It’s been a tough week or so. I am okay with that. Don’t panic. It is part of the cycle – part of the journey and I have come to accept that on some level they are needed.
Over the last week I have lost all confidence – in pretty much every area. I know it is down to my insecurities and challenges – which in itself is a step forward (I truly believe that recognising that is a positive). That is very different to self abuse where everything is your fault – something else I am pretty good at.
I am not sure where I fell off this week. I think I know that it is linked to seeing one of my closest friends struggling. It cuts so deep when you see someone close going through a tough time. I love this guy. He means the world to me – we have been good mates for over 20 years and he is like my idol. He is the smartest, funniest and kindest guy you could ever meet. Seeing him hurt is one of the most painful things for me. Whenever I see someone close to me hurting, I struggle badly. I wish I didn’t as I feel so guilty for not using that energy to support them even more. It reminded me of my own frailties and that I am not anywhere near conquering them.
My confidence crises hit me hard. I work hard. Some people might say I am good at my job. Some might say I am leader. Some might say that people look up to me. I see none of that. At times like this, physically being present is a battle that takes up all my energy. The mental battle within to be there is incredibly difficult. I don’t believe I am anything that people see or say. I feel I have achieved nothing – and that even being part of a call is a waste of other peoples time.
The song that speaks to me most when I am like this is “Out to Get You” by James. It is an interesting song – at times when I listen to it it brings me great joy – again that’s the power of music. At times like this it makes me cry. In fact, this is the first time I have written a blog with tears such is the depth of my confidence right now. When I listen to Out to Get You – there are so many lyrics that stand out and feel like they are written about me. “I’m so alone tonight”; “I miss you more than I will let you know”; “The Human touch is what I need” and most of all “Insecure, what you gonna do – feel so small they could step on you”. That last line might as well be tattooed on my arm to remind me in case my brain ever lets me forget. Which it doesn’t.
I think a small part of this is down to the current situation – I cannot be where I want to be doing what I like to do the most – and that for sure makes me miss some people so much it hurts. I have plans. The situation at the moment delays them and I don’t know if those involved in my plans will stick around for it. It is not just that though.
Throughout my life I have let myself be made to feel I am not good enough – and that brings insecurities. My own parents wrote me a letter when I moved abroad to tell me I wouldn’t have a family to come home to if I didn’t buck my ideas up; ex girlfriends described me to their friends as the ugly one – or told me they had dated enough good looking men that they wanted to try something else; “friends” have taken me for large sums of money on the belief they were in trouble; work has told me that I am not cut out to lead on numerous occasions – and these words have cut me. They affect my psyche, they taint my experiences and they cloud my judgement and reaction to people and events around me. I have developed a very small trusted group of people dotted around the world who know me properly and I turn to regularly for various elements. Without them I am not sure where I would be. But even when these trusted people tell me positive thoughts about me – and they do regularly – they are swallowed up by the insecurities that roam large.
What I do know is that I need to make the insecurities have less of an affect on me. At least control them. I struggled with one of my close friends this week – and it is down to that more than anything else. I panic. I get scared that I am letting them down again – and I don’t know where to turn or what to do. Then it gets to a point where apologies don’t cut it and I hurt both of us – and it sucks. From a professional point of view it makes me feel less capable than on a standard day. I feel I have to prove myself every day. Like I am starting from scratch. I feel I honestly have no impact – that I talk nonsense – that if I left the organization would be in a much better position. I am a massive drain to my boss. My colleagues and my team. If I were them I wouldn’t work with me or want to engage. So I deal with it one of two ways – I don’t engage and I withdraw until I recuperate – or I force myself to deal with what I need to do – but with a comfort blanket of sorts with me. This would normally be food of some sort but I am trying to move away from that – so today it was photos and memories of something that made me feel better about myself. I had some of them around me and that pulled me through. I think I did ok to survive another day at least.
I appreciate this all sounds pretty depressing – and you know what – yeah it is. But it is temporary. It is a low point and I will get through it and come out the other end. I have been here before – I will be there again. It is improving. I am recognising it – and I am dealing with it – when for years I ignored it and even fuelled it with self abuse. I have made some really bad choices in the past – and for a long time I punished myself with these. I need to learn to let these go – and I am learning. On top of that I need to recognise that some of the stuff that has happened to me is not because of me – but because of other people – and their own insecurities and frailties. That is a tough one because it has been ingrained in me (mainly by me) that I am the issue. For once in my life I am having grown up relationships with people where everything is reciprocated – that it is not just me giving and getting nothing back. Coming to terms with that and enjoying it is a struggle – and I am endlessly sorry to those around me that I hurt. It is not a smokescreen or a hiding place – I am a very confused person that has raw emotions that I find hard to control at times.
Again – this sounds downbeat. It is a little. But it is also a step forward. That is the important part. Everything is a step forward. People will tell you that being downbeat is a negative and a step back. That is bullshit. Negative emotions need to be acknowledged and experienced as much as positive ones. The important element is recognising them, dealing with them and learning from them. That is what I am doing here. I am recognising and I am learning.
It’s all good.