Writing 101 day seventeen: Anxiety

“We all have anxieties, worries, and fears. What are you scared of? Address one of your worst fears. Today’s twist: Write this post in a distinct style from your own.”


“Stay away from me, my black dogs” is an incantation used by the mysterious prince that roams the pages of my novel, The WorldMight. It’s an incantation pulled from my own life, one that I’ve used countless times.

“Stay away from me, my black dogs.”

Anxiety is a familiar foe of mine, a many-faced one at that. Some days it feels like an ever-patient predator waiting for me to lower my guard so it might pounce and take a bloody chunk out of my day.

Anxieties I have a plenty, but which one to share with you?

To not be the best I could be, sticks sharply in my mind. The ever-present fear of disappointing myself and others.

For the longest time I lived by Nikos Kazantzakis’s words.

“Go further than you can,” the Greco orders him in a feverish dream recounted at the beginning of his last work, Report to Greco.

Go further than you can.

That sentence I’ve carried with me for many years. It pushed me forward, helped me break free from my self-consciousness and shyness (though not necessarily in a pleasant fashion), but it also became a poison.

Go further than you can.

Nothing that I can is enough. Only the unattainable is worthy. And if something previously thought unattainable is attained, well, then, it just wasn’t that worthy to begin with, was it?

I used to drive myself crazy with thoughts of what I have done in my life not being special, or good enough, simply because I had done them. I try not to listen to that ancient voice. I try to be rational in my appraisal of what I am and what I’ve achieved. I do reach conclusions, facts even, but it doesn’t shut the voice up. It is always there, whispering in my ear to look ahead, for the next thing, a rung higher on the infinite ladder of my life. Nothing will ever be enough.

Some days the voice is quiet, maybe it needs rest too, like any other animal does. And those days I can look upon what I have done and what I am and feel a degree of satisfaction. But most days it’s there. Go further, it murmurs, Go further. And those days I am never good enough. Hell, those days, I am not enough. And it makes me feel like shit.

I rationalize, clear my head of the negativity, of the depreciation. I manage to think clearly about it. But the feeling is harder to shake. It remains ever present, like a faint stink or a bad aftertaste that colors my world.

Go further than you can.

I try.

But I can’t.

Those days I turn to my old incantation.

“Stay away from me, my black dogs,” I implore.

“Stay away from me.”


Cyril Bussiere 06-24-2014


About cyrilbussiere

Author (Author.to/CyrilLCBussiere), Writer, Scientist, and Nurse-to-be. I'm into writing, reading, gaming, raising chickens, playing guitar, and traveling. Man, do I love traveling!
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3 Responses to Writing 101 day seventeen: Anxiety

  1. Mara Eastern says:

    Oh yes, anxiety, I know that too well. I think I’ll try your incantation to drive away my fears 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. vivachange77 says:

    From your other writings I don’t see your black dog lurking. Or from the photo on your blog. I have to admit, though I don’t call it a black dog, or even name it as a fear, I go through cycles of feeling I’m not a good enough writer to be in this Writing 101 conversation. Then I receive a comment that tells me someone “gets” me and the sun breaks through.


    • Thanks vavachnage77.
      It mostly affects how I feel about things, not what I do. So sometimes it’s hard for people to see it or understand it. It comes and goes, and I keep it in check.
      People definitely help.
      I totally understand the “get” you’re talking about. We are in the end hopelessly social animals. To need and to be needed is in our nature, like it or not.
      Be well!


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