I experienced a brief period of intense anxiety and self doubt a few weeks ago. Feelings I often attribute to the seasonal depression I get in the winter, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD),which I talked about in a previous post. I’ve been doing a lot better than usual with this season, aside from the brief dark moment I wanted to talk a bit about here.
What sparked this anxiety was a mixture of not being sober and an acute jealousy of someone’s talents. There’s this girl I just met with an incredible singing voice that she likes to flaunt. But the praise she gets from those around her makes me uncomfortable for some reason. I suddenly feel inferior when I’m around her, and almost like I don’t have any talents of my own, just because she could sing better than I could.
I think part of this stems from my newly-inherited stage fright with singing. I have performed on stages before, and even did a solo act as Mary in the Christmas play at church way back in my childhood. But that was before, when I still had a lot of confidence in my voice’s abilities. Add many years of very little singing, and that confidence is mostly gone. These days I only let my voice be heard when I belt it out alone in my car with the radio turned all the way up.
It’s hard to let people hear me sing, because I just get too nervous to sing loudly. I still want people to know I have a good voice, because it’s something I used to be proud of when I was younger. I think I still hold onto that vanity, even though no one’s ever going to know I can sing because I don’t let them hear me.
I also never learned to really play any musical instruments growing up. I played the trumpet for a while but didn’t really get into it. I’ve had a ukulele for a few years now that I practice only when no one else is around. I just don’t want them to hear how bad I am because of this dumb ego thing where I don’t want to be seen doing something poorly. So now I have this unrealistic goal of being recognized for playing an instrument as well as singing. Then I see this girl who can play guitar as well as sing amazingly, and it’s no wonder I get a little jealous of her ease with performing and getting attention.
I also felt jealous of the attention she got from my boyfriend. I know how stupid this part sounds, but it had a huge impact on me. I would see him compliment her, because she’s actually great, and it would sting. I wanted all of his attention for myself, especially in terms of being recognized for musical talent, because he’s super musically inclined as well. It just created this feeling that I was lacking something that I felt I needed to give to him, and he could easily find it in her.
I’ve struggled with feeling inferior in the past, and even wrote about it on my old blog that I don’t use anymore. I dug up a few pieces from that post, because I’m proud of how well I worded my feelings then, around two years ago. It’s also helping me to realize that I really do struggle with jealousy and feeling inferior to other people. As well as having a hard time with attention from others, even positive attention. I’m going to need to work on that in the future and become comfortable with people looking at me. I can’t become invisible, as much as I’d like to sometimes.
My old post about jealousy:
Kill the green-eyed monster.
Don’t feed it, no matter how hungry it becomes. No matter how urgent its cravings. It may whisper its desires in your ears and promise to share its satisfaction, but it is a greedy beast. Though you know how absolutely ravishing it would be to satisfy its needs, don’t. It won’t benefit you in any way to do dealings with this demon. You know without a doubt how gratifying it would be, like scratching at a healing wound. Just don’t.
Prevent its destruction from being released upon the world and those it seeks to harm. Just dispose of the poison in your mind before it consumes you, tinting your skin green. Eradicate the parasite on your mind before it finds enough sustenance and becomes harder and harder to remove, leaving your mind in waste as it eats its way through you and consumes all the good. This impostor is a liar, and will take what it wants and keep all. It’s greedy and selfish and knows how to antagonize you for attention. It feeds on your attentions. Ignore it and let it starve and move out to find another, weaker-willed host.
Jealousy is this creature, and it is dangerously insidious.
It has many weapons of mind-destruction at its disposal. It’s the flip side of the coin of love and selflessness and self-confidence. Love believes the best of other people. It trusts when the jealous mind would otherwise accuse of wrong. It doesn’t demand to be put first in every situation, in every relationship. Unlike the plague of jealousy.
This green monster is a master of the shadows and would prefer to keep things quiet and plot in the darkness of your mind. Expose it. Just expose all your thoughts and cleanse them before they stink up all your relationships. Talk through everything that bothers you, rather than let the venom consume you. It will work. If you feel inadequate in a certain situation or like you have no confidence, then just be honest about it. Not taking about it wont get you anywhere and will just leave you feeling more isolated.
What do you really feel when you get the attention you were seeking when you do something out of jealously, out of insecurity? Those satisfactions are shallow and dry up quickly. They have no real justification when questioned, just that you’re acting on your self-centeredness, and are being a jealous bitch. Stop it. Just say “No, I’m going to rise above this.” Shut up the fears that you aren’t as smart or beautiful or interesting as someone else. You, yourself, are amazing in your own way and you don’t need to lash out and do wild things for attention like dying your hair dark pink or cutting it all off…
Comparisons are really useless anyway. Why do we attempt to gain worth and completion in life by copying or sizing up to someone else? You’re you. And if you’re not being that, then you aren’t being amazing. And at the same time, you can’t control what others think of you. Your job is to present your core as truly and unfiltered as possible. Then the ones that are drawn to the elements of your essence will want to hang around and be invited inside, deeper into your self.
It’s a great fantasy to be desired by another. To be sought after. To draw in others just by being who you are. But I need to disconnect from caring about how other people would categorize me, and become who I really want to be. Sometimes just enjoying being alive draws others in. And when you get to that point of contentedness, it doesn’t matter anymore. Let them come. Let them go.
Now, at this point in my consciousness stream, I look back to where I began, and see that I’ve completely deserted my former feelings of inadequacy and regret that began this discussion. Now that’s hopeful. I have more important things to think about than trying to be as interesting or as whatever as someone else. May none of my motives be fueled by insecurity or jealously and lust for attention in the future. Here’s to self-love and self-improvement, and just finding and following what it is in this world that sings sweetly to me, much louder than my insecurities.
Damn I used to be such a better writer…
Just as I overcame this mind parasite before, I can do it again. I don’t need to have the same talents or looks as anyone else, because I am me.