On Your Mind: Feeling like you’re not good enough

on your mind

I am so tired of feeling like I’m NOT enough. Not doing enough, not organized enough, not pretty enough, not in shape enough, not a good enough mom, not a good enough wife, etc. The list goes on and on. It’s really starting to make me feel down and depressed more often than not. I feel like there’s no way to live up to expectations. Is there anything I can do to break this way of thinking so that I don’t end up with a serious case of depression?

In the days of social media where everyone else’s lives appear so perfect, it’s difficult not to start comparing them to our own. We’re often bombarded with photos or comments about the perfect meals, the amazing workouts, elaborate children’s parties and photographs that are edited beyond recognition.

The first step, as you’ve already done, is to recognize what you’re doing — comparing yourself to these very high, often unrealistic expectations. It’s also helpful to identify where these expectations are coming from. Are they coming from what you see on social media or entertainment news stories; is there a certain person in your life who’s pushing these high expectations; was there some past experience that made you believe you were never good enough? These are things to consider when helping you decide whether this is something you can work on by yourself or you may need to seek out additional support, like therapy.

Here are some ideas on things to think about when you start feeling like you’re not enough.

Remember these types of “perfect” expectations truly are, unrealistic. No one posts photos of the giant mess that actually exists in their living room with toys on the floor and stained carpets. Not many people are willing to share photos when they just wake up in the morning with no make-up and hair sticking up everywhere.

It’s human nature to sometimes compare our lives with others, but it’s important to see everyone, yourself included, for who they really are, beautifully imperfect human beings. When you can start showing compassion to others, rather than frustration or jealousy, it becomes easier to show compassion to yourself as well.

Remember that your mind can be very convincing, though not always accurate. Everything you think may not be true. Take the time to examine the thoughts or messages you’re telling yourself, one at a time.

For example, “my house is a disaster; I have to get more organized.” Stop and think: Is your house really that bad? Do you see bugs crawling everywhere and the walls caving in or are there just toys on the floor from the kids having a good time? I’ve seen a quote that shows a good way to reframe this type excuse messof situation: “Sorry about the mess; we’re just making memories.”

Take the time to think about all the things you’ve done to get yourself to this point. Be proud of yourself for a little while. Make yourself a “Feel Good” file. Keep a folder or notebook and write down any time someone does and says something that makes you feel good about yourself.  Include drawings from your children or special notes from family members that help you remember what a great person you really are. You could also keep a “thankful journal” where you write down 3 things you’re grateful for each day.

Comparing yourself to others can be a big temptation, but when you remember that each one of us is unique with all of our strengths and weaknesses and you have lots of people who love and care about you for exactly who you are right now, you can change those negative messages. If you find yourself continuing to struggle with feeling depressed more days than not or avoiding activities you used to enjoy, please don’t be afraid to seek professional help and support.

Therapists at Ozark Guidance would be happy to answer your questions and read what’s on your mind. Click the butterfly icon below to fill out an anonymous submission form with your question or concern. The form contains NO identifying information and is designed to give local women an online place to share concerns with a person qualified to offer feedback.

Disclaimer: This RESPONSE does not provide medical advice It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on nwaMotherlode or Ozark Guidance websites.

Get tickets to Walk a Mile shoe shopping event!

walk a mile graphicIf you haven’t already grabbed a ticket to attend THE best shoe shopping event of the year, now is the time because the Walk a Mile in My Shoes “preview party” is coming up on May 15th at the Northwest Arkansas Convention Center in Springdale. (The public sale is that next day on Saturday, May 16th.)

polka dot shoeBut if you’re interested in the best selection, you’ll definitely want to get a ticket to the preview party (and don’t wait too long because there are only a limited number of tickets that will be sold.) The event starts on Friday, May 15, 2015 at 5:30 p.m. and goes until 7:30 p.m.. There will be fine chocolates, wine and cheese for all the hungry shoe shoppers. And did we mention that shoes and handbags at this event start at $10 and go up to only $20? If you’re a fan of getting an amazing deal, this sale will make you happy.

