Some days I am a confident supermom and wife. I don’t have my shit completely together, but I’m okay with who I am and actually enjoy life.
Other days I fall apart. I’m not as comfortable showing those days, especially on social media. I’ve become an expert at hiding the pain and unreasonable worries, but sometimes they feel like they’re leaking out of a hole deep in my belly. Sometimes I can almost visualize it.
Anxiety and depression are thieves. They steal my confidence, my will to keep going. They tell me that no one cares what I have to say, that I’m not enough, that I’m stupid. They tell me my ambitions and goals are unreachable, that I should just stop trying.
The thing is, I know those things aren’t true, but knowing is only half the battle. It still hurts to think about these things and when they’re repeated in my head over and over again, it’s easy to kind of believe them.
So I started a list to remind myself that they are indeed lies and why they’re not true. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but I wanted to share a few that I think might be common, in case it helps someone else feel less alone.
Lies Depression & Anxiety Tell Me
- You’re not doing enough for your child. This is probably the most ridiculous lie that I tell myself and mostly a result from playing the comparison game. (“That kid knows more words than Emerson…. she’s already potty-training…I should be spending more quality time helping further his development…”) I’m working 29 hours a week from home while being a full-time mom PLUS trying to keep up with this blog. The other day I took a shower at midnight because that was literally the only time I had a moment to myself. I’m doing the best I can and one day Emerson will understand and appreciate that.
- Nobody cares what you have to say. Why do you think you’re so special? Maybe not everybody cares what I have to say, but some people certainly do. I don’t have to be the most insightful or interesting person at all times in order to use my voice. My opinion is valuable.
- You’ll never be the cool mom or the cool wife. You kill everyone’s buzz. This is something I started struggling with way before I was a wife or mom. It’s taken me a long time to realize that I don’t have to be the laid-back, spontaneous, and care-free “cool girl” all the time to be deserving of love. I’m allowed to feel nervous or not want to go out all the time. I’m allowed to be angry. Sometimes I’m emotional and that’s okay too.
- You sound dumb when you speak up at work. You clearly don’t know what you’re doing and everyone can see that. This thought stems from being an introvert in an extroverted world. In any job I’ve had, I’m always nervous at meetings that are supposed to be brainstorming sessions and less structured professional discussions. I like to have time to think things through and prepare. But I was hired for a reason. I do have important things to contribute and shouldn’t be afraid to speak up.
- Your friends don’t actually care about you. They’re just being nice to your face. I know in my heart that this isn’t true, but it creeps into my head from time to time, especially as I’ve gotten older and all my closest friends live far away or have children or careers. It’s natural to drift apart or not talk everyday. Communication works both ways and I shouldn’t feel anxious to reach out on my end.
Anxiety and depression have been a constant battle for me and probably will continue to be. I like to think of this list as a of a quick reference guide for me to look back on when I need to rationalize the irrational thoughts in my head. I’m publishing it because I feel like it’s important to be vulnerable sometimes with the world, especially when social media is full of everyone’s highlight reel. I hope you found this helpful and if you struggle with similar thoughts, I encourage you to make your own list. I found it pretty therapeutic to actually answer myself. xx