This week has been mentally exhausting. You could argue that the month of November was pretty exhausting, or that 2020 as a whole has tired you out mentally; both would be true. But what has made this week such a mental workout for me is that I’ve bounced back and forth between joy and sadness, hope and fear, optimism and pessimism. Very good things have happened this week (hopefully I can share more next week!), and the result could be more positive change in my life. But the reason that I’ve been bouncing back and forth between positive and negative feelings this week doesn’t mean I’m not excited at these opportunities – in reality, I’m extremely excited. But adjusting to new things, even positive ones, means I’m taking on an opponent I know all too well – those feelings of worthlessness that can have a huge impact on our mental health.
I’ve written about my journey with feeling worthless before, and to be honest I don’t know if it’s a particularly unique point of view. Self-worth is something plenty of people struggle with, regardless of your specific mental health situation, and it’s an area where people can find common ground. Reminding ourselves (and each other) that we matter is one of the most important things we can do because it keeps us grounded and tied to what’s going on around us. Forgetting our own worth, or refusing to acknowledge it, can make life very difficult.
Despite the years of work I’ve put in on my mental health, that lack of self-worth is still present. It pops into my head from time to time to make an appearance – especially when something positive happens. I wouldn’t say I have an inability to enjoy success, but there was a time when I felt like I did. I felt like I couldn’t even enjoy doing something well for more than a moment. After that, anxiety, fear or doubt would kick in and take over my brain, flooding my mind with feelings of worthlessness or lies about my inability to succeed in anything.
Like many other areas of mental wellness, I don’t think I’m alone in having that seed of doubt in my brain. We all struggle with that little voice in our head that works against us, that tells us we can’t make it. But for some of us, that voice is a whole lot louder than others. Either way, we try to push past that feeling. We try to push past thinking that we don’t amount to anything, that the things we do don’t matter. It isn’t easy.
And sometimes we fail at this. Sometimes we put ourselves down, even when the world is trying to lift us up. It’s difficult and complicated, but fighting like hell to push past that feeling of worthlessness to feel joy, to feel good, is incredible. It’s something worth working toward. Because we all deserve to have good things happen to us in life, and we deserve to enjoy our success – even if we have to work a little harder to do that.