I have very few people in my every day life that I feel I can talk to about the things I try. As my anxiety tends to keep me locked up in my house most days the only place I go is work and even though I usually love my work colleagues they tend to be very judgemental.
Any time I have tried to diet in the past they are scrutinising everything I eat and shaking their heads or rolling their eyes when it’s not an apple but at that time I was quite thin and had lost just over 2 stone. When I first started doing NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) back in 2016 they laughed and made jokes one of them saying something along the lines of “the day you become an author I’ll go out and buy a hat especially to eat it!” but I managed to finish the first draft of two novels. When I told them we were taking Roxy in after my Nana passed away they told me they didn’t think I’d be able to handle a dog and said they gave it 2 weeks before she ended up in a rescue home – this one especially upset me – here we are a year and a bit later and Roxy is well groomed, well fed, gets a walk at least once a day and has lost the weight the vet said could’ve sent her to an early(ish) grave.
I know you shouldn’t really just assume that the people you work with will be supportive but as this is all I have ever been with them it makes me wonder why they not only under estimate me but put me down almost constantly. I have spent 38 hours a week with them for most weeks these past 6 years and what I noticed lately is that in the past year or so. I have stopped talking about the things I am trying.
I don’t mind keeping things quiet from them, I can still talk to family and my closest friends and if I need another outlet I have this little patch of the world to do it but I do think it’s affected me and the amount of gusto I put into new ventures. These women come to me when they have success or failure in their personal lives yet their actions/reactions have made me feel so distanced that I refuse to do the same.
Before I would bring my laptop to work so I could write towards a novel on my lunch breaks, I would journal about my recovery at break times or I’d ask them their advice about ways to make certain meals healthier. Now I hide everything as if I am ashamed of what I am trying to do with my life. Trying to keep up the facade that I’m not trying is more exhausting than just trying.
My confidence and self esteem feels like it is on the floor, I find I’ve even started assuming I’ll fail now before I’ve even started too. It’s not all them I hear when I set a new venture into motion anxiety is another little voice blending in but I do often wonder how much more effort I would put in without feeling like people expect me to only ever fail.
Since March I have been trying to work on how I receive judgements but I feel like I’m not making much progress – any tips welcome! I think most people will be able to relate but I’ve always found it easier to think the people who don’t believe in me are right. I want to stop holding back and to celebrate each win I get unreservedly. I know it’s only natural to want some level of acceptance and approval from people we are around a lot but what I need to start doing is trusting my own judgement more and believing in myself.
This mental health Monday post has been somewhat of a ramble but I just wanted to get it off my chest and the rambling has actually helped me sort some of my thoughts out in my mind.