I have spent most of my life feeling insecure. This is evident throughout my writing but I finally wanted to address this insecurity with a letter.
To my insecure self,
Over the years I have beat myself up with feelings of little self worth. Continuously I have badgered myself over things I have said, how I look, and how others perceive me. Most of this thinking can be debunked when I look at the myths I tell myself & the actual facts or truths.
Myth: The color of my skin and shape of my eyes makes me different & incapable of finding love.
Fact: While the color of my skin & eye shape may be different than some, it does not make me incapable of finding love. I remember in middle school watching a Janet Jackson video with a classmate. I thought she was captivating and was truly amazed by her voice & beauty. My classmate then chirped in, “You know I don’t think the boys in our school would like her because she isn’t white.” This statement had such a profound negative impact on my way of thinking. Over the years I’ve had to realize that this racist, intolerant remark was just a reflection of one person. Just because I heard it from ONE person as a middle school preteen, does not make it an absolute truth.
Myth: My weight goes hand in hand with my self worth.
Fact: I have struggled over the years with body dysmorphic disorder. I was driving home a few months before I started writing this blog & I remember squeezing the fat on my stomach and hating myself. I was actually saying out loud, “My body is so gross it’s disgusting.” Then I had a moment of clarity a little bit after. This body isn’t gross. It’s strong and has kept me alive for more than 30 years. I have never had any serious problems with my health, thankfully. I needed to appreciate my body and yes, even the fat on my stomach. The fact is I have gained weight since having my two boys. But the fact also remains that it doesn’t make me gross or disgusting. It’s natural and every curve or tiny stretch mark shouldn’t negate that I am still healthy and strong.
Myth: I’m stupid.
Fact: I have said this to myself countless times. It’s usually my first reaction after I do something wrong. The simple fact is that I am going to make mistakes. I’m human. Mistakes are what I needed to find growth and learn from.
Myth: I’m not a good mom.
Fact: My favorite mothering quote is by the author Jodi Picoult. “The very fact that you worry about being a good mom means that already are one.” My mom guilt is off the charts sometimes. I always second guess if I’m making the right decisions with them, if they’re not socializing enough, & the anguish I feel when I take time apart from them kills me. But I need to remember the real truth. Self care makes me a better mom. If that means I have brunch with friends on the weekend or occasionally go shopping by myself- that’s ok. I’m still a good mom.
Myth: I’m crazy because I have bipolar disorder.
Fact: Yes, I do have bipolar disorder. I have manic highs & super depressive lows. Am I crazy? No. Do I feel crazy when I’m manic? Yes. But feelings aren’t always truths. I was so nervous to write this blog & put my bipolar diagnosis out there to my professional teaching world. However, I have felt nothing but love and support from my fellow colleagues.
The real fact is that insecurity is a myth we tell ourselves. I needed to grow in my own skin to be comfortable & really love myself. I hope whoever reading this can differentiate between the lies we tell ourselves & the actual truths. I recently saw on Pinterest a quote. “Confidence is silent. Insecurities are loud.” Let’s change the script. Scream your confidence to the world because I’ve learned to quiet down the insecure voices in my head. Life’s too short to be spent hating yourself.
3 responses to “A letter to my insecure self”
Thank you for this post. It takes a lot of courage to put our mental illness struggles out into the world, and especially so as the media loves to villainize bipolar disorder. It’s important to tell your story. You never know which friend or colleague is suffering in silence and needs your words for validation and encouragement. Keep fighting and writing.
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Thank you so much for the encouragement. Sometimes when I’m in a depressive state I start questioning myself so I really appreciate it.
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You have survived all that negative stuff, and come out the other side looking great. Well done!
Many thanks for following my blog.
Best wishes, Pete.