And So It Begins...

Sparks Fly is officially listed and ready for purchase. The launch party has begun, it's now on Goodreads, and I... am panicking. Yea, yea, I know, this is cause for celebration, I should be shoving the purchase link in everyone's faces, I should be happy because this book I've worked so hard on is finally out there for everyone to see. But all I can think about is just a looping anxiety track of "what if it's done wrong, what if people hate it, what if there's a formatting problem, what if I misrepresented someone..." You get the drift.

Let's get personal for a minute here, shall we? See, I have ADHD. I know, what a surprise, I self-projected onto Sparky. Part of ADHD, a part I don't go super in-depth within the book actually, is RSD, or Rejection Sensitivity Dysphoria (or Disorder? never sure). I'm pretty sure its an ADHD and Autism only comorbid condition, but it may also show up elsewhere, I'm not sure, I'm not a doctor. All I know for sure is how it affects me, as an ADHD person, and that it absolutely sucks. RSD is not just overreacting to small criticisms. It is not "having a thin skin" or "blowing things out of proportion." It makes rejection almost physically hurt. A small, disapproving look can feel like a punch in the gut, and a comment can make me burst out in tears. There have been times in my life where someone told me I didn't do good enough on an exam, and I've wanted to die. Literally.

RSD is not something easy to deal with, and I've seen statistics say that as many as 1 in 3 adults with ADHD say it is genuinely the hardest part about having ADHD, way beyond focusing or any other of the many symptoms that come with it. I struggle, so, so much with it personally. And now, now that Sparks Fly, my baby that I've spent years working on, is out there in the world, open to reviews, criticism, and disapproval... Yea. I'm terrified, to put it lightly. At this point in my life, I've got coping skills to prevent the whole "Hi yes I got an 80% on an essay please shoot me" problem, but that does not make it easy. I struggle particularly with family and friends, which is part of the problem with this. My family and friends want to read Sparks Fly. Obviously, I wrote it, they want to be supportive. And they tend not to approve of anything I do.

If, or rather, when, in some of their cases, they disapprove, I genuinely don't know how I will handle it. An online stranger told me I was doing Sparks Fly wrong, and I almost called off publishing the book. I know my reactions to disapproval because of my RSD, and I'm having to brace myself for this. I'll want to take down the book. I'll want to give up writing. I'll want to delete all of the files. I know this because I've felt this way, and done this, with other books. Not take them down online, no this is my first published book, but I've permanently deleted files and given up writing for months because of slight disapproval. Which I deeply regret now. Mentally, I'm having to prepare myself for this, and it's hard. It's hard to even write about this because just thinking about their disapproval makes it hard to breathe.

I'm sure you're wondering why I've decided to talk about this so much in the equivalent of a diary entry. I'm sure everyone gets worried about their family disapproving of things they are passionate about. But not everyone has RSD and ADHD. When I decided to write Sparks Fly, I knew I wanted to do it properly. I wanted to write Sparky's ADHD as the disorder actually is. Not just as a "hyperactive kid who can't focus on schoolwork" disorder, but one with symptoms far beyond attention and energy. In Sparks Fly, I show the destructive parts of ADHD, the positive parts, the parts no one quite understands. I'm sure someone will say that it's done wrong, but as someone who has lived with this disorder my whole life, I can tell you for sure, it isn't. With this book, I didn't want to hide any of it. So I didn't.

And I don't intend to hide any of my own experiences on this blog. I am struggling with this book release because of RSD, and I intend to be fully open about that. I'm worried about rejection more than anything, but I'm still publishing this book. I need it to be out there. And I'm not letting my disorder get in the way, just like Sparky never lets his stop him from living his best life. So there.