Playing grown up in a make belief world — that’s what life feels like to me. Everyday I wonder when someone is going to find me out. Realize that I have no idea what I am doing. Is this a side effect of my anxiety, or is it normal to feel this way?
On good days, I have moments when I feel super confident, smart, and strong. A fleeting feeling that I can take on the world. For the most part, however, I feel like I’m “pretending” to be a grown up. When I look in the mirror each morning, I see the girl I know as me. She is valunerable and often unsure of herself. Before I let the world see me, I style my hair, put on make up, and select an outfit to hide behind. All of which designed to act as a protective armour against everyday living.
I’ve spend most of my adult life practicing my social skills as a way of hiding my fears. I know to smile, make eye contact, give a firm handshake, stand up straight, breathe, and incorporate active listening techniques. When I was a young girl, I was incredibly shy. In social settings, I rarely spoke up because I feared my voice would crack and my face would flush. Deep down, I’m still shy, but you wouldn’t know it if you met me. To the naked eye, I’m outgoing — a true extrovet.
Self-esteem and confidence can be learned, and I have done my best to grow as strong as possible. But there will always be the part of myself that feels “inadequate.” I get straight A’s, but think it’s by fluke. I have career success, but think it’s because I’ve fooled people somehow. Every success I’ve experienced, I eventually chalk up to an accident. I could lie and say I believe in myself, but it’s a rare day when that is true. I have enough self-awareness to know who I am, and why I suffer from extreme anxiety. I spend a lot of time beating myself up for my insecurities. BUT sometimes I don’t. Sometimes, I am kind to myself, and I accept that I am a product of my environment and genetic make up. I am who I am, and not one other person on this earth is the same as me — I am unique.
——————————————————————————————–I is who I is — ME!