anxiety · Confidence · mental health · Reflections · Self Love · Self-Help

Wrong Turns on a Confidence Journey

 

 

ghosted….

gone dark….

disappeared…

fell off the face of the earth…. at least judging by my web presence over the last year.

Not exactly great for someone wanting to build a blog following to connect and inspire.

So I am going to take this opportunity to talk about what it feels like when you take a wrong turn on the journey to confident living and self-love.  Not every journey is linear.  In fact, I think it is safe to assume that most are messy and for every step forward, you end up taking a couple steps backwards.

I lost a job. I lost friends. I lost family. I lost a home.  I lost myself.

I crashed into a realization that most of the confidence I had worked so hard to build was tied to my impermanent circumstances.  I had defined my worth by a title, relationships, and status within my community.  Perhaps it is the curse of “first-born syndrome” that my happiness is typically tied to being considered an expert in my field.  Success to me is measured on a perfection scale.  The closer I get to a perfect score, the more confident I feel.  Losing everything that I thought was success, left me feeling completely lost.  Suddenly, everything that I represented didn’t feel authentic anymore.  I couldn’t write a single word and the few photos that made their way to Instagram were random lifestyle pics.  How could I write to inspire confidence when I felt like a complete failure?

20200125_171104

I have been sitting in therapy sessions sorting through this mess, only to realize that the abyss runs deeper than I thought.  When past traumas and abuse are left unresolved, the present day pain will keep piling up until the weight of it all causes you to cave in.   I have a lot of rebuilding to do.  I hope to be brave enough to share my story in its entirety someday.  But right now, I am learning how to challenge my own thinking by catching self-deprecating thoughts and rebutting them.  Some days I am more successful than others.  But I keep trying.

I highly recommend “Feeling Good” by David Burns, to those of you struggling with depression, anxiety, or self-esteem.  I am intrigued by the philosophy of our feelings being controlled by our thoughts.  But the origin of our thoughts is not always grounded in truth.  They can be distorted and downright ugly.  Learning to recognize these cognitive distortions is a way to combat that darkness we fall into.

Not only has my mental health declined, but my physical health as well.  I felt confident in my body….but that was before I put on 20 pounds this year. It has become very hard to believe my own words about beauty at every size.  I find myself jealous at those who can lose weight simply by changing diet and embracing a more active lifestyle.  I swear I will scream if I am labeled by one more doctor, with one more acronym diagnosis that lacks solutions.

20200125_164442

If you have taken the time to read this, thank you from the bottom of my heart.  I felt compelled to write again, as I crawl out of this dark tunnel, to share how in spite of all the work you do to love yourself and feel comfortable in your own skin, you can still fall off the wagon.  You are not a failure for having to start again.  I am not a failure for having to start again.  My posts are going to shift towards the things that I am learning to work through on this journey.  I will be writing about my takeaways from therapy and the things I find to help soothe a restless mind.   Moving forward, I will share the troubled moments along with the proud and renew my commitment to being real on this confidence journey.