I have been talking to my husband in recent days about the struggles I am still having with depression. I confessed how I often feel bad that I haven’t done something “good enough,” or that I worry if I may have inadvertently made someone else uncomfortable by something I said or didn’t say. I often worry if contributions I make are really valued by others. I wonder if my efforts at church and in my family and even on the blog are really helping anyone. I get down on myself far too often. These is one of my biggest and most persistent negative thought patterns that I often have to work through. It isn’t always easy to remember that I am enough–even though I know it is true. It’s a battle I seem to have to fight almost every day.
Whenever I talk to my husband about this, he always half-jokingly says that I need to not care so much–I need to be heartless, like him. This always makes me laugh because he is the furthest thing from heartless you can get. However, I have watched a change in him in recent years. He went from being more like me–always worried about not doing things just right and trying to accommodate everyone’s every need–to being his own advocate. He speaks up for himself. If he doesn’t want to do something, he says he doesn’t want to do it. Instead of losing himself in a sea of worry about whether or not he’s meeting his own expectations and everyone else’s, he just does what he wants and does so confidently and without worry. I love this and want so badly to emulate it, but I’m not sure how! And– I guess I am afraid to.
I am afraid if I’m not focusing on doing everything just right, that I might make a big mistake. I am afraid if I’m not focusing on how everything I do affects others, that I might hurt someone. I suppose, overall, I m trying to prevent failure. I don’t move with confidence through life. I carry a heavy burden of self-doubt and self reproach. And I’m tired of it.
Maybe I shouldn’t care so much. Maybe I shouldn’t care at all. If I really think about it, my dream would be to move through life the way I see best, without caring or worrying about failing–without caring about the expectations of others. I need to be my own advocate, like my husband is for himself.
As I was typing this post up, this quote came into my mind:
“There is freedom waiting for you,
On the breezes of the sky,
And you ask “What if I fall?”
Oh but my darling,
What if you fly?”
― Erin Hanson
I desperately want to be a more confident and happy me. I am tired of keeping myself down. Maybe I need to stick this quote to my bathroom mirror, for starters.
As for my next step–I’ll keep you posted. I need to tackle this one thing at a time.
Is there anyone else who has struggled with this? I’d love to hear your thoughts and your story.