When You Don’t Feel Like You’re Enough

Girl anxious about future
Tanja Heffner

You could say I have it all. The cute apartment. The DC city life. The writing career. The book on Amazon. But the honest truth, is that sometimes, especially tonight…I don’t feel like I’m enough. And I don’t feel like I have it all. Because I don’t.

I feel small. I feel like a failure. My mind is programmed to want to be the best. To want to have the most. To want to experience the whole universe. To strive to be a winner.

And right now? I’m not. Or at least, I don’t feel like it. I don’t even feel like me. 

I feel unorganized. Messy. Behind. I feel like I’m out of air, like I’m out of all the energy I used to take for granted.

I just typed to my friend, what the hell is wrong with me?

She didn’t respond.

I don’t understand…I should be happy. I should be ecstatic. I should be so proud. But I feel defeated. I feel less than all my co workers. I don’t feel like I’m good enough or smart enough. When I make mistakes, I cower in embarrassment. I don’t feel like I measure up to anyone.

Why can’t I succeed like they do? What is wrong with me?

Sometimes my anxiety creeps up on me on days where I least expect it to — like today.

I had a great afternoon and evening. I did my work. I had dinner with loved ones. But then I walked home and I felt strange. Like something was missing. Like I could be someone better. Like I could do something better.

I recently submitted a poetry book that I have been working on for a year. But after the adrenaline faded, and the high disappeared, I grew incredibly anxious.

I told one of my closest friends, Bianca, that I shouldn’t feel this way. Because this book is my heart and my soul and why do I care if it sells one copy or a trillion copies? Why do I care??

But I do. I fucking care.

And I wish I didn’t.

I never wanted to be this person. This anxious person who cared about her success and her work and her brightness. But here I am. Unable to breathe. Unable to sleep. Tears are welling up underneath my eyes as I type this and I can’t even stop them.

I’m. So. Fucking. Petrified.

Maybe it makes a little bit of sense. My mother had an eating disorder when she was my age, always wanting to feel in control. She was a perfectionist at heart. But me? I was fine. I didn’t need help. Or at least I thought…

My anxiety is something I used to have control over. But goddamn. Right now? It is flooding my lungs and my brain and my heart. This is not the me I knew when I was 14. This is not the me I knew when I was 18. This is not the me I knew at 22. But here I am at 24, feeling so out of control. Feeling so mediocre.

I don’t want to be mediocre.

No one wants to be mediocre.

The thing that’s tragic about this feeling right now is that I don’t know how to control it. And I know I work hard. And I know I do my best. And I know I put my soul into this book. I know I’m a good writer.

Because I write my truth.

So tell me.

Why the hell do I feel like this? Why do I feel so uncontrollable? Why do I already feel like a failure? 

Why do I care so much? Why can’t I just be content with the fact that I wrote 120 something pages about my life? Why can’t I just be proud of myself? Why can’t I just be happy?

Why can’t I just relax? Thought Catalog Logo Mark

About the author

Lauren Jarvis-Gibson

For more poetry and writing follow me on Instagram!

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