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As I Write This. Depression, Anxiety & Entrepreneurship

As I write this I’m completely directionless. I’m trying to dream up a content strategy for Fizzle. That’s the site you’re on here. We write and podcast for indie entrepreneurs.

What a shitty word — “entrepreneur.” Feels like the kind of word French people are super pissed about us using.

“Ew du no eeven knogh wat zis wurd meeens.” {le sigh}

I’m cynical.

This work feels directionless. I try to plan, but as one hand writes down ideas the other hand erases them.

I’m getting spun up, like a roiling boil. All this activity, all these thoughts, all this motion, and all of it so clearly pointless. It’s like the crust of my brain, the outer parts, are all fired up and excited about the work, but the inside, the chewy nougat in the center, is a listless, bored, cynical high school bully, throwing everything out as unimportant and pointless… with total certainty.

Lots of activity but no emotional traction. I don’t believe in the things I’m writing down. I’m spinning with no feel of direction… in fact, with an intense feeling of no direction… like life, the universe and everything — and of course whatever current project I’m working on — ultimately goes nowhere. I should just…

WAIT! What the fuck, dude? Hold on a goddam second. Take some breaths.

{Three deep breaths.}

Ah, see. I remember this. I’ve been here before. This is anxiety. Remember? This isn’t you, it’s a weird state your body is in. Let’s go for a walk.

But the work?

That’s fine. We’ll pick it back up later.

(Two days later:)

As I write this, everything actually feels pretty good.

Sure, I don’t have ALL the answers, but I’m fairly confident I’ll be ok.

This coffee shop is alive with reclaimed wood, the smell of roasting beans and hipsters in flannel shirts (myself among them, ha!).

I just made a huge, sprawling mind map of ideas for this content schedule I’m working on. Tons of ideas. Many of them won’t work, but HEY!, we’ll have a blast doing them, lol 🙂

I LOVE being an entrepreneur. Ha! Even the French-ness of that word feels good to me… foreign, just out of reach, not mine originally but I’m working towards fluency.

{Takes another sip of coffee.}

{Gently vibrates for another hour and a half.}

I’m not very old, but the older I get the more I sense the difference between my mind and my body.

I remember being a fairly average feeler. The highs weren’t that high. The lows weren’t that low.

Nowadays, however, my brain chemistry seems to completely control me. Give me a squirt of this and, “yea, everything seems to be heading in the right direction!” A squirt of that and, “what the fuck is the point? Why put any effort into this at all? I don’t enjoy ANY of this.”

I’m not an expert on this brain stuff, but I’m the world’s leading scholar on What It’s Like to be Chase Reeves, and Chase wants to tell you self-employed gladiators this:

Know yourself.

Notice yourself.

Know what baseline is.

When you’re spun up in a roiling boil, notice it. Be aware. You are not the boiling. The boiling can be useful to you, it’s beautiful in its own way.

The boiling is not the YOU part of you. It’s a thing your YOU is doing.

This is true whether the boiling is heading towards the good — “We’re all going to heaven, lads!” — or the bad — “all this talk of a mystical paradise simply distracts us from the meaningless striving we call life.”

As I write this I want to tell you: We all have cracks. As Leonard Cohen says, “that’s how the light gets in.”

Honor your cracks. When it gets hot, take the pressure off.

You can. Chase Reeves gives you total permission to take the pressure off when it gets hot. (Did I mention I’m the world’s leading scholar in What It’s Like to be Chase Reeves?)

Speaking of scholars: French scholars still fight about this, but here’s the current english translation of the French word “Entrepreneur” — one who works and works and works and toils and works and fights the demons in themselves all day long to make something valuable when all the while people in their lives and in culture in general talk shit about them (and, let’s be honest, the entrepreneur is crazy to think they’ll be able to make it in real life) and the entrepreneur has to try to believe in himself or herself and keep working and working even when all the work isn’t working and it’s going really, really horribly.

Know yourself. Watch your energy levels. Honor your cracks, know them… and please don’t break.

“We all have cracks. It’s how the light gets in. Please don’t break.”

we all have cracks, that’s how the light gets in

Photo via pulpolux

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