Strength is not only physical but emotional
I have had social anxiety all my life but never really knew it until much later in life. In school, I was always the quiet shy one who liked everyone. If I was ever picked on, it wasn’t to my face. Or maybe I just ignored it. I have no school horror stories like many do now, but I didn’t fit in. I never fit into a “click” because I didn’t believe in it. I still don’t. I like everyone until you prove me otherwise.
Later in life I got more anxious about how I looked, how I acted, who I was professionally. Was I good daughter, friend, wife, mother, employee? I know we all ask ourselves that. I never felt good enough. Unfortunately a lot of that was because I was actually told that. Once you hear things over and over you begin to believe in them. You don’t really understand toxic people and relationships because you always want to see the best in people.
It took me a long time to be able to recognize a toxic person, employer or situation and a lot of mental strength to say enough was enough and I deserved better.
Strength is not only physical but emotional. I felt I was weak allowing myself to stay in a job, a relationship or a friendship because I felt that I had to keep showing up anyway. I felt if I just cared enough I could help someone else be better, do better. I wasn’t weak. I cared TOO much. There is such a thing as caring for people too much that it actually winds up hurting you more. And you don’t realize how your own children are paying attention, and they in turn have the same anxiety, or a different level of anxiety all their own. Cue guilt.
We are our own worst critics and through allowing myself to take care of myself just as much as I take care of everyone else, I believed in myself more. I VALUED myself more and the opinions of others didn’t matter. I allowed less toxicity in my life and became more aware of my own health, inside and out. I’m not going to lie, it isn’t easy and it still hurts having to release people from your life. But when you become aware of how much happier you are, how much less anxiety you have, you know in the long run it was the right decision. You become determined not only to value yourself, but to show your children how much strength they have as well.
Taking care of yourself emotionally and physically is not selfish, it’s necessary. Once you feel better physically your emotional health becomes even stronger. Life isn’t perfect, but it is wonderful…and so are you!
The journey is the destination – just keep moving forward!