Thursday, January 23, 2014

Feeling Good About Myself

As most of you know, I struggle with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, perfectionism and OCD. I was diagnosed with GAD as a child, with OCD as a new mother. I feel like I have also been a perfectionist most of my life, I have memories of being in middle school and obssessing over having the perfect handwriting. At twelve, I checked out several handwriting books and read them from cover to cover. From there, I developed my handwriting to what it is today. The funny thing about my handwriting is, I am always getting compliments about it now. People are always telling me about how nice it looks and I smile back at them, thinking quietly to myself, "If only they knew how long it took to get that way." Lots of people who know me don't know how controlled I am, how much control I have over myself. I am like one of those cars on ride with tracks, I am so set in my ways I don't think I could stop it if I wanted. A lot of it is from my Buddhist training, being mindful of everything you do. But some of it, I fear, is my OCD and my anxiety rearing its ugly head again.

Lately I stress about the littlest of things: what that person thought of me, was I being too rude or did I sound stupid to them? Did I communicate clearly? Did I make a point to talk with my friends and family this week? What about my parents, are they happy with me today? And my children, I made a point to play with both kids, tell them I love them enough, feed them healthy enough foods, and make sure they went to bed at a decent time? Is Lon aware of how much I love him? Do I look presentable as an adult or am I still dressing like I am in high school? Is my boss proud of my work, or are they (I have four seperate bosses at my job) thinking that they need to talk to me? Did I write in my family blog enough this week? Did I take pictures of my amazing children today or did I forget to record how they look at this very second? Are we being healthy enough in our lives? Are we ONE with the Earth and nature, following the way of the Tao? Was it our fault that our car keeps breaking down? And speaking of faults, is it MY fault we lost our house? Am I just messing everything up horribly? And then my stress has been compounded because of our recent homelessness. As of right now, I can't feel good about all of these things because I don't have my own place, I don't feel like I have much control in my own life. So I get scared and I think too much then I lock up, I stutter or can't think of the right words, then am completely embarrassed by myself. I totally just messed that one up badly...

I focus so much on the tiny little thoughts that circle in my mind, I forget to do something important. Like grab the car seat so we can get rides with Miss Anna. Or like remembering to take deep breaths and not get irritated by my children just being children. No one is perfect, right? But I am me and that is good enough. I work so hard each and every day to make sure my kids are happy, healthy and well fed. I work six days a week, in a teacher's position, which is a struggle all on its own. I love my husband and my family and my friends, more then any of them could ever know. I have some die hard, true blue followers that don't care if I post on the blog twenty times a week or just once. I follow the Tao a lot more then I think, and remember to be with nature instead of against often. Plus, I am a caring, genuine person. That is enough.

My family has been through so much these past few months and we aren't out of the darkness yet. But we are progressing, each day, getting closer to our goal. I need to give myself more credit for that. I may feel hopeless and like we are slipping under, but its just my anxiety lurking below. When I hear these stressors, I need to remind myself of all the good things we have right now too. Ignore the OCD and anxiety monsters, count my blessings. We do work hard, we love our kids a lot, we do the best we can. Shouldn't that count for something?

Yesterday, I woke up feeling good about myself. I felt pretty, I felt smart, I felt like a good parent and a hard worker. I was ready to take the day on! Today was a different day. I fought with several close family members about stupid, unimportant things and started out my day feeling stupid and unimportant. I remember hearing once in my Buddhist trainings, negative thoughts breed negative actions. I was angry and because of that, everything kept going wrong in my eyes. It wasn't until I realized this and MADE THE CHANGE, that things started to look up. It was all my outlook on life, my bad attitude was making my day worse without me even realizing it! I hope that I will not forgot this the next time I am angry. Negative thoughts breed negative actions...

I must remember to love myself even on the bad days, and ALWAYS remember that I am enough.

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