Doubt

I see you standing, lurking behind the tree
I feel your presence, hear the shallow breaths
whispers that are prickly on my arm and neck hair

I smell the over-ripe coat and hat as you approach
and I think, it doesn’t seem that long ago that I last saw you
Then I hear that familiar knock on my self-esteem’s door

I would like to say that self-doubt comes uninvited
but that would not  be honest
most definitely unwanted
but I believe unconsciously invited

I open the door, and with its hat in hand
I invite doubt in for a cup of tea
and listen as it tells me what it thinks of me

Outwardly, to others, it appears ” I’m fine”
Outwardly, I look strong and determined

I am strong and determined

But as self-doubt sips its tea
it slyly presses play; spinning old tapes
that drone familiar chants of, “You’re not good enough
not worthy, not well enough, not smart enough, give up”
the smell of fear and rejection hang in the air between us
I feel a sinister dark-dread
creep up my spine trying to blacken and shred my self-esteem

The grasp of my thinly held mantra
that my inner beauty, strength, and talent
far outweigh any deficits that I have
begins to fade as self-doubt asks to extend tea time
into a meal and a nice nap

I’ve heard enough, felt enough, spiraled enough
I can’t entertain it any longer, I’m done
I clear the tea, thank it for its visit and show self-doubt the door

As soon as it’s gone the air is clear, fresh
and I take control of internal thoughts about myself
and how I’m navigating the world around me

I give myself room to breathe, change, and grow
emerging once again from the shadows of the shame of  PTSD

As this bout of self-doubt fades onto a distant shore
I understand that I may again, hear this familiar knock on my door
and when I do, I’ll invite it in for a cup of tea
and listen with a loving, compassionate ear

These days the visits are shorter, and farther between
but I know that although unwanted, self-doubt does not come uninvited

Artwork: Janet Rosauer

Thank you for reading my books: If I Could Tell You How It Feels, and Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph      

 

Self-doubt; My Unwanted House-guest

A  familiar knock on my self-esteems door seems to happen when I’m making a big change, taking a risk, sharing my writing, speaking in front of groups, or I have accepted another layer of learning to live with the limitations of PTSD.

I would like to say that self-doubt comes uninvited to my self-esteems house during these transition times, that wouldn’t be honest. I don’t believe Mr. Doubt (as I call it) would come calling unless it was invited. It may be unwanted, but since it arrived with hat in hand, I ask it to come in for tea and tell me what it thinks of me.

Outwardly, to others, it appears I have no problems learning, growing, changing, taking risks, writing books, writing articles, speaking in front of groups about living with PTSD, and working very, very hard on living with the deficits that plague my mental health. Outwardly, I look strong, and determined.

I am strong and determined; But as self-doubt sips its tea and begins to play the old tapes and drones the familiar chants of, you’re not good enough, not worthy, not well enough, smart enough, you’re a poser, and lists all the reasons I shouldn’t try or that I should give up, fear and rejection hang in the air between us.

Somedays I listen, with respect, compassion, and a loving ear because I know self-doubt doesn’t  come uninvited. But, there are other days when I’m tired, or triggered and have a lot of symptoms, that I can feel the sinister dark-dread begin to blacken and shred the self-esteem I have worked so hard to foster. The grasp of my thinly held mantra, that my inner beauty, strength, talent, and goodness far outweigh any deficits I may have, begins to fade as self-doubt tries to extend tea time into a meal and a nap.

I’ve eventually heard enough, felt enough, and acknowledge that this is a pattern. Self-doubt comes when I’m on a precipice and I can choose to entertain it longer or thank it for the visit, tell it we’re done and show it the door.

As soon as it’s gone, it’s easier to take control of my internal thoughts about myself and how I’m navigating the world around me. I give myself room to breathe, change, grow, share my experiences with others, emerge from the shadows of shame of living with PTSD. It’s not comfortable a lot of the time, but that isn’t because I’m the terrible (fill in the old-tapes) person. It is simply because that is where I am at this time in my life.

As this bout of self-doubt fades onto a distant shore, I understand that I may hear this familiar knock on my door again, and if I do I’ll invite it in for a cup of tea and listen with a loving compassionate ear. For, I know, self-doubt does not come uninvited.

shadow

©Alexis Rose, image: pexels

Thank you for reading my memoir, Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph

http://www.amazon.com/Untangled-story-resilience-courage-triumph/dp/1514213222

https://www.amazon.com/Untangled-story-resilience-courage-triumph-ebook/dp/B013XA4856

Self-doubt, is that you knocking? Come in for tea!

A rare, but familiar knock on my self-esteems door.

Come in for tea, Self-doubt and tell me what you think of me.

Self-doubt sips it’s tea and begins to play the old tapes, the drone of familiar chants.

You’re not good enough, not worthy, not well enough, smart enough, you’re a poser.

The fear and rejection hangs in the air between us as it tells me all the reasons

I shouldn’t try or that I should give up.

I listen, with respect, compassion, and a loving ear because I know

Self-doubt wouldn’t come uninvited.

When I’ve heard enough, I thank Self-doubt for the visit and say we’re done with tea.

I show it out the door, shake it off, take a deep breath and

reset my sails into the wind, as Self-doubt fades onto a distant shore.

I may hear this rare, but familiar knock on my door again, and if I do

I’ll invite it in for a cup of tea and listen with a loving compassionate ear.

shadow

©Alexis Rose, image: pexels

 

Thank you for reading my memoir, Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph

http://www.amazon.com/Untangled-story-resilience-courage-triumph/dp/1514213222

https://www.amazon.com/Untangled-story-resilience-courage-triumph-ebook/dp/B013XA4856