A Walking Declaration of Everything I Couldn’t Get Right

Am I going to be in therapy my entire life?  I have been going on and off for 17 years, and although there are things about me I have a much better understanding of, I don’t feel any better, anymore confident, any less anxious, any more mature.  I still cry.  I still take everything personally.  I still lash out.

I feel like I haven’t found that one underlying reason that I am the way I am.  EMDR has helped with specific phobias and fears like vomit and letting other people drive me, but this self-loathing, inability to make a decision, fear of abandonment never gets resolved.

Do I just live with it?  Is there a magic formula?  Is it truly day by day?  Will I never wake up one day and realize that I get it, and now everything will be great?  Am I meant to?

Is this where I practice acceptance?  Is this where I take the concept of no positive or negative?  Things just are what they are with no value, no judgement.  Sometimes that sounds so depressing, so boring, so just existing.

I am going to a workshop on cultivating contentment in July, so maybe that will provide some guidance.  I worry, though, about contentment turning into complacency.  I told my current counselor that I am worried that if I become content and accepting of myself, that I will stop trying which will lead to backsliding.  Backsliding into what?  Gaining more weight than I already have?  Becoming more of a selfish bitch?

My mom, friends, and counselor tell me that I need to relax more, but the thing is that I really don’t do as much as I could.  I let my anxiety overwhelm me to the point of exhaustion, and then I get lazy.  When I do accomplish things, I do it in a hypomanic frenzy because I don’t know how long I’ll have the motivation or energy to complete tasks which is often what people see which leads them to believe I can’t relax.  They don’t see all the time I sit on my phone while my 2-year-old watches Bubble Guppies or check Facebook at work.  I could spend more of my lunch breaks taking walks to increase my exercise.  I could create more interactive activities for me and my daughter that will help her learn and cultivate her own creativity, but more often than not I take her to playground and just watch her or put on Bubble Guppies.

Is that the anxiety speaking?  See, it’s cyclical.  I worry too much, and then don’t do anything.  I am paralyzed by the fear of doing something wrong and then the exhaustion that comes from my brain never turning off.

So back to therapy I go.  Back to rubbing on essential oils and yoga (when I don’t make an excuse not to go) and meditation (if I can stop my brain from analyzing whether or not I’m doing it right).

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There’s Always Some Reason to Feel Not Good Enough, and It’s Hard at the End of the Day

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/shift-mind/201307/low-self-esteem-missed-diagnosis

I have very little confidence and very low self-esteem.  I wonder if this is due to the anxiety, life experiences, or how I was raised.  So what does a good little anxiety-ridden girl do?  I Googled it, of course.  The article above poses the question in reverse.  Are we as a society over diagnosing anxiety when it’s our low self-worth that is manifesting as anxiety, depression, etc, instead of the anxiety causing low self-esteem?  The author of the article thinks so:

“I often see anxiety and depression occurring as a consequence of low self-value as well. A confident and secure relationship with your own self makes it less likely that you’ll suffer from these conditions (but, of course, doesn’t guarantee it). These afflictions can certainly exacerbate low self-esteem and mask the genuine source of the disorder, as they take center stage”

In the author’s scenario of the young man with social anxiety I see a lot of myself.  I don’t feel good enough most of the time.  I don’t like answering the phone or the door.  I rarely call people.  I’m not at the extreme this young man was, but I tend to isolate when my self-worth gets really low.

So what do we do?  EMDR to challenge our beliefs about ourselves?  Meditation for acceptance?

On another note, if because I know I overreact and feel easily hurt, do I give people more leeway than I should?  Do I doubt my instincts and initial reaction and therefore let people treat me in a way that makes me feel even more worthless?  I know I don’t end relationships.  I’m always afraid I’m giving up before I should or being too something.  Too selfish?  Too emotional?  Too dramatic?  So I stay in relationships that drain me rather than provide me with energy.  I stay friends with people that I dread talking to.  Then I feel worse.  Then I feel bitter.  Then I feel like I’m not good enough to have happy friends.  Friends that are fun.  Friends that want to hang out with me because I’M fun.  Because at this point I’m not fun.  I have become a friend that drains rather than provides energy.  It’s a downward spiral.  Everything with anxiety and depression leads to a downward spiral.

What does it take to get us to stand up for ourselves?  To have the self-worth TO stand up for ourselves?  Why don’t we believe we’re good enough?

Take no more. She practices her speech as he opens the door.

*I use “her” and “she” because I’m a girl.

How many of you feel like your partner doesn’t understand you?  How often do you and your partner argue because your partner tells you that you’re overreacting or that you need to “chill?”  How many of you feel hurt much of the time?  Worry that you’re paranoid?  Analyze every situation for fear of being caught off-guard by something unpleasant?

When a person has anxiety and her brain never stops thinking, she can never decide if the hurt she feels is warranted.  If she has been actually wronged or if it’s just her anxiety catastrophizing the situation.  She wants to be able to “just chill,” but for some reason she was specially picked by genetics or some higher power to have a brain that is in constant go mode.  Her brain MUST consider every option before making a decision for fear of missing something.  And even on that rare occasion that she can make a decision, she will still worry that she missed something and not be able to stop perseverating (I love that word) over “what if…”

I wonder if women that stay in abusive relationships have pre-existing anxiety or depressive disorders.  If one of the reasons they don’t leave is the consuming fear that they’re overreacting and will regret the decision because they’ve been told over and over that they make no sense, that they’re irrational.  I often find myself in situations (in various aspects of my life) that I think I should leave, but I don’t because I’m waiting for that one clear sign that is objectively, definitively wrong.  That no one could deny is wrong.  I rarely find anything objectively and definitively wrong.  Do we with anxiety put up with more assholish behavior because we worry that we’re overreacting?  Do some of the people in our lives know we’ll put up with it and act more like assholes because of it?  Do they know they’re hurting us?  Do they mean to hurt us?  I hope not.

I have no great wisdom. I have no answers.  So right now I do nothing, make no decisions, feel weak and worthless.  I re-post other, more inspiring blogs and listen to a lot of late 90’s/early 2000’s angsty female rock.