I am particularly susceptible to feeling like I’m not enough.
It was the overwhelming message growing up. It didn’t matter what I did, it was never enough. I couldn’t be good enough, smart enough, friendly enough, responsible enough, or ever perform well enough. I was sensitive so I was deemed weak, I was smart but shy so somehow my nearly-perfect grades didn’t matter. I’m an introvert and not very athletic so I wasn’t tough enough or strong enough or masculine enough (“feminine” traits are not well regarded in my family).
With my long fight with mental illness (severe anxiety started showing when I was 18, PTSD happened at 28), I have not been able to get clear of those damaging messages. Social media doesn’t help, a lot of the time blogging doesn’t help and exposure to the world in general doesn’t help. All of the “not enough” messages are still there, and they manifest in new ways that are tied to how I feel about my appearance, my intelligence (some of the cognitive issues from PTSD have been particularly hard for me to accept and make peace with since my brains are how I got through life for so long), my job choices, my financial status and my social status.
I have to be very, very intentional about not buying into the lie that I’m not enough, but sometimes I’m on the losing end of that battle. The damage runs deep, and I don’t spend a lot of time wading through that pain to put it where it belongs – in the past. I don’t spend a lot of time on myself at all these days, and I’ve been overwhelmed a lot with work for the last month. I can’t process well when I’m overwhelmed, and it’s highlighting the importance and getting-critical need for me to handle and face the ghosts that are still holding me back.
When I don’t think I’m enough, neither will others, and when that starts to show it can do a lot of things that range from hurting my feelings to making me not feel proud of any of my work to losing me money.
I am enough, and what I do is enough, and who I am is enough, and how I am is enough, but that message still hasn’t gone deeper than the surface, and I’m starting to really notice. Just at a time that I don’t know how to take time to deal with it.