Thursday, March 19, 2009

Bowel shaking earthquakes of doubt and remorse

Do you ever doubt?

I do.

Some days, without any warning, I start to doubt my ability in some aspect of my life. Because I have gobs of time to myself and plenty of time to think, I start overthinking it. Before I know, I've started doubting everything about myself.

Today is one of those days. Overthinking a conversation from a couple of days ago, I started doubting my ability to ever find a mate. Then I started doubting my ability to keep real friends or even be a real friend. Thinking about my future, I started doubting my librarian skills, and my academic skills. I feel like I know nothing about anything and, should I leave my current position, who in the world would ever hire me, marry me, or be my friend? I doubt my ability to focus, to keep a clean house, to ever get on top of to do list, to even finish the paper that's due tomorrow. Inexplicably, I have no confidence in regards to anything.

I know I'm wrong. I absolutely know that I'm just making this up, that I am, in fact, amazing and that I'm just a lot stressed and a little bit lonely.

This post isn't a cry for help. I'm not hoping to be flooded with comments saying "You're awesome!! Don't worry!" Of course, those are welcome, but what I really need to do is focus. Focus on one problem at a time. At work, I need to focus on cataloging. When I'm driving, I should focus on driving. At dance, I need to focus on perfecting the movements. Once I get home tonight, I need to focus on finishing that paper.

I shouldn't worry about whether things are going to pan out with someone if there is nothing I can do about it. I shouldn't even worry about how much of a mess my room is right now, because I don't have time to do anything about it yet. I will, but that day is not today.

When it comes to relationships, I can choose not to worry and do what I can. If that's text a friend and invite them to something, great! If they choose not to answer or accept, someone else will. If nobody does, I'll find another way to maximize my free time.

Easier said than done, of course, but I do know that when my head is really in the game at hand, I don't worry about anything else until it's time to do so.

I hope to follow Mormon's counsel, above all:

Doubt not, but be believing, and begin as in times of old, and come unto the Lord with all your heart, and work out your own salvation with fear and trembling before him.

What do you do when you begin to doubt?


Heidi said...

What do you do when you start to doubt? You hold on even harder to the things you KNOW about yourself. And you trust that these things are "but a small moment".

Karen said...

I doubt that I've been a good enough mother in the past. I doubt that I'm a good enough mother now. I doubt that I can get everything done I'm supposed to. Doubt? It's a very real part of all our lives. When I get bogged down in the doubt, Reid reminds me to think, "You've done all you can," and then I just pick myself up and keep going. Not a glamrous answer, I know, but it's all I've got.

Giggles said...

I know I can't focus. My house is rarely completely clean. And my to-do list, while it works some times, is also a complete joke other times. And the two papers that are due next week, haven't even looked at them.

I think my favorite scripture for times when I get overwhelmed is Doctrine & Covenants 123:17. Don't forget the stand still and the assurance part.

AmandaStretch said...

Ooh, Giggles/Eilonwy, I LIKE that! Thank you!

Heidi and Karen, you both are pretty awesome too.

Thanks for the reminders!

T.J. said...


I know you don't know me -- I am a friend of Brian's -- however I read this and felt compelled to reply to you. I have been where you are and struggled with doubts quite a bit in the past. One thing that I learned in studying and trying to overcome this issue is that doubt and worry can be directly related to an over abundance of incomplete or tasks that are no doable that are hanging around in the back of your brain. I found and read a book (audiobook) by David Allen called "Getting Things Done." Yes, it is about organization, but the underlying premise is some much more. I hope if you get a chance that you look it over.

As for finding a partner, or mate as you put it, don't worry. Everyone you meet is in your life for a purpose, and God knows who is the right person for you and will put them in your path when the time is right.

kimmers said...

So I know you don't want me to go on and on about how wonderful you are so I won't (even though I hope you know I think you are!). I wanted to thank you for this post though. I loved that you incorporated the scriptures. It was a really powerful reminder to me in some decisions I am having to make in life. So thanks for being amazing even when you don't even know it!

AmandaStretch said...

TJ - Thanks! And welcome to my blog! I'm not sure how you know that I know Brian, but you're welcome here anyway. I'm actually reading that book right now for my management class. Excellent stuff.

Kimmers - Thank you for your kind words! You're awesome too!

chosha said...

I know you're a Gaiman fan, so let me share a story. It's over 20 years since he got the idea for The Graveyard Book. He knew it was a great idea, but for the longest time he didn't feel like he could write it. The fact that he could doubt it through so many years of success shows me that pretty much anyone can doubt themselves. But were his doubts justified. The Newbery says 'no'. I'm sure your doubts about yourself are just as unfounded. Which you know, but I'm just sayin'.

As for myself, I liken it to floating. When I struggle to do it, I sink. It's only when I let go of that inner struggle that I rise to the top.

AmandaStretch said...

You are so right. Thank you!

Just so everyone knows, I feel a lot better this week. :)