EDIT: After some careful consideration, I x-posted this to my regular blog: [link]
I realised that I should have posted it there in the first place, seeing as it's about being brave and opening up bit by bit. It's scary, because more people I know personally read my blog which means... more people I know personally will know I'm having panic attacks. Somehow it's easier to tell a bunch of strangers personal information than it is to tell the people I care about the most. But enough with the tangent, and on with the post:
Being vulnerable is important as an artist and storyteller. Being able to speak "from the heart" and express yourself honestly, like an open book, gives the things you write and create a heart and a soul and brings people into them in a way you can't otherwise. All the great creators say that. And I know it, intellectually, logically and from that place in my gut that tells me whether or not I'm doing the right thing or not.
But I can't, for the life of me, actually apply this.
I'm terrified. Absolutely, completely terrified by this idea of putting a part of yourself, expressing vulnerability, on the page or in the picture. And it's affecting my life. Because it's not just in my creative work that this is a problem anymore. I'm afraid of opening up to people.
I had the worst panic attack I've ever experienced a few days ago, which ended in me crouched over the toilet attempting to calm the feeling of nausea. All because I couldn't open up to my boyfriend about why I was afraid of talking to him about why I wanted to wait for a while before I moved straight back in with him.
Even right now, writing this I can feel the fear creeping up like a vine, saying "Don't post this. This is over emotional BS. No one wants to read about your issues." But it hurts NOT to write it.
I want to pour everything I have into something I create. I want to have people read something I write and cry from heartache because they love the characters so much. I want to create something that gives people the same feeling I do when I watch a show that hits me like a tonne of bricks, a story that makes me sit up and think "I can do anything", something that touches people at their very core.
So I'm figuring this out. Bit by bit. I've been hiding in a corner for a long time, fighting harder and harder for the right to stay there. But the walls of the corner are coming down, bit by bit. I won't have anywhere to hide soon. And instead of looking for the next hiding place I'll need to turn around and face the things that are scary.
Whatever those things are.