Anxiety, art, depression, mental health, Uncategorized

The fear of being disliked.

IMG_0889.jpgI know I’ve neglected writing these posts for a while, the way I neglect all house plants I have ever owned. However, I’m sure you’ll be glad to know I’ve been pretty busy. Went away on a caravan holiday (the one I got custody of, it also appeared the rest of my family got custody too because they all came.) I got sunburnt, I laughed, I got overwhelmed by so many people in one space I did one of my ‘disappearing to be on my own in bed’ acts, stroked a Donkey, the usual really.

I started therapy just over a week ago. My god I forgot how awkward that first session is. Sat there with a complete stranger. I always feel I just have to fill the silent pauses in conversation, even if I’m not with a therapist – I can’t stand the all-consuming feeling that if I don’t talk (usually complete utter crap), or if there is any silence, that the person I am with is just feeling awkward and thinking I’m boring.

I had to face some issues I never even knew I had in therapy. I naively thought after all this time with D&A (remember, I abbreviated them, to be cool) that I was quite self-aware. That I had at least some awareness as to why I think and feel the way I do about myself and others. I was wrong. I hate being wrong.

Now, all that was discussed will stay between me and my therapist. But it did get me thinking (probably irrationally as per) about my phobia of being disliked. Apparently there isn’t actually some fancy Latin name for this, disappointing. But, it’s something that’s sat festering in my head for years and years, producing a pungent smell of self-doubt.

I know I have hurt people, I have offended people, and I’ve damn right pissed people off. But, I really, really, never ever want to hurt anyone. I just crave everyone’s acceptance. Hell, I’d probably want Donald Trump to like me and he’s a grade A idiot. To the point of apologising to others when I know I’m not in the wrong. Letting people speak to me in a way that upsets me, but instead of letting my feelings known, I apologise or try harder to be liked. This is with people who don’t even know me. I’ve had relationships, and friendships that I haven’t been happy in. But instead of acknowledging that and walking away. I’ve tried harder, because I don’t want to be the bad guy.

But that never works. Because then it snowballs. I snowball. And people end up disliking each other through the process.

What I’m currently trying to learn. And hope others who feel the same as me should try hard to learn is that, people aren’t always going to like you. Everyone can’t like everyone. Some people, you just don’t take to. Simple as that. But with the anxiety eating away at you, telling you various reasons as to why you can’t be liked, it’s hard to see clearly.

There are plenty of people who do like you, and they will make that clear. So like them ones back, make them smile, spend time with them. Do NOT waste your time desperately clinging at the idea that you can make someone like you.

If they’re cold with you. Leave it. It’s not good for you, it’s not good for anxiety. And through the worst, you will learn the truth. Like yourself, make yourself like yourself, not like, love.

And fingers crossed, with all the support. Everything will fall together.

That’s my own prep talk mantra I’m desperately trying to live by at the moment. It’s difficult, old habits fie hard. But I’m determined.

I’ll leave you on a quote from one of the sassiest beings of all time:

If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else. Can I get an amen?! – RuPaul

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Anxiety, art, depression, mental health, Uncategorized

Inadequacy

When Googled, inadequate is defined as:

Lacking the quality or quantity required; insufficient for a purpose.

(Of a person)

Unable to deal with a situation or with life.

This is an on and off friend of mine. At the height of anxious and depressed periods, we’re best pals. We spend nights in together, snacking, watching films. We go out together, hit the Town up. Me and my ol’ pal inadequacy.

But he’s also, usually there in the background.

Lurching, to re-build our friendship when I’ve climbed back in the anxiety and depression boat.

It comes down to the fact I’ve never felt I’m good enough. For most things, instead of pushing myself I reach a wall and I hear the sweet whisper of anxiety chime in “you’re not good enough for this anyway. Just give up.”

And that’s what I’ve done in the past.

The weird thing is, I can be a perfectionist, I’m competitive (honestly I’ve had blazing rows over trivial pursuit and the logo quiz game). And if I know I’m not the actual best – even if it’s MY best, and enjoy what I’m doing. I can’t be proud – I’m just not good enough so there’s no point carrying on.

It was the reason I gave up Athletics. And I was good, I’m a fast little thing. I was a coach too (but most of the kids were taller than me, I coached under 11’s).

It’s why I stopped caring half way through my art degree, everyone else seemed so much better so why should I have bothered. It’s why I’ve LET myself be treated badly and disrespected by men. Because I’m inadequate. I’m not the best so I don’t deserve the best…

I know I don’t deal with situations others may soldier on with. I’m overwhelmed by what some would see as daft inconveniences.

I’m overwhelmed when there are two people in-front of me in a queue, when the dog ate my favourite plastic spoon (yeh I know, mortifying. It was he best spoon to eat yoghurts with).

I’m inadequate at dealing with minor stresses. And little things like this, build to make me think.. can I actually deal with anything

I’ll never be promoted, I’ll never get a mortgage (not entirely easy for anyone that started their career at 24 in this financial climate! Bloody house prices and Tory government!).

I so easily forget that, no, sod off feeling of anxious inadequacy. I’ve achieved so much! I live independently, I own my own car, I got a first class degree in Nursing. I manage well through the most ridiculously stressful shifts and staff shortages (Again, bloody tories).

One day, when I learn to face these feelings head on. And overcome them. I can progress in my career, I will have a house, I won’t settle for being second best to someone. I won’t let knowing I’m not the best at everything, make me think I’m not the best at being me. And respecting myself.

I can’t say I’m not still going in and out of fight or flight. But I can say I want to embrace positivity – engage with treatment and learn to be me. The new me. Because the only way out of this well is up. Chuck us that ladder. But also pass me the beta-blockers because I’m tachycardic and panicking. Cheers.

I may feel inadequate. But I’m not, I’m more than adequate. I’m the best me ever, granted, I need some work doing (extensive and pricey work on the foundations) but I’ll get there…however…

Easier said than done when the anxiety parrot is on your shoulder, pecking, screeching. Making you want to hide and bury yourself under a pile of lies he tells you.

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