowing me to feel more comfortable promoting both. What inspired this post was a certain feeling I have been having lately, which is (I'm sure you've guessed it already) being overwhelmed by all of the things I have to do in order to MAYBE get some sales. You have to be active on Twitter, Instagram, your blog; you have to send out newsletters and come up with new things to put in those newsletters. That's just a few things. There's many more that require a self-published author's attention, and sometimes all of those things just flood my mind at the same time and it freezes me.
I can't bring myself to do anything for a while. I just sit there in front of my laptop and scroll through the same Twitter and Instagram posts for sometimes hours until I begin to run out of time in the afternoon so I force myself to just do something. Today, that something was a blog post. It's frustrating, upsetting, depressing, and incredibly nerve-racking to be overwhelmed at times, but what I wanted to come on here and say is that you can overcome those feelings when they hit you. Find what works for you through testing things out, and I'm sure you'll discover ways to fight through it. For me? I listen to music.
It's usually a bit different that what most would listen to, but it grounds me. I'll find myself listening to different soundtracks like the ones for Lord of the Rings, Last Samurai, Vikings, Last Kingdom, World of Warcraft, Batman (the Christopher Nolan ones) and others. I try to avoid ones with lyrics, because it allows me to just sit there and feel the music in my bones and breathe. After a few songs, I feel calmer and more ready to take on something. This is actually REALLY massive for me, because I came from a very low, dark place when I left that hospital. Like I've said, it's taken years for me to get to where I am today, and I got to say, I'm pretty proud.
So, if you ever find yourself getting a little overwhelmed by things in your life, try to find a way to slow down a bit and give yourself a moment to breathe. Whether that's listening to some music, whatever genre you want, or getting a massage, or going to the movies, or just sitting down with a loved one with a glass of wine or a beer; however you decide to do it, try to find some peace. Just remember that the world is better with you in it, and no matter how hard things may get, you'll always have someone cheering for you to overcome it. I hope that next time you're overwhelmed, you manage to find that peace you need, and you come out of the experience stronger than ever.
I'm off to work on something. I don't know what yet, but I'm sure with a little bit of help from some great music, I'll come up with something worth while. Hope you all have a lovely go of it, no matter where your life takes you. Until next time!
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