The Lies My Anxiety Tells Me at Night

“I’m a failure. No one will love me. I can’t do anything right. I talk too much. I come across too strong at times. I’m losing it. I’m a screw-up. People are just being my friend out of pity. I’m the person everyone wishes they could ditch. I can’t even get a basic job. I fail at everything. I shouldn’t have said that, now they will hate me. I’m broken. I should just run away and never return.”

These are the lies my anxiety feeds me late at night when I am struggling. I’m my own worst enemy and regardless of what I do, I can never escape the thoughts. I never believe people when they give me compliments and wonder if they are really seeing me right. My anxiety takes the basic thoughts in my mind and times them by a hundred, yet I can’t stop believing them. I can see the best in people but I can’t see the best in myself no matter how hard I try.

I don’t have any confidence in myself and that’s clear in new situations. I second-guess myself so many times and will question every little thing. At school, I was the kid who was always bullied and the names I was called have managed to stick and come with me into adulthood. When you get told the same thing over and over again, you start to believe it; it can be hard to shake the things you were once labeled with.

The thoughts are always worse after a negative situation. If I don’t get a job I interviewed for, I had a fight with someone or I’m just having a bad day, the thoughts pop up in my head and nothing will silence them. They play in mind on an endless loop and there’s no off switch. I just let them play, slowly believing everything more and more.

My anxiety and dyspraxia make it hard to forget things both good and bad. I can remember something small and specific from years ago, which no one else can. It means bad memories can pop up at random times and can still hurt like the day it happened. I try to shake away the bad memories and instead focus on the good, but it’s still hard at times when I am having a bad day.

At what seems like every appointment, my psych tells me: “You are so strong and have gone through so much; you’re not a failure and need to give yourself more credit for your achievements.” However, my anxiety doesn’t let me believe it for long. Instead, I see myself as a failure for needing to take medication to function and only being able to work part time.

I have recently decided to take a stand and stop believing the things my anxiety tells me. It’s a long road and it’s hard retraining my thought patterns, but I am getting there.

Instead, when I start thinking of negative things, I tell myself something positive. Instead of “I’m a failure and a screw-up,” it’s “I have achieved so much, despite my struggles.” Instead of “I can’t get a basic job,” it’s “I am doing my best to find a job but it’s just taking time. I will get a job.” And instead of “people are just being my friend out of pity,” I list all the great qualities my friends have told me and remind myself of the fact they are my friends because they want to be.

It’s time to stand up for myself and stop believing the things my anxiety tells me, because I am so much more than my anxiety.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo via KatarzynaBialasiewicz

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Anxiety

two women's feet facing one another

Thank You to Those Who Have Helped Me Through My Anxiety

I know I’ve told you these simple words many times before, but I would like to say them again: Thank you. In any situation, these are nice words to say and hear. But I wanted to try and explain just how much they mean when I say them. Unfortunately, not a lot of people seem [...]
Woman covering face with hands, looking down

What Not to Say When I'm Having a Panic Attack (and What to Say Instead)

When you have anxiety, there may be several moments in your life where you will have very unpleasant panic attacks. In fact, even people without anxiety could have a panic attack at some point. Physically, it might start as a heaviness in your chest while your stomach tightens. Your heart rate increases and your insides might [...]
Watercolor image of a beautiful woman

Anxiety Makes Me Settle for Less Than I Deserve

This piece was written by Holly Riordan, a Thought Catalog contributor. My anxiety stops me from going after what I want. It convinces me to always stay in my own lane. To hope other people will magically know what I need and give it to me, because I’m too afraid to open my mouth and ask. It doesn’t matter [...]
Woman sitting on sofa, reading book

I Let My Anxiety Disappear Between the Pages of Books

I love books. Science fiction, fantasy, realistic fiction and pretty much everything in between. My favorite part about reading is being able to escape the world and hopefully learn something along the way. Whether it’s how to vanquish a dark lord or how to fall in love when you wake up as a different person [...]