My anxiety is a foe. I thought it was a friend. When we first met I didn’t even know its real name, Anxiety. I called it by what it wanted me to know: Protection. It had other endearing nicknames like, Responsible, Thoughtful, Precise, Reflective, Careful. It was years later I learned of its sneaky cousin, Perfectionism. That one really had me believing we were besties.
Now, I know a little better. I wouldn’t call us enemies. At least, I’m more likely to listen to what this frenemy is telling me. I recognize it’s not always up to no good. In a small way, it is there to help me.
But for so long there were lies I was told. And I believed them. I thought they were truth. On the hard days I still believe them.
The other day I had a difficult moment. The tough days of parenting were catching up with me and all of my negative self-talk came back. It was a bit painful to hear. But in that listening, I thought of this post. I knew I needed to air them out, because I’m almost certain you’ve heard these lies, too.
- I am not a good mother.
- I don’t love my children.
- I never loved my children.
- I don’t have what it takes to love them.
- I am selfish.
- I’ll never be a good partner, either.
- I’m too absorbed with myself.
- I wasn’t a good teacher either.
- I only care for myself.
- I’m wrong.
- You’re right.
- You’re better than me.
- I’m not as pretty as you.
- I’m not as likeable as you.
- I’m not as loveable as you.
- No one really loves me.
- I am alone.
- No one could really help me.
- I’ll be this way forever.
I’ll be this way forever. That is the one that plagued me during my postpartum days. Followed by the similar refrain: I’ll never get to do [this] again.
This list could go on. As I’m sure your list could, too. But as my therapist would lovingly say, “I think that’s enough for now.”
In this meantime, in this holding space, I’ll hold your heart and mine. Because for as much as these lies want to be truths, today there’s a sliver that knows they don’t come close to the beings we truly are.
Happy Self-Love Week, y’all.