Our Own Worst Enemy: Ourselves

I said this earlier today, and I couldn’t be more certain of it…. we are able to persuade ourselves of anything, even if it is not true. We are our worst enemy. We talk to ourselves in ways we would not talk to other people. We tell ourselves lies. We make doubt who we are and what we are doing. We can persuade ourselves it is storming outside when the day is warm and sunny.

As I am sure many people do, I doubt myself a lot. I persuade myself of things that are not true. I am constantly battling myself inside my head. I may win a battle here and there, but I will never win the war. I am left with scars and doubts, ever hoping people will reassure me that I am wrong. It is being in hell without any hope of escape.

It is funny, the things I am able to persuade myself of. I tell myself I am not intelligent, but I got straight A’s as I graduated from the English major. No one likes me, but I have people who text me, and people who support me. No one would care if I died, but people sometimes notice when I do not text them for days. I am not strong, but I have survived so much, and I continue to fight. Where do the lies to ourselves stop?

I recently brought up in therapy how I have a lot of self-doubt. I have trouble voicing what I really want to talk about. The self-doubt and the self-censoring plagues my mind. It suffocates me. I am not even sure how to make it stop.

I was introduced to two individuals who write on self-compassion and vulnerability. Their resources are incredible, and their writing/videos is extremely helpful. Putting it into practice is a completely different matter.

The easy part is reminding myself I must be a little intelligent if I could have straight A’s AND a 3.57 GPA. The stress comes with the classes and the homework, but I always push through somehow. I manage the stress, I conquer the homework as it comes, but the evidence always proves I can handle it. I can do it. I can overcome. Of course, it is much, much easier telling myself that when I feel on top of things or if I’m already done.

What is the hard part? Everything else. Carrying my happy book has helped. In fact, I no longer carry it around with me like it is my lifeline. My depression is manageable, but self-doubt still stalks me. What if my professor hates seeing me enter her office every time I visit her? What if I sound absolutely ridiculous voicing something that I really, really need to talk about? What if everyone is simply lying to me or trying to make me feel better, but they do not really care… I am not really considered their family? *Screams* Like I said, I am constantly battling myself. The evidence proves my self-doubt wrong. My happy book proves it wrong. But why can I not believe them when they say I am like family? Or that they really do care for me?

I am beginning to think this post has become nothing, but a lot of questions that have easy, but hard answers. I fight the impulse every day to text or call or visit someone and ask them a list of questions that I feel like I need truthfully answered. Even right now I am deciding not to deliver something to someone in person because I feel like I am not considered their family, that I am more of a burden than they admit. Sometimes I just want to demand the truth. Maybe I worry about people being truthful because I do not remember anyone in my life actually pulling through? Yeah, I think that would be a good topic to bring up in therapy.

It is really incredible what we are capable of persuading ourselves.

I have tried writing down things that I know to be true, and then comparing them to the lies I tell myself. I give myself as much evidence as possible to support the truth. Intelligence? Look at my grades. Look at my professors’ comments on my work. Easy as pie. How do you support what someone says? Actions. My professor has not asked me to leave her office NOT ONCE since I have met her, so I must be ok to visit. My friend texts me when she can, and she is more than willing to drive 2 1/2 hours to visit me…so she must like me enough to put in that effort. Another friend gets my hopes up and constantly lets me down, but tries to tell me she cares. How do I figure that one out?

I have learned to write down the things I self-censor myself on. If you talk to me through text or online, I will open up to you like I am a book. But if you try to talk to me about that same thing that frightens the heck out of me to say out loud, I will quickly run from the situation or change topics. Writing it down and handing it to you, or typing it up and emailing it to you is easy. If you read it when I can’t see your expressions while you read it, I will feel embarrassed and nervous when I see you next, but I will not have a mini heart attack while I wait for your face to show how you feel as you read it in front of me. And it is strange the topics I am open and closed on. Sure, I can tell you I tried to commit suicide a number of times. I will tell you with a straight face, with no emotion at all. I am so, so good at disassociating from how I feel. I can tell you I suffer from depression, or I was assaulted on campus. Nope, not a big deal. Now when it comes to that secret coping mechanism that I still use since a child? One that sometimes frightens me? One that sometimes interferes with my life? Now that is when I stop talking.

I have thought about going into psychology to help people like me, or like you. As one of my readers said, you can help better if you personally understand what they are going through. If I was in a better place mentally, I would return to school. However, right now I am concerned about why people are the way they are. Did my childhood make me like this? Is it just simply a weird chemical imbalance that causes these problems? Why do we doubt ourselves so much?

If someone tells you they never do, they are lying. The most accomplished person in the room has doubted themselves at one time in their life. I know it is natural. But it does not make it less frustrating.

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3 thoughts on “Our Own Worst Enemy: Ourselves

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  1. Thank you for sharing Every thought you mention has run through my head too — especially the part about your professors. I’m glad to see you’re challenging those thoughts; doing the same thing helped me immensely. At first it was hard to accept the evidence, but, if we’re so good of convincing ourselves of lies, hopefully we’ll all eventually be stellar at convincing ourselves of the truth! 🙂

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