During my thirty-three years of living, doubt and I have become closer companions than I care to acknowledge. Never one to make a clear, executive, or precise decision, I have long been plagued by doubt and second guessing myself.
As a student I anxiously worried if my school work was good enough. Receiving an A instead of the hard sought after A+ would send me into a spiral of self-doubt, convincing myself I wasn’t smart enough and that if only I had made a different choice or worked harder, I would’ve received that illustrious A+. I never trusted my instincts and lived in a constant state of anxiety and self doubt.
This exhausting and destructive cycle followed me into adulthood. Standing behind the church doors with my dad at my side, ready to escort me down the aisle, I broke out into a full-fledged panic attack, hysterically crying, begging my dad to reassure me I was doing the right thing.
Becoming a new mom only heightened my anxieties and self-doubt tendencies. Despite the fact that I read and researched all I could about becoming a new parent, what to expect when bringing home a newborn, and attended both birthing and breast-feeding classes, I was convinced I wasn’t going to be able to do it. When my birth plan (that I had ever so planned to be a natural birth) suddenly changed and I found myself on a cold operating table having a cesarean section, I was convinced I had failed yet again. How could I not do something as natural as give birth? I tortured myself with these thoughts for months after my son was born, actually doubting whether or not I had “given birth” since I required surgery to deliver my son. Even after I saw what a loving, competent, and knowledgable mother I was, I still had my doubts.
Years later and faced with an obviously dysfunctional and failing marriage, I knew I had to leave. Every ounce of my being told me to take my son and get out as fast as I could. Still though, those doubts reared their ugly heads and paralyzed me with fear. What if I was making the wrong decision? What if I was overreacting to the problems in the marriage? Maybe he could change? Maybe it wasn’t him at all and it was me who needed to change, to be better? I wrestled with those doubts for an entire year of sleepless nights before I finally mustered all of the strength I had and filed for divorce. I never looked back.
As I’ve grown older I still struggle with anxiety and doubt. However, I am much better at assessing situations for what they are and making decisions, even if it means making the decision in the face of doubt.
Two years ago I made the decision to marry my best friend, the absolute love of my life, never doubting for a minute it was the best decision I’ve ever made!