I used to talk down to myself, regularly. Often. Way too often. That’s one thing I learned in 2020 to stop doing.
There’s a song by Stray Kids called ‘Voices’ and a verse in it that says: “Step out of them voices” and when I heard that, it made me realize how far I’ve come – just by stepping out of the voices in my head. I wanted to share this with you in case you are going through or have been through something similar.
I would tell myself: ‘you aren’t really good at anything’ ‘You’re too tall’ ‘nobody really likes you’ ‘everyone is fake, they are all putting on a show’ ‘you aren’t really loved’ ‘no guy will ever like you’ ‘you’re not beautiful, your plain’ ‘you’re strange’ ‘that guy you like, he deserves someone much better than you’ ‘you are a really boring person’ ‘you’re too quite’ ‘what a dumb, stupid decision that was’ ‘everyone is better off without you’ ‘if you died, you wouldn’t be missed’ and many more awful, negative, self-harming things.
For over a year the evil voice nagged at me, telling me all those hurtful things and making me think they were true. That all good things in the world and people around me were fake. They would destroy the happiness I had right after I received it, or soon after when I thought of it next. There were times that I was truly happy, but later I convinced myself that it was fake. That everyone was wearing a mask, and when I heard harsh words coming from someones mouth, that that was the real them. I believed that. I hated it. I knew that there was something in me that wasn’t quite right, but I couldn’t get away from what it was for quite a while.
I did research on it and found out that I had anxiety and possibly depression – though I refused to go to the doctors to find out if that was true. I was too embarrassed. Plus, I didn’t have enough money to pay for it and I didn’t want anyone else to.
Eventually I decided that I had had enough of it. I wanted to go back to who I was before. The sweet, kind, helpful person. The good listener. Someone calm and determined. A hard worker. I was told that I wasn’t like that anymore – that I changed since I got back from China. I had, I knew that. And I had convinced myself two things: one, that I won’t be pushed around anymore or walked on and two, that I wasn’t who I was before China.
I was there for six months. The first three months were awful. The last three were okay. I was so lonely. I stayed with my Aunt and Uncle and was a Nanny for their two little daughters, and had a Chinese housekeeper/cook that helped me a lot. I was homesick and had cultural shock. I turned 20 over there and went way out of my comfort zone on many occasions. I learned some Chinese, made an Indonesian friend and shopped at the street vendors. I definitely had some good times there, it wasn’t all bad. However, I did change.
I’ve had a crazy past couple of years. Lots of things ‘didn’t go my way’, but several things did. I made more friends in 2018-20. And I love them all so much! They still have no idea how big of a positive impact they have made on me. I had found out that one of them would read his Bible every day including on his lunch break at work. So I started doing that. I took some of the things I learned about my friends and implemented them in my own life. I decided that it was time to start thinking more positive, healthy thoughts and kick out the negative ones. Even if I still did stupid things or didn’t get everything done that I wanted to do.
However, I had social anxiety, even though I loved being around people. And certain keywords or raised voices would make my chest ache and I would have what I call a ‘double heart-beat’ several times in a day sometimes. It was scary and I hated it. I finally went to the doctors and they said it was probably just because of stress. I wanted to move out and be a ‘real adult’, but I wasn’t making enough money to do so. I created the stress and anxiety for myself, though some of it did have to do with my experiences and surroundings. I live in a large family of eleven. I’m the oldest. Six of the kids were adopted, five at once. We are/were all homeschooled. We live on a hobby farm. Life isn’t always easy. I thought mine was harder than most. Now I know that it’s not. And even if it was, I can make the most out of my circumstances instead of giving in to despair.
Starting in January of 2020 and a couple times throughout the year I had this awful feeling that I was going to die by the end of the year. The feeling freaked me out. I had so many things I wanted to do before I died! I wanted to die without regrets, with everyone knowing just how much I loved them! So, to be honest, that was a big part in my motivation to become mentally healthy. I wanted to become the best version of myself before I died so that I would leave only good behind. I wanted to live each day as if it were my last – being around the people I love and helping others see the Light.
Later on in the year I found out that me feeling that way was a common thing to feel for someone with anxiety. Which is another reason I decided to read the Bible more and force myself to think happier, positive thoughts. Cuz I hated that feeling. I hated all the negative feelings I had, and I wanted to be better. I knew God is all powerful, so I trusted Him to help give me the strength to heal. And He has helped me so much!
Towards the end of 2020, I realized that I rarely had negative thoughts. That I was encouraging myself, and listening to the encouragement of others. That I accept more complements than I turned down. That I could laugh more freely.
Sure, my plans have not gone the way I thought they would go – at all, but I know and can trust that God is in control.
It’s 2021, and I’m still here, and for that I am grateful. I would like to continue living each day as if it was the last day – either for me or someone around me, but not because I’m scared. Instead, because I want to make a positive impact every day of my life to everyone around me. Whether that be my family or my friends, my coworkers or a stranger I pass by. I want them to know Who saved me.
I hope this post encourages you and you find the courage to think better, healthier thoughts, and to step out of the negative voices in your head. God is Good and He’s in control!
Bye for now, have a wonderful day!