Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The Beast of Not-Enough

I am slowly realizing that the root of my anxiety is a deep, deep feeling not being enough. Not a good enough person, nurse, wife, mother, woman...the list goes on and on. 

I don't remember a time that I did feel as though I was enough- worthy, deserving, valuable- not even in childhood. There is a pervasive fear within me that I will fail over and over again and the world around me will have proof of unworthiness. Or, that the world around me will come crashing down upon me to punish me for my not-enoughness. It is a constant and unreasonable fear that lies as deep as the DNA at the core of who I am. 

The world knows who it expects me to be- a perfectly dressed and coifed mother that is successful in her career, volunteers actively in her community, busy rearing children that are perfect carbon-copies of my own perfection all while living in a perfectly clean and decorated home with fresh, whole foods at the ready.  I'm not sure if any other women have ever managed this feat(my worried mind can think of more than a few that from appearances alone surely seem to be managing it) but I fail at this day after day. And, yet- it isn't the failure of the world's ideal of a mother, of a woman that is the core of my feeling of unworthiness- for even on days when I manage to have it all together, still this feeling of not enough persists, ugly and screaming underneath my carefully shellacked and ever smiling exterior. 

I fear that the not enough gene is woven within my cells in a way that it can never be untangled. It lies in wait for any bit of weakness so that it can come bursting through to haunt me. 

I've come so far with my anxiety and even my feelings of worthiness. However, I am realizing just how persistent this icky core belief is. I cannot tell you the root of it- I simply don't ever remember a time that I felt truly worthy of good things. As I age, I am realizing that this belief seems to be common among other women(and I imagine men, too). I think that many of my large life decisions have been made as the Beast of Not-Enough fervently whispered in my ear. It likely played a large part in my decision to become a nurse- I thought that if I helped enough people, I would become worthy. Worthy of what? I would go as far to say that there have been times in my life that I wondered if I was worthy of life, itself. 

I have sacrificed of myself in order to build others up as they seemed ever so much more worthy than I but this sacrifice did not lend itself to my own healing. 

I wonder if it is time to try something new. If it is time to expend my own energy to find my own sense of worth, far outside of the expectations of society. If it is time to find forgiveness inside of myself for my own imperfections and show my children how strong and happy their Mama can be. 

I am ready. Ready to conquer and destroy the Beast of Not-Enough. 


  1. It's as if I spoke these words myself. Thank you, from one anxious nurse to another.

    1. Thank you for reading, Samantha. I'm sorry that this is your truth, too.