Taking Credit

My therapist asked me to think about why I don’t give myself credit. Whether I post it on this blog or journal it out, she asked me to examine why I feel the need to bring myself down.

What should I take credit for, though?

I call myself a writer, yet the projects I’m working on haven’t been touched in months. I haven’t felt the need to write about anything because of the nagging in my head telling me I need to find a niche topic.

It was advice in my online writing classes. “Find your niche,” they said, “and write about what you know!”

What if I don’t have one? I find many topics interesting, but what difference would my writing make? What difference would it make to an audience that has read the same articles as I have?

I don’t seek out notoriety, nor do I have the desire to be an influencer.

I could blame the current lock-down for my lack of inspiration, and I could blame it on my lack of drive to use the resources from the classes I paid for; but, I don’t believe it’s the lock-down.

It’s me.

Impostor syndrome is defined as a psychological pattern in which one doubts their accomplishments and is afraid of being exposed as a fraud.

I was considered a ‘gifted child’ in school, and I took all the advanced classes from second grade till the day I graduated high school. Do you know why I was so good at acing tests? Because I had good memorization, so the bulk of things I learned in school are gone now. I’m sure I’m not the only person (let alone former ‘gifted child’) to have experienced this.

Most people don’t realize that being labeled a ‘gifted child’ by your school puts a lot of pressure on you, and I went to school believing that I had to be perfect in all my work. When I got a C in physics my senior year, I was embarrassed. Science and math were always difficult for me, and I knew this, but I still hated myself for getting that final grade. My friend told me, “At least you passed!” but she had no idea. Absolutely none.

You could say I faked being ‘gifted’, but was I ‘gifted’ because I was smarter or because I was able to remember answers? I was an impostor among my classmates.

And now, I’m a writer who’s not writing. The impostor still lurks.

So, what exactly can I take credit for?

I got out of bed this morning, and yesterday morning, and the morning before.

I did my yoga DVD yesterday for the first time in months. It was hard; my breathing was off, and I was sweating, but I did the entire 40 minutes.

I can take credit for feeding and hydrating my body and remembering to take my medication.

I’m not able to protest due to my social anxiety, and I try not to feel ashamed for this. Instead, I take time to educate myself and donate what I can to organizations and bail funds that need help.

I know I’m a great friend and a good listener.

I still seek out the good in people and take comfort when I find it.

My lack of inspiration is trivial when I consider the little things I do every day that help me wake up for the next.

I have always been persistent.

My projects will one day be finished, and my inspiration will return, perhaps sooner than I think.

I may be in a creative hole that’s getting deeper, but I’ll be damned if I’ll let it bury me.

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