My Not So Secret Diary

Changing Perceptions

Changing Perceptions sobriety blog about mental health mum and daughter and son playing family recovery and living alcohol free My Not So Secret Diary
Me with my daughter and one of my three sons.

It’s taken me a long time to comfortable in myself, and to be honest, I’m still not quite there yet. I’ve always worried if I am good enough, calm enough, clever enough, thin enough, fast enough… the list goes on, and I never quite measure up, but I am not sure who put the list there in the first place. I certainly don’t remember, besides catty teenage comments, ever being told I wasn’t good enough, but somewhere deep inside, I felt it.

I know a lot of people feel the same way, and it’s hard to get over it, it’s almost impossible to rewire the way you think to be more positive about yourself and kinder to yourself.

I was always of the mind set that ‘something’ would change the way I was and the way I felt about myself. I wasn’t really sure what, I would just feel like if I did this, or bought that, then it would make the difference. I always had a little space, that no matter what I did remained a bit empty.

Over the years I came to think this was normal, that everyone must feel the same as me and I learned to live with doubting myself. It isn’t a nice feeling though, and I am sure I am not the only one. Of course over the years I came to rely on things that made me feel better, those inevitable glasses of wine in the evening, but they were only temporary fixes. When the alcohol wore off, I still felt the same.

Reading that back, it sounds like I was unhappy, and I wasn’t, at least not with everything I had, my husband, our family and our life together has always made me happy. I guess I was just always a little disappointed with myself. I just didn’t quite measure up to my expectation of what I should be. I know now this is stupid, I know there are people in a lot worse situations than me, but my mind has always over-thought. Telling it to stop thinking is like telling an alcoholic not to drink. We all know that doesn’t work. I know now realistically that looking in from the outside, you only see one side of the story. You only see what people want you to see, so the people I compare myself to, they aren’t real, at least not all the time. I know because I’ve been there when I portrayed myself as a calm and together person all the years I let wine control me. The difference is I can see it now, and it allows me to take a step back.

I’ve slowed down, I don’t rush quite so much. I don’t let my crazy mind run away with me all the time. I try to stop it, and I try to be present, and I try to ignore that irritating little voice that tells me I’m not good enough. Sometimes it is challenging but it’s allowed me to settle and just be, and in learning that I feel better in myself.

You go through life thinking that one day you will change, that when you have that ‘thing’ you will be complete, but ultimately the only thing you can control is yourself and that is the ultimate thing in determining whether you are able to be happy.

Thank you as always for reading and remember to be kind to yourselves.