Our fall favorites are here! 🍂

Whether it be sitting alone at a party or with a group of friends, it wouldn’t matter in my anxious mind. Even though in one situation I am alone and in the other, I am surrounded by friends, the truth is I feel alone in both situations.

My anxiety makes me put on a fake smile to appear normal, all the while feeling abnormal on the inside. Anxiety is what causes tears to well up in my eyes and forces to me excuse myself to go cry in my car until I’ve pulled it together. It makes me lie, “Oh, yeah, I’m OK,” when someone asks. It tells me I am a pretty terrible mother because I am not enough for my kids, and I am too much for my husband.

This is what my anxiety does. Maybe it does this to you also.

I feel like anxiety makes me constantly aware of a big, flashing sign way off in the distance that only I can see. It says, “You are not good enough. You never will be.”

Some might say these thoughts are from the devil since God has not called us to live a life of fear. I like to think the devil and anxiety are one and the same.

RELATED: To the Mom With the Anxious Soul

Anxiety makes my brain feel alone in this world when the reality is I am surrounded by many other people. It pushes away the logical thoughts that everyone feels bad sometimes and most people feel not good enough, and it naturally focuses on blocking those thoughts out.

Anxiety makes me question myself almost constantly.

It makes me love myself less.

It makes me love my friends fiercely but hold back from showing it.

It makes me question if I am a good mom or not.

It makes me dwell on the negative and the scary of life much more than the positive.

Anxiety makes me a really selfish person and not in an I need time for my own self-care sort of way.

Let me explain. For a long time, I only saw my anxiety as a me problem. It was something I experienced and that affected me. I tried to hide it from other people and hoped they would not notice that I constantly felt unworthy of anything good. 

The sad part is though, through all of those years of dealing with anxiety, I had no idea it was actually affecting everyone I came into contact with as well.

RELATED: My Anxiety Makes Me Feel Like I Fail Over and Over Again

I would avoid situations that might make me feel awkward or anxious. I rarely reached out to a friend who was showing signs of hurting. I definitely didn’t reach out to strangers who were hurting.

I was selfish, and my anxiety was making me this way.

I ignored people in need simply because I regularly chose to listen to that feeling in my head saying I wasn’t good enough to be helpful to anyone.

I was so caught up in the fear that if I reached out to someone, they would roll their eyes at me and turn away my help because it wasn’t good enough. Because I wasn’t good enough. 

I was so afraid to be hurt that I chose to hurt others instead, just to save myself. Truthfully though, all I did was hurt both of us.

Maybe anxiety does this to you too. Maybe you have been hurt in your life and just can’t sign up for that again. Maybe you deal with thoughts that you will never be good enough to be a mom to your kids or your husband doesn’t love you the way you are. Maybe you are constantly trying to change to be someone elseto be someone who iS . . . better somehow.

Listen, I get it! But know this. You are hurting others by ignoring their pain even if it is anxiety that holds you back. The turning point for me was realizing this: If I reach out to someone and they don’t seem appreciative or open to talking, at the very least, I have planted a seed in them that says someone cares about me.

And I think planting that seed is priceless.

That woman over there who looks so angry? Maybe she just had it out with her husband and is ready to cry because she feels that no couple fights as much as they do. 

The new mom in the group who seems less than friendly to you right from the start? Maybe she feels worthless, too, and figures you won’t really like her anyway.

Reach out and plant that seed of kindness anyway, you may be the only person who does that day. You might be the lifeline who saves someone’s life.

You may never know how stepping out of your anxiety to offer friendship to another woman may affect them, but I guarantee you that your effort will never be wasted.

RELATED: The Painful Truth I’m Hiding As a Mom With Anxiety

My insecurities held me back from being a friend to multiple people who were hurting and felt alone. And honestly, I never again want to be the one who hurts another woman with my worthless insecurity.

Those insecurities are terrifying, they are stomach-churning, but they aren’t worth hurting someone else over. 

I want to stand with other women not to have thousands of best friends and not to make myself more worthy, but to uplift another woman, another mom, another sister, or daughter. I want to let her know she is not alone in this world. If I receive the gift of friendship back, wonderful! If not, at least I have planted a tiny seed of love into someone else’s life, and that makes me feel worthy beyond belief.

Previously published on the author’s blog

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Amber Prohaska

Amber is a mom of 4 crazy kids who keep her running like a maniac! Her most favorite place to be is at home with her chaotic clan. You can generally find her writing about what's on her heart, or hiding in the bathroom eating chocolate, or sometimes both!  Find more of her writing at www.thissimplelifeblog.com, on Facebook at This Simple Life, and Instagram @thissimplelifeblog.

Dear *NSYNC, It’s Time

In: Living
*NSYNC band members Justin Timberlake, JC Chasez, Lance Bass, Joey Fatone, and Chris Kirkpatrick pose for photo

Dear Justin, JC, Lance, Joey, and Chris, Bring it in, guys—we need to have a little chat. First things first: congrats on the new single. It’s been 20+ years since we could ask our friends, “Have you heard the new *NSYNC song?” and that feels like kind of a big deal. I listened to “ Better Together” and it feels like it’ll be right at home on the Trolls Band Together soundtrack. It’s got that 2023 pop sound and a catchy enough chorus. The kids are gonna love it. But guys. My dudes. Can I be honest?  From the bottom...

