I’ve had a hard week or two. Nothing super-awful — I gave a presentation for the first time in WAY too many years and to say I was a bit rusty is an understatement. I had such uncomfortable, panicky anxiety building up to it (and I pretty much panic-blacked-out during it)… and I think some residual anxiety stuck around even afterwards because I’ve been catastrophizing all week. I kept waking up from stress dreams and fighting off panic attacks for smaller events coming up.
I know therapy works because I was able to acknowledge my anxious feelings. I was brave enough to sit with the gut-punched sickness and explore the lies swelling my heart. I could even follow the feelings back to the first few times I ever felt similarly, to the heart of the anxiety and understand it in a way I never have.
That in itself is a huge, amazing thing I would not have been able to do at this time two years ago.
Usually, when I start to get really anxious, I ask myself what’s the worst that could happen? This is a really stupid question, because practically — logically — the WORST ending would be death, or getting fired, or something equally dramatic.
So another thing I realized is I’m not anxious about the worst happening — I’m anxious about the let downs. The discomfort of disappointing someone. Of being seen as a failure. Inside my anxiety, that scenario is worse than death or losing my job or getting salmonella poisoning (which was another small concern this week after a kitchen mishap that led to me ingesting a microscopic amount of raw chicken).
But this time, not only could I half-encourage myself with such mantras as “I’ll survive” or “it will be ok”, I realized I am prepared if the “worst” should happen and I disappoint someone. I have been through this feeling before — and I have let people down in the past. And even if worse came to “worst” and I received a public dressing-down, I know how to pretend I’m fine until I reach the safety of my car or my home or my husband’s arms.
My mental processing — and the anxiety that feeds off it — may not be completely healthy or “normal”, but I am growing. And I found such comfort in being able to see how far I’ve come.
That is a whole lot more background than I initially intended to give for this post; I meant to just say ‘hey, I’ve been a little stressed, here are some tunes that help me’…but that’s the way life goes. If you can relate at all — or anytime you need a little “I am awesome” pick-me-up — maybe you’ll find one of these helpful.
- I’m Me – Us The Duo (to remind me I’m pretty great just the way I am)
- Who You Are – Madilyn Bailey (best line: “It’s okay not to be okay.”)
- Out of Hell – Skillet (this is the best song to tequila-tipsy-jump-around to…or blast in the car and shout-sing out the anxious feelings)
- Still I Fly – Roadtrip Romance (most uplifting part: “gotta learn to grow, watch me as I touch the sky…”)
- Me Too – Meghan Trainor (between the sassy beat and the confidence-oozing lyrics, this song is a surefire ego-booster — I don’t care how overplayed it might be)
- *Control – Halsey (on the flip side, this one gets me angry at my fears and reminds me “I’m meaner than my demons”)
- Unsteady / So Alive – Haley Klinkhammer (This combines two great songs into one that resonates so powerfully with me)
- Bird Set Free – Sia (the whole chorus is so beautiful and another powerful thing to belt out)
- *You Don’t Own Me – Grace, G-Eazy (Another song that both pumps up the ego and gets me a little angry at the feelings trying to hold me down)
- *I’m Ready – Niykee Heaton (favorite part: “over trembling floors, I’m steady. But they’ve written my death already so many times, but this fire won’t die.”)
The whole playlist can be found on YouTube here, or if you’re *really* interested, you can follow my playlist I Am Enough on Spotify for approximately 90 songs of ego-boosting reminders that I am enough just as I am.
What’s you’re favorite pick-me-up song?