Dear Doubt. I'm breaking up with you.


Dear Doubt,

Do you remember that first day? 

We were casual friends, had met each other a few times over the years, but never really gotten to know each other. I had just started writing my first novel, that day.

I didn't invite you but you came running into my apartment, didn't even knock. You grabbed me by the shoulders, shaked me, screamed in my face.

You can't do this! You're not good enough! Stop right now!

I didn't like that at all. You screamed so loud, your voice kept ringing in my ears. I got a little confused and ended up making tea for you. That was a mistake.

The tea made you happy. You saw it as a small win. You sat there in my kitchen with your hairy elbows resting on the table, your huge, black eyes staring into mine. I tried to look away but there is something so mesmerizing about your eyes. They are like a black night sky but without the stars. 

You started to make your case. I should have stopped you, but I'd gotten tired by that point. You said

Well look at it. It's just not very good. You should be ashamed. You can't show that to the world, nobody will like it. How could they like it? It's better you throw it away and start over. Or maybe it's just not your thing. Maybe you should do something else.

I tried to talk to you. I now know it was a mistake, you never listen, only use my words against me. I told you I want to do it. I like doing it. And besides, what should I do instead, if I didn't do this? 

That made you start jumping up and down on your chair. You were bursting with ideas.

You can do the laundry, watch those episodes you haven't watched yet, have a glass of wine, go buy ice cream, the apartment looks like shit you should probably clean too.

I thought you were done, but you were only catching your breath. 

You can go cry for a bit, have a nap, play with the cats, go hang with your friends if you still have any. Ooh and eat chocolate. Lots of chocolate.

I found myself considering your ideas. I mean, they weren't bad. You're always good at coming up with options. Unfortunately, you noticed that I'd listened just for a moment and before I knew it, I was in my sweatpants with a bucket of chocolate ice cream and a big glass of wine, sitting on my couch under a blanket watching an episode of Gilmore Girls. Your hairy warm body were snuggled next to mine under the blanket. I have to admit, it was cozy. 

We watched five episodes. We ate the whole bucket of ice cream and drank almost the whole wine bottle. We dozed off for a bit. By that point, it had gotten late. I didn't want to shoo you off into the cold night so I let you spend the night. You only murmured in my ear, you didn't need to scream anymore. It was nice. You were warm and I slept on your hairy shoulder. 

I woke up with a nagging feeling that I should send you away and get back to my writing. But you wanted pancakes for breakfast so I made some for us. Then you convinced me I actually needed to clean the apartment, so we did that. It took most of the day. You decided to spend the night again. I slept on your hairy shoulder. 

After a week, you helped me put away my notebooks. We decided that this wasn't a good time for writing. I probably needed to let it rest for a while, maybe pick up a book on writing to get better at it before I gave it another try. 

I didn't ask you to but you moved in. 

You said you loved me. That you were the only one who'd ever love me. I believed you. Who would love me if not you? You always cared so much about me not getting hurt or failing. You guided me through life. If that's not love, what is? 

I fell in love with you. We started doing everything together. I brought you everywhere, you met my family and friends. Most of them liked you, because you're good at saying what everyone wants to hear. Some of them got annoyed by you, but we decided not to see them anymore. 

We got so close, I started to look like you. I grew hair and my eyes got some of that dark shine yours have. It didn't suit me, so suddenly I was ugly. You thought I was ugly too, but you said you loved me anyway. It only made me love you more. 

After a year, you proposed. You said you wanted to spend your whole life with me. You could keep me safe from the big scary world. I wouldn't make it on my own. I needed you. Grateful, I accepted you with open arms. 

While planning the wedding, something happened.

It puzzled me. We had grown so close, I started having trouble seeing where you ended and I started. You told me that's what happens with love. We would soon be one. You were right, but what you didn't tell me was that I'd shrink. I thought we would just merge but I found myself getting smaller and smaller until I was just a tiny little thing inside your chest. 

I didn't understand why, but it scared me. I felt confused. It's probably because of the confusion that I said yes when one of my old friends that never liked you invited me for tea. You tried everything to make us not go. You protested that we were sick and that we didn't have time. We had so much to plan for the wedding. But somehow, I managed to get us there anyway. I calmed you by saying we'd soon be married and then you could decide everything for us. We'd soon be one. 

My friend was very kind at first, not annoyed as she used to be. It relaxed us a little. She'd heard about the engagement, she said. If that's what you want, you should do it, she said. That confused me.

It's what I should do, we answered. 

She looked at me long and hard. Then she started to tell me a story I'd never heard her tell before. She told me she once almost married someone like you. They were just as in love as we. But she wasn't happy. She wondered if I were happy.

You told her we were fine, but I wasn't so sure. 

She told me the weirdest things. That I could live without you, that I could grow to my full size again and keep growing. I didn't need you, I could love myself and that others could love me too. She pointed her finger and suddenly, like magic, we weren't one anymore. You were sitting beside me, tears streaming from your big, dark eyes down onto your furry cheeks. I cried with you. 

While you were silent for once, shocked by my friend's words, she introduced me to a friend of hers. Creativity. I'd met her a few times before but never properly. We shook hands and her fingers shot electric tingles up through my arm and into my heart. She was the brightest thing, not dark like you but full of bright colors. Her edges flowing, ever growing and changing, never still but always steady. She leaned forward, eyes sparkling and whispered with adventure in her voice. 

We could run together. We could team up and make the most beautiful things.
I believe in you.

We went home that evening, you running ahead of me, trying to speed me up. When we got home, I pulled out the box with my old notebooks. You jumped up and down beside me, screaming 

Don't you remember, you can't do this! You're bad at this! Creativity has it wrong, she's a fraud, a liar. Don't trust her, she'll only leave you with a broken rib and I'll have to pick up the pieces. If you even survive!

But I tried not to listen and flipped through the pages of my old idea. Maybe it wasn't so bad after all. Maybe I could make it better. 

A couple of months has passed since that day. I've been seeing Creativity on the side. You and me have still slept together and I've gratefully let your hairy arms hold me. But your hair is getting itchy. You are in my way all the time. You always try to stop me from seeing Creativity. 

I get it. You're jealous. You want to go back to the time when it was only you and me. When I trusted nobody but you. It made you feel safe. Now you're lonely. 

It's hard to tell you, but I don't love you anymore.

I know it will cripple you and that you will keep fighting for me, probably until the end of our days. But Creativity has showed me that another life is possible. I'm not as safe with her, but I'm happy. We travel to places I didn't know existed and meet extraordinary people. She makes me feel good about myself, while you make me feel bad. 

It was so easy to let you take over my life. Way too easy. You were a great companion when I was scared. I used to believe I didn't have a choice, that I had to be with you. But now I know better, I know the decision is mine and I want more out of life. 

So Doubt, I'm sorry, but I'm breaking up with you. I have met someone far better than you. 

I know we will see each other again, daily I assume. It's fine, you can come. I'm not scared of you anymore. If I fall into your arms again, I know I can always pull out. I've found that strength and Creativity is there to help me. Now, please go, or at least sit still in some corner. 

Because it's time for me to kiss Creativity. 

With love, 
Your scared little writer.