The Reminders Anyone Struggling with Depression, Anxiety or Self Doubt Need to Read
This blog is different from many of my other posts.
I do not want to fix you.
I do not want to help you grow.
I do not want to change your perspective.
I do not want to develop your new habits.
We can get there tomorrow, maybe.
But today, I only want you to know three things:
You are not alone. You are loved. You are enough.
That is all. And though this message may seem banal, or simple, it is honestly the most powerful medicine I or any doctor could ever give you.
If you’ve been beating yourself up all day, every day. If you’re exhausted from constantly trying to overcome depression or anxiety and don’t know where you’ll find the strength to keep fighting. If you hate yourself. If the negative thoughts just won’t stop. If you can’t find the motivation to get out of bed.
Know this: You are not alone. You are loved. You are enough.
I know you don’t believe me, but it’s true.
Reminder #1: You are not alone
Nearly every time I meet a new client, they say something along these lines:
“I don’t know why I keep doing this!! It’s so frustrating.”
“What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I just do this small, basic thing?”
“This is so messed up, I can’t even talk about it.”
As they begin to trust me, though, they start to open up, and reveal the “terrible thing” they’ve been hiding about themselves. And I see the whole picture of who they are:
- A loving husband who is secretly addicted to porn
- A badass female CEO who has panic attacks every time she gets on a plane or train
- A new mother who secretly wishes she didn’t have children
- A devoted therapist who is addicted to alcohol
- A famous actress who hates her job and never wanted to be an actress in the first place
- A well-known hedge fund manager who is secretly attracted to children
- A SoulCycle instructor who is secretly a binge eater
- A former professional athlete who hasn’t exercised in 5 years
The list goes on and on…and on…and on.
Oh, you thought you were the only one?…Who has things about yourself you didn’t like?…Who is ashamed of parts of who you are?…Who has a terrible habit you just can’t shake? Who has battled mental health problems or sadness or lack of motivation for what feels like years?
No, my love. You are not the exception. In fact, you are the rule. Despite whatever you see on Instagram. Despite whatever your parents might have told you. You, like me, like everyone else, are a fallible human. You make mistakes. Succumb to fear. Get into bad habits. Overreact. Just as we all do.
So again, I remind you, you are not alone in your suffering. You are not alone in your flaws. And you are not alone in this vulnerable, human experience.
Reminder #2: You are loved
So now, whether you’re struggling with depression or anxiety or just feeling blah, you know you’re not alone.
But perhaps you still feel unworthy? Less than? Guilty? Ashamed?
So many people walk through the world like ghosts. They are so overcome with remorse and self-disgust that their whole life revolves around the things they are ashamed of.
And because they don’t love themselves, they cannot feel loved by others, either.
But here’s the thing about love – real love. It’s unconditional.
It understands that you are trying. That you’re doing the best with what you have right now. That you are fallible.
Whenever I need a reminder of what real love looks like, I turn my eyes to the skies.
The sun shines down on me every day, no matter how I show up in the world, how well I do at my job, or how eloquently I handle criticism. It doesn’t matter to the sun. The sun continues to hold me in its glow, giving me sustenance and joy. It doesn’t judge; it just holds me. Always welcoming me back to the light. Inspiring me to be better and brighter without any pressure.
And, in this way of real love and light, I love you.
All of you.
We may have never met, but please feel my love through these words.
And know that I’m not the only one who loves you like this. I bet there are many other people who really love you too, though they may love imperfectly (just like you and I).
And there are so many more people waiting to love you.
In fact, you have thousands of soul mates just waiting for you to let them in. To let them see how you’re struggling. Let them help you overcome depression or learn how to build confidence. Let them love you exactly as you are and exactly as who you’re striving to be.
So remember you are loved, already. Love yourself. And open yourself up to even more love.
Reminder #3: You are enough
I already know what you’re going to say. Something like, “But, Caitlin, I don’t deserve your love, or anyone’s. I suck! I’m the worst!”
I know because I hear these words constantly from clients, friends, family and even myself (a life and confidence coach!) sometimes. And you know what I say in response?
“No. You are enough. Right now.”
You didn’t have to take a citizenship test to enter this earth.
No mother ever said, “I will only have a baby if they are going to become president of the United States, own a million-dollar company by age 27, or win a bikini contest with their world-class abs.”
You were enough from the moment you were born. In fact, you were a miracle, beating the odds that your parents would never meet, that your ancestors wouldn’t survive, that your genes wouldn’t come together correctly, etc, etc, etc. And now, you’ve become so much more than a lucky miracle. Look at all you’ve achieved. How you’ve grown. What you’ve gotten through.
How could you not be enough?
Sure, you can want to grow. To become kinder. Smarter. A better friend, partner, or colleague. That’s fine, as long that goal or growth doesn’t come from a desperation to fill some sense of insufficiency within.
But there are no rules or conditions for how you choose to be on this planet every day.
You’re already enough. Because you are already a miracle.
“But,” I know you’re thinking, “if I accept that I am enough, if I stop beating myself up, then I’ll never grow!”
This is such a common lie we tell ourselves.
The truth is, when you stop beating yourself up, you get so much energy back. Energy that can be applied to whatever you want – including new habits, behaviors, etc.
But only if you truly want to make these changes.
Because you are already enough.
You don’t have to be “good enough” to do laundry.
You don’t have to be “good enough” to check your email.
So why would you have to be “good enough” to engage in the most basic and innate human action: receiving and giving love?
How These Reminders Can Change Your Life for the Better
Depression is hard. Anxiety is hard. Sadness is hard. Heck, just waking up on a blah day when you’re bloated from late-night Chinese food and stressed about an important work meeting and anxious about your upcoming dinner date is hard.
But you can remember a few things that will make these hardships easier. You can remember that you are not alone. That you are loved. That you are enough.
And if you need help remembering or believing those things…that’s why I’m here. I’ve had my own share of dark days, and I use that experience to shape how I help others find their own journeys to health and happiness. So if you need extra support learning how to overcome sadness and depression, how to build confidence, or how to overcome lack of motivation, read more about my breakthrough sessions here. I’ll work with you one-on-one to identify WHY you’re having these dark days in the first place and to create personalized treatments that will help you conquer whatever fears or obstacles are holding you back. Click here to learn more.
The Poem Anyone Struggling with Depression, Anxiety or Low Feelings Should Read
To end this post, I thought nothing would be more fitting than this beautiful poem from Linda Reuther. This is my message straight to your heart. Hold it there. Heck, even print out the poem (and/or this post) and hang it on your fridge or vanity if it speaks to you. Read it, feel it – and actually believe these words:
Come and give me all that you are.
I am not afraid of your strength and darkness,
of your fear and pain.
Give me your tears.
They will be my rushing rivers and roaring oceans.
Give me your rage.
It will erupt into my molten volcanoes and rolling thunder.
Give me your tired spirit.
I will lay it to rest in my soft meadows.
Give me your hopes and dreams.
I will plant a field of sunflowers and arch rainbows in the sky.
You are not too much for me.
My arms and heart welcome your true fullness.
There is room in my world for all of you,
all that you are.
I will cradle you in the boughs of my ancient redwoods
and the valleys of my gentle rolling hills.
My soft winds will sing you lullabies
and soothe your burdened heart.
Release your deep pain.
You are not alone and you have never been alone.
~ Linda Reuther
Which of these reminders do you need to tell yourself more often? Tell me in the comments!