I am having anxiety. I just took my herbal anxiety remedy and hope it helps. It’s chewable, and at least I like the taste. Kid parts like the sweet crunchiness.

I am anxious because I am afraid I am ruining the choir. How can I tell how I sound? We don’t hear ourselves the way others hear us. I know I’m shreaky on high notes. I didn’t go last Sunday so I didn’t get the practice, which happens after the service. Plus I didn’t know we’re to come a half hour early, so I came just on time, so no time to warm up. What if I’m louder than I think and am wrecking it for everyone? No wonder the choir leader wouldn’t meet my eyes.

Um. On the other hand. Maybe it’s fine. I sound fine to me. I feel like we’re not that great, because we’re just random people thrown together for a few weeks to sing. Sigh. No one would tell me if I was too loud, because they want to be nice. I try to listen to others and fit in, but it’s hard.

Why does everything I do have to be about judgement and performance? I try not to let it. But I guess when you actually are performing, the tendency is there. Why am I so freaked out and ashamed that I may not be great at singing?

If I had one honest relationship there, that person could tell me what they think. But I don’t. Everyone is ‘nice’.

I want to write about my therapy session, but I’m too discombobulated to do so. Yesterday I spent a fair amount of the day crying. I think it was a follow-up to therapy, where a particular part got a lot of time. What she talked about wasn’t that upsetting, but once a part gets time, a lot of other stuff seems to come up as well. It was about my life in suburb town, where I lived from grade four through high school. I guess I was sad a lot of that time. This part was anyway.

This life with parts is hard. Parts peeking out, then subsiding again. Mostly not knowing what I think, myself, apart from the huge fears that parts have.

At least I’m feeling things. It’s new. Crying is new. Anxiety and fear are familiar, but crying not so much.

I also still feel bad about losing my job. And related to that, doing so badly at it. Or rather, being perceived as doing so badly. That hurt. When everyone around seems to think bad things about you, it’s hard to keep your head up. I end up feeling two inches tall.

I think everything is all mixed up. My life as a child was one of humiliation, often times. It’s not that surprising that I’d feel like that in the present also. I wish I didn’t feel so humiliated.

  1. Discombobulated?! Come on! You looked that up!! My guess is that if you sung badly in a choir they would ask you to leave? Have you recorded yourself singing? Anyway, you enjoy it! Sod everyone else! Xx

    • Ellen said:

      I think that word is a word from my childhood – we spoke like that in the seventies! No, they would never ask me to leave – it’s a church choir open to anyone. They’re maybe too nice.

      Maybe I will try recording myself singing. It’s a thought. Thanks Penny.

  2. Ashana M said:

    Anxiety makes you notice those small things like that maybe your voice is too loud in choir or there’s less eye contact.Its role in life is to make us extra attentive.The social part of the choir brings out anxiety for you. So I guess this is going to happen. If you want a suggestion (take or leave it), try to concentrate on doing things that comfort you. Just breathe or say nice things to yourself or do something subtle that helps the child parts stay calm (like rubbing something soft).

    I know what you mean about the parts taking up all the time you would use for generating conversation topics. It’s rough. Luckily, our lives here in Country X are mostly pretty small and boring.

    • Ellen said:

      I do like those suggestions, thanks. I might take my tiny plastic frog to the next practice. And breathing – there’s a thought. Good ideas.

      I can see why you like the simple life in Country X. I don’t think simple is the same as boring though. But people aren’t expecting tales of wild weekend exploits there, so it’s not so noticeable if a lot of time goes to processing the past I imagine.

      • Ashana M said:

        No, a perfectly adequate response to your weekend is, “I did the laundry and mopped the floors.” If I did that for two hours and processed the rest of the day, no one thinks twice about it.

  3. Catherine Hicks said:

    I sing in a choir, and I have anxiety. My advice is that if you can hear the voices of people around you singing as well as you yourself singing, then you aren’t singing too loudly. Anxiety makes us judge ourselves super harshly.

    • Ellen said:

      I didn’t know that Catherine. that is reassuring. Thank you.

  4. Gel said:

    The comments above sound pretty much like what I was thinking. So I don’t have much to add. Just that I go through similar feelings in group things like this. I also sang in a choir where there were a lot of differences in skill levels. I was unsure of my abilities and contributions too.

    If I were in that situation again and I really wanted to be there and enjoy it, I think I’d try to find one person in the choir (or the director) and take them aside and let them know my sincere desire to be a positive contribution to the group and ask for honest feed back on my singing. Surely other’s can also understand that desire. Maybe I’d get good feed back and maybe they’d appreciate being asked and confided in. It’s a risk tho too.

    I think it’s terrific that you sing in a choir!!!

    • Ellen said:

      Interesting you too were in a choir. Makes me think maybe others in my choir are going through the same struggles. I was thinking of talking to the choir director, maybe along the lines of what you’re saying. He seems like an OK person. If I do it just lightly, no big deal, it might work well.

      Thanks for the encouragement. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Cat said:

    That anxiety and paranoia can make us ultra sensitive to this sort of thing The fact that you can hear others singing around you means you can’t be singing too loudly. Having parts must feel so inconsistent and chaotic but it’s good they come out and even better you’re more open to the emotions.

    • Ellen said:

      I think it is good I can cry and feel and remember more now, even though, yes, parts are chaotic. Thanks for your support Cat.

      • Cat said:

        My pleasure, Ellen ๐Ÿ™‚

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