I'm unsure why, but my brain has been on anxiety lately. Not mine, really, as it has been in hiding since I started a new medication back in March. I'm sure it will rear it's ugly head come August when I return to school, if not before, but I feel good about facing it.
That's not the point of this post though.
When I finished Don't Panic, I thought about giving it a sequel. I wanted to show what comes after getting a handle on anxiety, because it doesn't just stay away forever. Happily ever after doesn't last long for someone who suffers from severe anxiety. I don't want that to come across as discouraging to anyone else out there with anxiety. I'm just saying that, at least for me, anxiety is a cycle of vicious attacks and then calm waters before the storm returns. Even my therapist said that the cycles are different for everyone. She, for example, can go years without having an attack and when it does return, it doesn't stay long. I don't believe for a second that everyone's anxiety is the same. Anything I say is based on my experience mostly.
Anyway, I've been avoiding even thinking about a sequel because it was absolute hell to write DP and I can only imagine the horrors of going back and telling more of Sam's story. I want to do so. Even feel like I need to do so, even though it can stand alone as it is.
Then something even worse happened. I got an idea for another book featuring another character dealing with anxiety. I thought, "Aw, hell. Not again! I don't know if I can survive another anxiety book." It takes a toll on me mentally to write a book like that. I seriously thought I was losing my mind while writing DP. Telling that story caused a lot of unwanted memories to surface and there I was, back to having full blown anxiety again. Just from writing. I lived through every attack Sam has in DP. I suffered through it right there with her and it was twice as bad because I had to stay sane enough to get the words on the screen.
My question to myself is am I willing? Am I willing to dive into even darker parts of anxiety to write another book with a new set of characters? Am I willing to return to Sam and wreck havoc on her carefully reconstructed world? To tear it down just so she can rebuild it again?
Okay. Maybe that should be a squeaky affirmation because that mirrors how I actually feel.
I don't know for sure about Sam's story yet. That is on hold for a while longer still. However, that other set of characters? They are clawing their way out of me and onto the screen.
Let the panic begin.