Keep Reading

Look for Contentment Where You Are Today

In: Faith, Living
Family sitting on couch at home

When my husband and I were first married, we rented a run-down place that didn’t cost much. It certainly wasn’t a dream home. Honestly, I was less than thrilled about renting in the first place. I expected that we would buy a house when we got married. That’s what my parents did. That’s what many people I went to high school with were doing. But my husband and I were 21 and 22 when we got married, fresh out of college. We were still waiting for my husband to land his first teaching job, so we weren’t financially ready to...

Keep Reading

It’s Okay if the Dishes Can’t Wait

In: Living, Motherhood
Woman washing dishes

It’s been seven hours since I last spoke. There’s no one in the house to talk to. My husband is still at work and my kids are having a sleepover at Grandma’s. It’s also the Friday before a long weekend, so most of my friends have left for the cottage, which means my phone hasn’t dinged in a while. So, I did what most mothers do when they have the house to themselves for a few hours. I cleaned. I washed the dishes. I wiped the toothpaste off the bathroom mirror in my kids’ bathroom. I picked up the wood chips...

Keep Reading

What Happens When Your Perfect Life Explodes?

In: Grief, Living, Loss, Marriage, Motherhood
Sad woman by window with her head in hands

One day you’re living your best life, writing articles about how perfect your marriage is, and the next, BOOM, life as you know it completely changes. I was blindsided by information that my husband had been lying to me for three years about certain aspects of our lives. I felt like I had been hit in the gut by the biggest rock you could imagine. What has followed has been a snowball of events and new information that has changed the course of my and my kids’ lives. So what do you do when your perfect explodes? This is one...

Keep Reading

Find Your Person, She’s Worth It

In: Friendship, Living
Two women smiling, color photo

Have you found her? I’m talking about the person you can call your best friend. The girl who will give up sleep to take your phone call. The one who will stand outside your hospital window during COVID with a sign because she can’t be inside, cheering you on. That person who will defend you when need to be and be your voice of reason when you seem to have lost your way a bit. I’m one of the fortunate ones who has found her. For us, it all started when we were 12 years old. Our families lived next to...

Keep Reading

Dear Husband, In This Busy Season

In: Living, Marriage
Busy family in the kitchen, man walking into the door holding coffee

Dear husband,  I know this is a busy season for you. I see how hard you’re working. And I know you come home exhausted every night. I know you’d be here earlier—and more often—if you could. But you can’t. Because this is your busy season.  And there are a few things I need you to know.  This is hard for me too. Even on normal days, I’m on call 24/7 for the kids, but now, I don’t have you at home as backup. The needing never stops, and I no longer have you to share it with. I can’t say,...

Keep Reading

The Greatest Gift We Can Give Someone Is to Include Them

In: Friendship, Living, Motherhood
Female friends laughing together outside

The greatest gift we can give someone is to include them. Never have I felt more isolated and excluded than I did as a new mom. With two babies born a year apart, socializing was impossible. I couldn’t hold a conversation with my kids in tow. And they were always in tow. In those early years of motherhood, something like a hair appointment meant more than just a cut and color. It was an opportunity for uninterrupted, adult conversation. After a couple of years of baby talk and mom buns, I was intensely in need of all three. I booked...

Keep Reading

Why This Blogger’s “Dear Husband” Poem Has the World Sobbing

In: Living, Marriage, Motherhood
Father holding newborn in bathtub with siblings nearby

It’s one thing to read an article that gets you in the feels . . . but when you read those words aloud? It brings the emotions to a whole other level.  An Irish radio host from Corks RedFM proved that this week when she read a poem live on air about motherhood, marriage, and the bittersweet reality of time passing quickly. The viral piece was written by blogger Jess Urlichs, and it perfectly captures what it feels like to be thankful and heartbroken at the same time.  Watch radio personality Vic on the RedFM Breakfast with KC show read...

Keep Reading

A Friend Turning on You Can Hurt More than a Breakup

In: Friendship, Living
Sad woman with head in hands

I was betrayed badly recently by a friend, the kind of betrayal that leaves a deep mark. The one that makes you question the trust you put in people. How close you let your soul get to theirs. Months later, my brain still is trying to dissect how someone could do that. A friend turning on you can hurt worse than a bad breakup. How could I have been such a fool and not see their true colors? Et tu Brute? repeated in my head. It has not happened in years. Since high school if I am being honest. But...

Keep Reading

Your Mental Health Is Worth Fighting For

In: Living
Black-and-white drawing of woman looking into night sky

Anxiety. Depression. PTSD. Bipolar disorder. The list of mental health disorders is quite long. And every disorder has its own challenges to overcome. There’s always been a stigma on mental health, or actually the opposite of health: illness.  When someone has a physical ailment, let’s say a cough that lingers, going to the doctor is the most common thing to do. After all, we want to be cured. However, when it comes to the ailments within—the unseen ailments of our soul—people often hesitate to reach out. They’re afraid to be labeled. And many continue to struggle in silence. But a...

Keep Reading