It really doesn’t matter how illogical or irrational these thoughts may be. It doesn’t even matter that, deep down, I know them to be untrue – at least, most of the time. The thing is, once the mindset slithers in and takes control, no amount of truth or logic can sway my thinking.
So here I am – at the crossroads between logic and what feels like reality. Every so often I am consumed with fear, insecurity, and embarrassment – the all-encompassing kind that renders me defenseless. Somewhere outside of myself, I have a vague, blurry sense of the ‘truth.’ But mostly, truth in this moment is undefined.
I’m no stranger to insecurity. I’ve dealt with many cases of the “I’m not enoughs.” I’ve conquered fears that once held me back, and I’ve let go of insignificant embarrassment. But this? This is different. This creeps in and begins to whisper that everything is a lie; nothing is as it appears. Nothing is true. Nothing genuine.
Slowly, but steadily, the whisper crescendos to a roar, screaming at me that everything is a lie. My entire life. Every relationship. And everyone knows it’s a lie – everyone except me. They are all in on it. They all know. They are all laughing, and I’m the butt of their joke.
No one likes me. No one wants me around. No one wants to hear what I have to say. No one is really my friend. They all know. They all talk about it. But I don’t know. I’m clueless.
I’m not a good singer. I’m not smart enough to learn new things. I don’t have what it takes to accomplish things. They all know it. They don’t know how to tell me I’m no good. They pity me. And I have no idea.
And the worst, I’m too flawed. I have too many issues. I am a burden. I’m not fun anymore. I’m not worth their time. They’ve all discussed how they feel. They’ve all agreed that I’m a lost cause. But they don’t want to be bad people, so they string me along just enough so that I won’t see what they’re doing. And I am completely oblivious.
But when the whispers begin, my eyes slowly come into focus. By the time the roars are in full decibel, I have complete awareness of the ‘truth.’ In a nanosecond, embarrassment permeates every part of me. I can’t get away fast enough. I can’t escape the judgment, ridicule, and hatred. But I run anyway.
I retreat. I hide. Going outside of my house means coming face to face with the embarrassment. And it’s too much. So I hide.
Hiding only dulls the pain. It gives me a false sense of security. It puts limits on the embarrassment and ridicule. But really, the pain is still with me because it’s all in my own head. How can I escape what I carry with me? How can I protect myself – from myself?
I really don’t know.
I currently believe that these things I deal with – these things that are ‘all in my head’ are things that aren’t going to go away. I may get better at dealing with them. I may get better at staving them off before they take root. I may be able to hunker down and get through them with the knowledge that each episode is only temporary. But, for now, I think these are my things to deal with.
Actually, I AM better at dealing with them. I DO know the truth. I DO have and use skills to gracefully walk through hard moments. But here’s the thing – none of that makes these episodes even a tiny bit less painful to endure.
I’m not at all sure how to put words on this for someone who doesn’t understand. It isn’t like healing a broken bone. It breaks. It’s reset or surgically repaired. It’s cast. It heals. It regains strength and returns to its normal state.
The mind doesn’t work that way. Sometimes it doesn’t heal all the way. Sometimes it has residual effects. Sometimes healing never comes. It can’t be bandaged and propped up for six weeks. It doesn’t work that way.
It has taken me a long time to accept this. Accepting that something will never be what you’d hoped is no small thing. But it can be a beautiful thing if you not only accept it, but also embrace it.