About Me Hot Takes Writing Prompts

Excruciatingly Anxious

I came into this life hating myself. It was like a self destruct program was running 24/7 from the earliest moments I can remember.

I was constantly telling myself, (even as a young child), “you’re never going to amount to anything”, “no one likes you”, “You are a waste of space”, “you are a waste of oxygen”, etc…

I was depressed and excruciatingly anxious.

You can see in the pictures of me as a child that I was a melancholy individual.

I had friends. But after being with them I would tell myself “they aren’t really your friends”, “they actually think you are so annoying and they never want to see you again” and on and on.

I was born with this self-invalidation mechanism on level 10. My parents never expressed these things. They told me how great I was (and I didn’t believe them).

This 24/7 self-destruction was just how I thought life was.

Because of this, if anyone said or did anything around me to indicate they didn’t like me, didn’t agree with me, were suspicious of me, etc… it sent me into a mental spiral.

I was a young teen, and my hygiene was not good. I found out one day that the other kids in my class thought I was smelly and gross!! (Note: I was smelly and gross). This did not help with my self esteem. Although, I did immediately figure out how to shower more often and wash my own clothes every week.

Around the age of 12 or 13 I read an article in a teen magazine about this negative self-talk thing. A girl detailed out her experience and how devastating it was. I had never heard of anyone else who had these thoughts.

Then she described how she solved it.

She said that she would look in the mirror each day, and say some positive things about herself, whether she believed them or not. It could be something like “I like that shirt” or “that is a nice haircut”, and then eventually things like “I am a valuable friend”.

I thought this was a bunch of bullsh*t and there was no way it was going to work for me.

But I started doing it… because I knew it wasn’t going to make me worse. And I desperately wanted to feel better.

I don’t recall exactly how long it took, but after some months, I started to actually believe the nice things I was saying about myself, and it became easier and more natural to think of myself as good, valuable, a good friend, an asset as an individual, etc…

If a gnarly thought would come in, I would say “no, if someone hated you, they would stop trying to talk to you, they are happy to be your friend” or whatever was the more truthful reality.

I still had significant anxiety throughout my teen years and young adulthood. It has only been in the last 3-4 years of daily spiritual counseling through my church that I fully resolved my constant background feeling of nervousness.

Despite those feelings of anxiety, I had enough self confidence that I was able to achieve big goals and work toward having the life I really wanted. I have achieved things that 13 year old me would have thought were completely delusional goals. I don’t believe I would have achieved those goals if I had not overcome the constant negative self talk that I had as a child.

We tend to glamorize someone else’s experiences and assume they didn’t have it all that rough because they have achieved amazing things or it looked easy from the outside.

Everyone who achieves big goals has stories of their struggles and hardship.

So, if you have had or are having big struggles, you are not alone. ❤️❤️