It’s a pit in your stomach that’s similar to nausea, but it’s not cured after vomiting.
It is looking for loopholes, never finding a loophole, and then resorting to creating one out of nothing (and wholeheartedly prescribing to that cycle).
It is constant self-talk, usually negative, inside of your mind. You get stopped in your tracks to analyze words (they’re never really just words).
It is finding yourself panicked because you can’t figure out if what someone is saying is actually what they mean: what about their tone, body language, quick eye-flutter, or the fact that their response isn’t what you planned it to be?
Read that again: their response isn’t what you planned it to be.
This sounds a lot like anxiety. Right?
I agree. These telltale signs of that finicky little illness are pretty easy to pick out.
And even easier to find a solution to. Right? Wrong.
What I am describing is complete and utter insecurity.
I have battled it my entire life—trying to take what people say to me at face value. I have told myself more times than I care to admit that she or he “didn’t mean that.” Or “didn’t think that” in the way my mind warped it.
It is exhausting to convince yourself constantly that those around you are around because you are you. I literally do not know what that means. I do not know what it means to take someone as they are.
I have (and have had) many people in my life who state they love me. They show me they care through their own individual avenues and even are there when I am not my usual bubbly self. I am unable to feel this, though. I am unable to remember that these individuals love me.
Instead, it is a daily game of “what will my mind distort today?” I feel all the unnecessary thoughts of being alone as well as heightened anxiety. What text will I send today that, in my mind, is heartfelt and caring but isn’t met with (again based upon my mind’s perception) an accurate response? How many hours will I spend stewing over the lack of compassion or love sent back to me?
It is sickening to be this honest with yourself.
But, the path to recovery is paved with glass shards. I happen to have forgotten my shoes today, but I will remember them tomorrow.
My journey to self-love and respect is long, hard, and painful. But, sometimes, your Nikes are on your feet, and you are ready to just do it. Insecurity stems from times in our life that we didn’t feel secure. By times, I mean important times, usually childhood or a long-term relationship, in which we needed comfort and support, which was not given to us.
If we couldn’t get these comforts in our darkest times, who the actual f*ck wants to give it to us now? We are adults. We are supposed to be able to self-soothe, interpret things, and logically break them down in our minds. Well, newsflash: we are only “adults” based upon our age—our internal dialogue is that of a broken child.
Now, at this point in the article, this all sounds quite pathetic, right?
This sounds honest. These are the truths we all ignore because society doesn’t allow us space to state that, as adults, we are broken and need to heal.
What does healing look like? I can let you know once I find it.
I struggle daily with my negative self-talk (she’s a bastard when she wants to be) and being able to ration before my reactions with my loved ones. The ones who I know love me, even if I do not know quite what that means yet.
All of these brutal truths are made easier by knowing I am not alone. I am not the only adult-child who is searching for validation in everyone and everything but myself. Why is that? I know I can’t validate myself yet, so I hope someone else will. Again, a thought that I know is irrational, but let’s call a spade a spade.
This is what I am doing today to help usher my mind into healing.
I am remembering that loving me will not look the same as me loving others. That’s the real sh*t.
I am remembering that I am allowed to feel. Even if those feelings are distorted, and the perception is similar to looking through foggy glasses, those feelings are in real-time for me.
My statements of insecurity should not allow me the freedom to treat others like they are not enough or worthy of my love.
At the end of the good and bad days, I am not perfect. I am not secure. I am not healed. But goddamn, I am worthy.