Shame. The first feeling I encountered after making the decision to take care of myself. Weird how that happens. You decide to take a step back, create some space inside your body for your next breath, and the first thing you feel is the eerie chill of guilt. Like you’re doing someone a disservice by putting your health first. Let me just say right here that you need to feel no such thing. Seriously, before I go any further, I want to make it very clear that you don’t need to feel bad for taking care of yourself. Not for a single second.
Not everyone will understand what I’m talking about. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Actually, to be honest, you’re better off if you’re one of the people who doesn’t feel this way. So there’s no missing out on anything, here. Anxiety isn’t a cool gadget.
Damn. I was planning on making this a structured text that read super easily. Well, since that ship has already sailed, I might as well continue. Perhaps the trouble I’m having with writing this piece expresses the way it feels.
Okay, so, in my experience there are two forms of shame that come with anxiety. The first is the most obvious; the shame that you’re not like everyone else, that you need help with things that most people don’t need help with. The feeling that you’re not good enough. The feeling that others look down on you. The feeling that you won’t ever live up to your potential.
The second is the shame that you’re even feeling this way in the first place. You’re angry at yourself for feeling bad. You’re disappointed in yourself for beating yourself up. You’re confused as to why you can’t just accept that this is who you are, now, and you might as well move on with your life.
The good news, here, is that the solution to this problem is really simple. The bad news is that it’s hard to actually accomplish: stop comparing.
It’s as simple as that. The moment you quit comparing your failures and successes to others’, you’re good to go. Keep in mind that you should also quit comparing your current self to your past self. That person is your foundation, but not your present, nor your future.
Either way the fact that you’re still trying to pull through is already a victory in and of itself. The power of your mind is a force to be reckoned with. I mean, think about it: if you can think up anxiety, working your stomach into knots, creating an actual physical chain reaction, then you can also think up calm and quietude. You can loosen up your entire body through meditation. It’s possible. You just have to believe it.
I guess what I’m really trying to say here is that you shouldn’t let anyone else make you feel ashamed of who you are. Especially yourself. You’re your biggest supporter. As long as you aren’t gentle with yourself, life will be filled stressful situations.
I’m rooting for you. So please root for yourself as well.