Friday, July 27, 2007

Confidence wavering

The last couple days I can feel my confidence dropping. Certain negative thoughts will arise and I find myself believing them rather than fighting them. This may be one of my biggest downfalls, never content with myself, never feeling good enough, and not knowing how to change that.

Another thing thats been bothering me lately. I have been married for 5 years (next Friday) and I have been off birth control for about a year and a half. We are living by the idea that if I get pregnant, thats great, if not, thats cool too. Just letting nature do its thing. But lately the thought of actually being pregnant is very scary to me. Not so much the idea of having a child because I think that would be awesome. Not even so much of the labor and delivery. But mostly I am panicky about the nine months of caring for this baby. I worry that I won't be able to gain the needed weight to keep it healthy. I worry that I will be prone to miscarriages and high risk pregnancies with my low weight. I know that maybe I should wait until I am in a really good place anxiety wise but at the same time, its been over a year and I am surprised that it hasn't happened yet. We made plans 5 years ago based on the idea that we would have already had children by now. So I don't want to put it off if its going to be really hard for me to have children. I figure let nature take its course, and I will be able to handle it when it happens. Besides, is anyone ever really ready for that big step? And maybe I will never be in a really good place with my anxiety. Maybe I just have to learn how to deal with anxiety and being pregnant just like I do for other triggers. I am worried that I will be overly critical of myself if something were to go wrong. I think I would feel like it was my fault, that I didn't eat the right things or take care of myself the way I should. But then again everything could be perfectly fine so why worry about something that hasn't even happened yet? I tell myself these things and it makes sense but that doesn't take the anxiety of it all away.

I got a really awesome raise a few weeks ago and lately I am feeling very unworthy of it. I am hiring people that are definitely more technical than I am and that makes me feel a little bit worthless. So I tell myself, just cause they are technical that doesn't mean they would be a good leader or manager (which is what I do). But somehow that doesn't balance the scales for me.

If I am honest I am really proud of what I have accomplished in my life. I feel that I have an awesome career and I am making more money than I ever thought I could without a degree. I have a home that we bought all by ourselves, I have a great marriage-I should be really happy right? Its never enough. Its always so much easier to focus on the bad. Would a degree really make me feel all that better? Will I ever be technical enough? Will my body ever be good enough?

Sorry for the pity party. It's the big mystery in my life. How do you gain confidence in yourself?


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9 comments:

edie said...

You know, I think this really is the big mystery for many of us. You know in your head that you have things to be proud of and yet, there are still the doubts, right? It's like the head and the heart aren't really on the same page. So I don't have an answer yet, but I do have a suggestion, based on my own experience. Is there something that you truly believe, with both your head and your heart that you excel at or that you feel you are truly at home doing? I think there probably is. My advice is, when you feel your confidence slipping, do that thing. It will help you remember who you are and maybe put things back in perspective.

Molly said...

Know that I TOTALLY know how you feel on this one. I wish I had something intelligent to say or great words of wisdom. All I can say is, I'm there most days and it sucks!

Take Care

SA D. said...

Hi Aimée,

Just read your post. Coincidentally, I just posted something about negative and positive thought and how we can change our perception of our reality.

As for your worries about pregnancy, I have to imagine that such concerns are commonplace with anyone considering having a baby. Your comments sound very realistic, rather than overly negative or obsessive.

And as for your job, remember, it can always be worse -- I know! ;) What's funny is that I often obsess about not having a university degree. It's one of my biggest regrets in life.

Don't know if this will help at all, but every now and then when I'm feeling blue about my life, I take a look at all the things I have, from my nice house to my great friends, right down to the little things like toothpaste (tens of millions have never seen a toothbrush and toothpaste), and thank my lucky stars for being born into a caring family in a first-world country that respects freedom and human rights, and has clean water and electricity. Simply put, there is greatness all around us, we only have to open our eyes to see it.

Just a thought.

Dave

jadeila said...

Hi Aimee, thanks for the link. I think the confidence comes from accepting what you are, but as I'm having those issues at the moment I'm probably not the best person to comment!

With regard to the degree, I think it matters to people because it's like a certificate that says "Congratulations, you made it". You know, certain checkboxes that are supposed to be checked at certain stages of life, like a good job, marriage and children. I dropped out of university due to illness. It didn't matter to me that much at the time, and it still doesn't matter because I knew that the path I would follow in life wasn't an academic one, or one that requires academic qualifications. But there's always that voice at the back of my mind that wishes I got a degree, because then that checkbox would be checked. But if that were the case then the voice at the back of my mind would probably be focusing on something else. I guess the lesson here is to have "markers" in the real world that matter specifically to us, and not focus on the pre-made markers that society says are acceptable and desirable.

Good luck with the pregnancy, you'll be fine :)

Aimée said...

Wow thanks for all the support in your comments. Its nice to know I am not the only one going through this and even better to get some ideas on how to feel better. I read Dave's post on his blog (http://social-anxiety-matters.blogspot.com/2007/07/social-anxiety-modifying-your.html) and it was awesome. It really gave me the motivation I needed.

Aimée said...

Also Jadeila and Dave, thanks for the links back!

mp said...

Congrats on the raise. The fact that you hold a leadership role in your organization shows that you have an inherent ability to command the respect of your peers. That in itself should be a source of confidence.

A successful marriage should also be a source of confidence! I've been married for 2 1/2 years, and although that's a short amount of time, I'm proud of the fact that I have a strong relationship with my wife. Not everyone can claim that.

I realize that this is just a bit of cheerleading, but sometimes you need to take things at face value. Celebrate your successes as they are!

T.J. and Krista said...

Gosh, I don't know about cheerleading, Aimee, I have always admired your strength, courage and straightforwardness, not to mention your brains and being one of the prettiest girls I have ever seen in real life. You have just about the sweetest spirit a girl could have.I'm only stating the facts, ma'am.
One thing that I think when I get like that is that the Lord is aware of my sufferings and will bless me as I continue to try to repent and show my faith. It's in Ether, the verse about how weak things will be made strong for us. Another thing that I really love is my gratitude journal. What I do is simply write down a few things every day that I am grateful for. Counting my blessings works wonders for my outlook. On bad autism days, I can be grateful for medical care, or that she can go to regular school. You know what I mean?
About being preggers- I would agree with the other poster that your fears sound very normal to me. It is stressful to be pregnant for anyone, and no one is ever ready. Keep channeling Carlisle, it is not the cards we are dealt, it is what we do with them that is important...

Aimée said...

Thanks Mike and kRista. You guys are awesome.

I am feeling much better lately. Nothing cheers me up more than splurging on some new clothes ;)

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