I’ve been feeling the darkness getting closer lately. Bad thoughts have been crossing my mind. I’ve been struggling with my anxiety and it seems like lately, I don’t really like myself. I’m dwelling on my mistakes, overwhelmed with regrets and just feeling like a failure at life. The strangest part though, is knowing that my life is quite great. I don’t want to change anything about my life as it is right now (except this damn anxiety). Yet I’m still burdened with these intrusive, mean thoughts about myself. It’s the past that is haunting me. I wish I had been a better mother. I wish I took better care of my body. I wish I spent more time in church and volunteering. I’ve made so many damn mistakes. I am so very flawed.
It creeps up on me. The depression just sits there, in my stomach. Something triggers me and it all spews out in the form of anxiety and suddenly I feel like such a mess of a person. “What’s wrong?” they ask. And I swear, the worst part about anxiety is that sometimes I JUST DON’T KNOW WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG! I just want to run. I want to escape. I want to be alone, yet I feel like I just might survive if I’m held and loved even with all my madness. I don’t know what’s the matter with me. I just know I want to feel normal. I know that my past is the root of all of this. So, if I’m reminded of a part of it that I’m not particularly proud or fond of, well, that just tips the crazy scale and look out! I certainly don’t hide it well. When I’m anxious, it’s basically written on my forehead. The more I try to hide it, the worse it gets. The more someone tries to fix me, the more broken I become. It’s embarrassing. Especially when I can’t form the words to explain why I’m acting so crazy!
This morning was rough. I’m so mad at myself for feeling bad about myself, if that makes sense. I was doing so great. Now I’m just mad and I want to go home and cry because I can’t seem to conquer this beast. And then a good friend of mine sent me a text. She said that for some reason, it was just in her heart to reach out to me. She sent me the following quote….
“Let go of the idea of perfection — you are not perfect, you are real. Let yourself be flawed and allow yourself to make mistakes. Recognize that you’re not always going to have it all together. Sometimes your heart is going to break, you are going to get hurt, you are going to feel pain. Don’t apologize for being broken — every time you break you become a little more alive. You become more open with yourself. You become exposed to your sensibility. Every crack tells you a little more about yourself — your strength, your courage, your tenacity — what you’re made of. Do not hide these pieces from the world, they are a part of who you are. You see, the most beautiful people are beautifully broken. Their hearts are heavy, but they love the deepest. They have seen the dark, but they appreciate everything that shines. They’re compassionate, understanding, and empathetic. Beautiful hearts just don’t happen — and you my dear are going to show the world just how beautiful you are.”
This was exactly what I needed. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I am not ever going to be perfect. Sometimes things are going to just suck. That’s just how life works! Expecting only the best things from myself and from other people is just not realistic. I can try my hardest to be the best mother, the best friend, the best person I can be. But that’s really all I can do. Expecting perfection only makes my anxiety worse. The more I try to hide it, the more obvious it becomes. The more I try to explain myself, the more embarrassed I am. And before long (in my head), I’m just letting everyone down. Around and around in circles I go. But what I tend to forget is that even though I feel the darkness, I can still shine. The ugly pieces don’t cancel out all the beautiful pieces. They just add to it. And together, the pieces make me real! So, when I start to get down on myself and feel guilty about being human, I’m going to read that message over and over. And if it’s on my heart to reach out to a friend with a kind word, I will take the time to hit “send”. It could change everything!