Friday, September 16, 2016

What Matters Most is How You See Yourself

I am not good enough. My existence doesn't matter. I don't have the smarts. To become ______ is too much work. Nobody thinks I can do ______. I am a failure. I am a disappointment to those around me.

These are thoughts that I have had throughout my life. It isn't all the time of course, I am not filled with complete self-loathing. But I would be lying if I said that each one hadn't cycled through my head at one point. Most people will have these thoughts at some point, and having depression, anxiety, or any other mental illness for that matter, can just increase the frequency that these negative feelings circle around our happiness. But this post isn't about having depression, or a mental illness, it is about being you.

My entire life I have been a basket case. I have constantly worried about what will happen next, what if I don't look good enough, what if that one person doesn't like me, and so on. I couldn't make own decisions, so I would rely on others to make them for me. And my whole life, I have had dreams and goals that are completely out of reach. Why? Because I put them there. I put my goals so high on a pedestal that I knew I could never reach them. I told myself that because I didn't believe that I was amazing, I couldn't do amazing things. I brainwashed myself into believing that I couldn't do it. I would get depressed, I would have panic attacks, and I would hate myself for being who I was. The person I wanted to be didn't exist, so I just became what I was based on what was popular or cool. I just was and I didn't want to be here anymore because I was nothing.

In my brain, things stick. That one time way back 4 years ago when someone commented on how that dress didn't look good on me, it has stuck with me since then. And that one time I was teased about my personality, that has always haunted me. And no matter how many times I was told "their opinion doesn't matter" and that it wasn't true, I could not believe it. I have fought with myself my whole life on believing I am strong enough, pretty enough, and smart enough. And even though a lot of people feel that way, I felt alone. I had an amazing friend once tell me:

 "If you look in the mirror and tell yourself you are beautiful enough times, you start to believe it."

She probably doesn't remember telling me that, but it has stuck with me forever, and it changed my life. That day, I realized that I am my own person. I am not my depression, anxiety, fear or any of those things. Those are just things that I got stuck with, but I am so much more than that. I am as successful as I allow myself to be. I am as smart as I want to be. I am as pretty as I believe I am. I am as brave as I choose. I am what I want to be. I am the ONLY person standing in the way of what I want and who I want to become. I am the ONLY person holding myself back from greatness. I am the ONLY person who can truly make myself fail.

"Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than you." -Dr. Suess

Now, I still struggle with down days, as does anyone. But now I see a different person in the mirror and in photographs. I see an amazing woman, someone who has overcome trials she never could have imagined. A beautiful woman who does whatever she sets her mind to do. A kind woman who loves those around her and loves to serve. A funny woman who has a sense of humor that isn't at others' expense. A successful woman who will be remembered in a positive light. A smart woman who has filled herself with knowledge and good. A caring woman who loves her family dearly.

We are destined to be so much more than we can even imagine. We are capable of reaching every dream we desire. You are never alone. If nobody else is there to hear you, I am. But YOU are the only one holding yourself back.