Holidays are draining for me in many ways. Eating in front of people causes panic to well up inside of me. The social aspect of being surrounded by others frightens me. Plus the pressure to be happy and normal takes away all of my energy. Aspergers, anxiety, depression, an eating disorder, and PTSD all make these festive days hard to manage.
Yet, I realized yesterday that one of my strongly held beliefs makes social situations like holiday celebrations nearly unbearable: my belief that everyone hates me. Sounds silly, right? Without any proof of disapproval, I assume that others dislike me immensely and are disappointed in me.
It is so easy to live like everyone dislikes you. That way you can assume the worst until someone proves you wrong. When they compliment you or express their love, then you finally know that they like you. A rush of joy fills you as, for a few seconds, you feel worthy of love. Secure in your relationship, you can let down some of your walls and release your fears. That is, you can do so until the doubts begin to creep in once again.
Unfortunately, this cycle never ends. No matter how much people affirm or love me, I return to doubting their feelings toward me. Always guessing about the thoughts of others tires me. In the end, this makes me more exhausted and fearful of everyone around me.
Thus, I have resolved to try to address this problem. As frightening as letting go is, this perception needs to change if I want to live a healthy, normal life. Today I make this pledge to you; instead of living as if every one hates me, I will begin learning to trust and be confident about who I am apart from others.
This song always inspires me. In my transition and change in thoughts, it has brought me much courage and inspiration.