yesterday, in a moment where i was feeling a vague dissatisfaction with my life and myself and how my day was going, this question popped into my mind: why do i feel so uncomfortable taking up space in the world? this question was enough to jolt me out of my spiral of self doubt and obsessive thoughts and really make me ponder it. because increasingly over the past several months but especially in the past week or two, it feels like my anxiety, self doubt, and self-consciousness over the smallest things have truly hit peak levels. i mean, on friday night, the simple act of returning a carton of ice cream because i had bought the wrong flavor sent me into the throes of embarrassment and shame. so what’s going on with me?
i’ve always kind of considered myself an awkward person. maybe because i was homeschooled growing up, constantly feeling like i had to combat stereotypes about awkward, under-socialized kids, maybe because i was already shy and self conscious without the added pressure that i put on myself in that regard. i spent much of the early years of my life overthinking every small interaction, convincing myself determinedly that no one truly liked me, because really, what was there to like?
my social life was never what you could call robust, and for that i blamed myself entirely. i felt like because i didn’t have a large group of friends and didn’t get invited to things often there must be something wrong with me, or i wasn’t putting myself out there enough. i constantly second guessed the social interactions i did have, usually beating myself up about something i said or did long after the event had probably faded from everyone else’s minds. now at 22 and feeling much older, it seems like these feelings have started to come back. for a while in my life i had sort of thought i had overcome this tendency to overthink and self criticize. or maybe it would be more accurate to say i reached a point where i was so tired of it that i sort of stopped caring altogether. it was when i was around 18 that i feel like i grew a lot in confidence to the point where i was able to go for a lot more things, and honestly just live without being inhibited by constant second guessing.
lately, however, i’ve felt my old habits of youth coming back to me. i don’t know when it started exactly, but i’ve felt this self-conscious, overthinking, worrying about what people think stress starting to slowly creep back in over the past year-ish. and i feel like it’s finally reached the worst it’s ever been. i don’t know if it came from a desire to make a good impression on certain people, or a desire to NOT make the mistakes i’ve made in the past. to prove to myself that i really have changed as a person, coupled with a heightened self awareness. it’s just—odd isn’t it? how hard it is to balance a healthy self awareness? because it’s important to be self aware and to know the effect you have on the people around you but at the same time it really is possible to be too self aware to the extent that it’s unhealthy. picking apart everything you say and feeling like you want to die of embarrassment over things that are probably really small. right? or things that happened a long time ago that you can’t do anything to change now? because that one has been happening to me a lot lately for some reason.
i know i’m not the only one who deals with stuff like this, and i know mental health varies dramatically from season to season in our lives. i’m not sure why all this anxiety is attacking me now, but there’s some part of me that wonders if it’s trying to tell me something, if there’s a reason that i feel this way. i just–hate not knowing the reason. this wasn’t my usual upbeat, inspirational post. i guess i haven’t been feeling exactly inspirational lately. this week was a hard one, as i’ve been trying to start my own business and struggling through the self-doubt, motivation issues and depression that come along with wanting a major life change soo bad but feeling like you don’t know what you’re doing at all. but, i have hope for the future! here’s to a better week to come!
if you’re still here, thanks so much for reading my words today. if any of you have any tips or ideas on dealing with anxiety and overthinking, i would love to hear them! and next week’s post will be less of a downer lol.