Insecure, an adjective, is sounded out as insəˈkyo͝or… is defined as:
- (of a person) not confident or assured; uncertain and anxious…
Not included in the dictionary is a picture of my face alongside the definition of insecure. A sentence that I would write using the word insecure would be:
- Michelle McGarvey, due to her lower self-esteem is insecure about her looks, and her abilities.
Those that know me well, know that I have a list of insecurities that are a mile long (or maybe longer). For those that don’t know me as well, may be a little shocked by my statement. In years prior, I was a take charge, let no one stand in my way person. I could lead a full training session without a blink of the eye. When I walked into a room I commanded the attention of the audience just by my mere presence. I was incredibly successful in both my career and my studies. I strived for nothing but perfection.
However, deep down, hidden, inside, I was SOOO incredibly scared of failing. What if I make a mistake, what if I make the wrong decision, what if I am questioned and I don’t know the answer. I put on this persona that I was rock solid, but I wasn’t. The insecurities that plagued me did not stop at my career or my studies but flooded into my personal life. Am I attractive enough? Do I bring enough to the table? Simply, am I good enough?
And then here comes 2016, the mental breakdown and the diagnosis of Bipolar 1 with mixed episodes. If that didn’t make me feel like the most insecure I have ever been, I am not sure what could drop me any lower. Am I crazy? Do other people think I am crazy? Will he leave me because I am too much to handle? Will I still be able to hold down a job? Can I still be a parent and be Bipolar? Can I handle life in general?
Over the last two years, I have worked very hard to build me up. To speak truths, to increase my self-esteem, to try and help me to be less insecure. Just the other day, I told my partner that I wanted him to know that I knew that he knew that I was a catch. That I brought a bit to the table and he was lucky to be with me. And then I was like, “where did that come from?” And then I was like, “how awesome is this, I am speaking about myself in such a positive way, this is what I have worked for?”
Having a mental illness, although it is more socially accepted than it used to be, there still is a certain stigma that goes along with it. Some assume that people who have a mental illness are incapable of performing in the capacity that their counterparts do. Other’s assume that we are unpredictable and need to be treated differently as result of the mental illness. My favorite, is the thought that we are delicate, like a flower (seriously?)
So, I don’t think that I am the most gorgeous, amazing, best thing since gluten free sliced bread, but I do know that I am awesome. The fact I have a mental illness (or two) only makes me more special and unique and well, simply put amazing. Most days I am good at my job. More often than naught, I am a high performing, well educated student. I am a mom to my kids that makes me proud. I can bake a cake that could resuscitate the dead because of how good they taste. And I support my spouse and love him unconditionally. I make my mom and my grandma laugh, a lot. I am still afraid of failing, but not like I used to because you know what, I have failed, and I have made mistakes and I still make mistakes and I live to live another day.
I am who I am. And that me includes mental illness and chronic pain. But it’s who I am and the hand I have been dealt and I am going to rock it, some days more than others, and there will be days where I don’t rock it at all, and that’s ok. I have started to learn to embrace me for me and holy Moses, it’s a pretty out of this world feeling.
Sprinkled Cupcakes and Fairy Dust,
Photo Credit: unsplash-logoPriscilla Du Preez