Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking through the link.
I’m going to get really real right now. It’s not pretty and it’s not pleasant. Sometimes my anxiety gets the best of me. I try to be conscious of it. I try to preemptively curb it. I try to remind myself that it’s anxiety and not reality. But sometimes I find myself questioning my worth. As a mother. As a wife. As a daughter. As a person. This is a delicate subject, but I think it’s important to talk about.
Sometimes my thoughts are dark
Really dark. Sometimes I just know that my husband is going to realize I’m worthless and leave me. Sometimes I don’t think I can handle being a step mother to a child who openly dislikes me and does everything in his power to make me uncomfortable. Sometimes I don’t know how we’re going to make it financially with my student loan debt that tripled in the time it was deferred while I was a single parent living paycheck to paycheck. Sometimes that all leads up to me feeling more than just overwhelmed. I feel hopeless.
I’m not kind to myself when my mind goes into that state
Anxiety takes over my being and I am consumed by it. Why didn’t I protect my daughter more? Why did I yell at her? Why am I such a terrible mother? She deserves so, so much better. I am an awful mother to a perfect girl. She doesn’t deserve to have such a garbage mother. I can’t believe my husband married me. He must not know what a waste of space I am. When will he figure it out? I know he will. He will open his eyes one day and his rose colored glasses will be removed and he’ll see me as the worthless pile I am. And he will be devastated and disgusted. And he will leave me. Or worse, he’ll stay with me, but grow to hate me. I let myself down over and over again. I can never do enough. I can never be good enough. I can never be the person I should be. I wasted all of the incredible potential I was born with.
Those are truly thoughts that go through my mind. On top of worry about basically any and everything possible. All sorts of narratives and scenarios constantly playing out in my mind.
What I have found helpful
Anxiety is so real. And it can be so debilitating. But what I have found that really helps me, is being aware of my anxiety. Crying it out if I need to. I really work to redirect my thoughts. When I find myself having anxious or negative thoughts, I actively redirect them to something positive. If I’m thinking about what a terrible mother I am, I actively tell myself that I am a good mother and love my daughters. That they love me. That I do the best that I can for them. And that it’s good enough. When I think that I’m not good enough for my husband, I actively tell myself that I am good enough for him, that he loves me for exactly who I am, and that he wouldn’t change me given the chance.
Redirecting thoughts is very powerful
It sounds silly at first, but it really can help with anxiety. When I make a conscious effort to combat my thoughts, I wind up feeling less and less anxious and have fewer and fewer anxiety episodes. It takes time and it takes consistency. But it makes a difference. Being kind to yourself makes a difference. Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends on It, is an excellent book that I highly recommend. When I was going through an incredible amount of stress at a terrible job, paired with a host of health issues, this book was a lifeline for me. I read it and then bought it on audible and listened to the author read the book. I listened to it several times a week, at one point. Because the reiteration of being kind to yourself and what kind of impact that has on you, including your health, and entire life in general, was mind blowing.
We are constantly bombarded with messages that we’re not good enough and should work to be something else. We begin to internalize that and wind up being cruel to ourselves. It becomes overwhelming. We no longer know if we can believe that we’re good enough or that things will be okay. Our minds become consumed by it. Stopping that way of thinking stops the cycle. Being kind to ourselves eventually overpowers the messages of inadequacy that we’re faced with. Thoughts are powerful. How we treat and view ourselves is powerful.
Do I still struggle with it all? Yes. Without question. But it’s become much more manageable. I work at it daily. I redirect thoughts. I repeat positive statements to myself over and over again. I shut down facebook for months at a time when it’s too overwhelming. But doing those things, being mindful of it all, truly changes my ability to cope with anxiety as well as the frequency and severity of the anxiety I do experience. Be kind to yourself. Be. Kind. To. Yourself.
***I am not a medical doctor and nothing in this blog is medical advice or to be used in lieu of medical treatment or advice from a doctor.