Getting By

By Anonymous

I’d like to think I’m getting by: just turned 40, qualified nurse, single mother of four … but that’s just it. Getting by.

Getting by; not winning. I’d really like to be winning.

People talk to me like I’m winning: “look at what you’ve achieved.” Managing to qualify as an adult nurse three years ago after leaving a toxic relationship eight years ago seems to signify to others some kind of achievement; to me, I’m getting by. I could’ve done better in my assignments or in my tests; I should’ve left my toxic relationship sooner.

And there it is, the little voice. The voice that tells me I’m worthless. The voice that tells me that I’m not as clever, or as funny or as likeable; as beautiful or as loveable as the next person. The voice that gets in my head and makes me reactive and volatile and push people away with its extremely negative thought processes, which, even though I know are irrational, still make it into my head and then out of my mouth. I feel like Jekyll and Hyde. I’m the most caring and compassionate, loveable soul, who wants to care for and build others up, yet when the voice creeps in I’m the most irrational, damaging, volatile being who tears down those that I love out of fear they are somehow rejecting me.

I’ve had the voice as long as I can remember, maybe since my parents’ divorce when I was seven, and certainly during my teens.

I’m now trying to address the voice and talk it down, and someday I hope to be doing more than just getting by.

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