By Caitlin Wren
A chapter in a workbook I was reading recently was titled, “I’m not Crazy, I’m Ambivalent.” I just had to look at the page and laugh; it described me so perfectly. I usually explain it by saying that my head can’t seem to match up with my heart. I can know something logically, but that holds no meaning for how I feel.
It makes me feel crazy and can be very frustrating, but I’ve found a way to “talk back” to the little voice inside of me that tells me I’m not good enough.
The picture I portray to the world is not always matched up to what I feel inside. On the outside, I try and appear confident and calm. That isn’t always how I feel on the inside but doesn’t mean I’m a fraud or tricking anyone. I just want to present my best self and be seen as competent, which is okay. And it is okay if you do this too.
I often struggle with confidence issues. The overwhelming theme is that I will never be enough. Over the years, I’ve learned how to talk back to the thoughts and voices that tell me I’m not good enough. I refer to it as reality checking.
Basically, it’s just figuring out if what you’re thinking is valid. It sounds simple in theory, but it can be difficult to do in the moment. Sometimes our thoughts are true and are there to help us grow and learn. However, sometimes they aren’t. It might be anxiety talking or depression talking. In those instances, it’s important to stand up and say: No. This is my life.
The first thing I learned is that it is okay to talk back. Yes, anxiety, depression, and whatever else you may be dealing with might still be there, but it doesn’t have to hold power over you.
You are the strongest thing in your life. Do some reality checking. Ask yourself some questions.
Why do I feel this way?
Has anyone else confirmed these feelings?
Am I speaking from a place of fear?
What is the end goal?
Is it to better yourself or is the end a dark pit of self-deprecation?
Is there anything to prove this is true?
So many times I have fallen victim to the stream of thoughts running through my head telling me I will never be enough. These are not valid thoughts. They come from a place of fear within myself.
Stand up to these thoughts inside yourself. You are strong enough. Even if they don’t go away, you will have made a dent. It’s not easy. I can’t always do it and sometimes I forget. That’s okay too. Just keep trying and keep pushing through.
You will make it through whatever hell you’re fighting. I’ll be standing right here beside you.
About Caitlin Wren
I’m Caitlin Wren. I am a mental health blogger and activist. I write about mental illness, stigma and sexual assault. I’m a college freshman doing my best to make an impact on the world. If you would like a look “Inside My Head”, you can check out caitlinwren.blogspot.com.