The fear of not being good enough…


I don’t know where it comes from, but it comes quietlty, slipping in through the cracks like an insidious, pervasive mist, thin tendrils at first, barely discernible against the background clutter of the mind, gradually thickening, becoming more dense as the seconds tick by, as minute by minute the feelings of inadequacy deeper and spread, starting in one point of the thought process, but seeping moment by moment through every thought, every decision remembered until the questioning, the self doubt becomes everything, the only thing. And it hurts, physically, the thoughts and doubts and fears cause physical discomfort, the knot in the stomach, the tightness in the chest making each breath laboured, the rising tide of panic increasing my pulse and blood pressure. I feel my heart race as my mind is racing and I know that there is nothing I can do to prevent it, to soften the impact, to lesson the severity. All I can do is try to maintain my grip, hoping that my fingers are strong enough to cling to the precipice, knowing that if I fall there is no coming back, no salvation, no second chance. It is all or nothing, and that knowledge increases the pressure further yet, pushing my mind to punish itself as each decision is analysed, then over-analysied for meaning, for substance, for some sense of why my body is reacting in this way.

I know that sleep will elude me, that the precious rest so hard fought for will not come, that tomorrow will be much the same as today, but these thoughts don’t calm me, don”t comfort me. They serve to further compound my distress as the digits on the bedside clock show me just how badly I am dealing with life in generally and University life in articular. I question eveything, it’s in my nature to do so but in that questioning, in the deep analysis, do I risk isolating
mysef still  further, confusing myself. I know that I am not thinking rationally but what can I do about it? The idea that I might finally be happy with some aspect of my life seems anathema to me as my mind spirals in every tighter circles. I try, but once the black dog has settled down over me there is little I can do but wait it out and hope that it passes quickly…

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