For as long as I can remember, I have had anxiety. Sometimes it is paralyzing. For example, I can’t make decisions very well, practically at all, because I am anxious that I will choose the wrong one. Test anxiety in college was the worst. I would get D’s and F’s on tests, even though I knew the material. Anxiety as a mother takes over me daily, particularly at the end of the day once the kids have gone to bed: Am I doing this wrong? Am I raising them well? Gah, I shouldn’t have yelled at them for that silly thing today. Am I teaching them enough? The list goes on, and on.
I don’t really have social anxiety, though. When I am in a group of people, even ones I don’t know, I am fine. I talk a lot actually. Especially if I’ve had a glass of wine, haha! But, the odd thing is, once I get home after being out, my anxiety kicks in full force. I sit there and replay the night (or day) in my head and completely over analyze everything I did and said. “Did I sound dumb when I said XYZ?” “I wonder what they thought of me.” “I should have said XXX, instead of YYY.” “Did I say one too many swear words?” (I can have a potty mouth occasionally. That’s what 6 years in the Army will do to ya!)
Just completely wracking my brain of everything I shoulda, coulda, woulda during that time with others. To the point where I can’t even fall asleep because my mind won’t stop replaying and dissecting. It is emotionally and even physically exhausting.
Dear Brain, STOP IT!
Listen here, Brain, I am who I am. This is me. We had fun while hanging out with new and/or old friends. Laughing. Joking around. Good conversations. Enjoying everyone’s company. Why must you ruin it at the end of the day by overthinking? It makes me feel anxious wondering things that I’d be willing to bet, no one else there even thought twice about. Is this an insecurity of yours or something? Why is this an automatic thing you do, Brain, after every single social encounter?
After things like this happen (practically every day), I have to consciously remind myself that this is me. Be who you are. Who cares what others think. (Again, I’m pretty sure no one was thinking of the things about me that my mind was worried about anyway!) People will always judge, no matter what you do or don’t do.
But the most important thing I have to tell myself daily is, stop judging yourself. You are being your own worst enemy. Positivity over negativity. Kick that worry, that fear of “not being good enough” to the damn curb and stand up, do your best, and forget the rest.
Be yourself, and love it while you do it.