Keep in mind, too, that ticket sales for the preview party as well as sale proceeds help support Ozark Guidance Center, a local non-profit organization with offices throughout Northwest Arkansas. We love it when shopping and supporting a great cause go hand-in-hand. Click HERE for info on how to get a ticket to the preview party.

If you can’t make it to the preview party, the public sale event starts at 8 a.m. on Saturday, May 16, 2015 at the same location and ends at 1 p.m.

i love shoesHOW TO DONATE SHOES AND BAGS: Let’s admit it. We all have at least one pair of shoes in our closet that we fell in love with at the store and then wore them one time and realized that they don’t really fit comfortably (even though they’re still super cute.) Those shoes might fit someone else’s foot perfectly so donate them to this sale! Ask your friends, neighbors, co-workers or relatives to round up a few of their gently used shoes and/or handbags, too, and then drop them off at one of these donation sites:

  • Local radio stations Magic 107.9, Kix 104, 933 The Eagle, HotMix 101.9): 2049 E. Joyce Blvd., Suite 101, in Fayetteville
  • Everett Chevrolet: 1159 N. 45th St. in Springdale
  • Everett Dodge: 3709 S. Thompson in Springdale
  • Dress for Success: Frisco Station Mall, 100 N. Dixieland (Suite B8) in Rogers

Note: All donations are tax-deductible.

ANOTHER WAY TO HELP: Please help spread the word about this fun event to your fellow shoe and handbag-lovers. Post it on Facebook, Instagram or Tweet about it today. See you at the big sale! (We’ll be the ones stocking up on strappy sandals for summer!)

On Your Mind: Single mom fighting against urge to cut

on your mindNOTE: The question below reached us through our “online hotline” button which lets anyone send a question to a local counselor at Ozark Guidance — in a completely anonymous way. The email comes in with no email address and no identifying information. We set it up this way so women would feel free to write about anything on their mind.

I am a single mother with two children and I currently live with my mother. Over the past two weeks, my mother has begun to overly criticize me and has even begun to aim negative comments about me in front of my children. These comments are very hurtful and they are intended to be hurtful. I suffer from depression and even though I’m on medication, I feel myself slipping further and further with each negative and intentionally hurtful remark. I used to self-mutilate and have been recovered for almost two years, yet due to sad depressionthe constant comments I feel myself slipping back towards cutting. I can’t financially leave the environment and I’m afraid I will end up hurting myself. I am at my wit’s end and I don’t know what to do anymore. I can’t take very much more.

Thank you for reaching out to ask for help as you deal with a very difficult situation. It takes a lot of strength to admit that you need help.

Let me start by saying that it’s NOT okay for your mother to talk to you like that. No amount of medication could make that hurt any less.

There are other ways to help in this situation; we like to call them coping skills. Coping skills are strategies we can use to help us deal with stressful situations.  In this instance, setting boundaries with your mother could help. When she makes a hurtful comment toward you, it’s appropriate for you to say “I don’t like it when you say things like this, please stop” or “It’s not ok to talk to me like that” or “Please don’t say things like that to me in front of my kids.”

She may or may not respond positively when you assert yourself, but continue to let her know that you do not find these comments acceptable. Try to remain calm and respectful during this time. You’re not attempting to insult her, but instead, you’re working toward standing up for yourself. If the situation does not improve, and you don’t feel that you can keep yourself safe, you may want to consider moving into a temporary living situation at a shelter.

You mentioned in your question that these hurtful comments are increasing your desire for cutting. You also said that you do NOT want to cut again, and I can feel your determination. Congratulations on two years without cutting. That’s huge!

Here’s my question for you: What did you do in the past to stop cutting? Is that something you could try again? Oftentimes people cut to release emotional pain. There are other ways to get the pain out: some people like to journal. Others find meditation helpful. You may find that what worked before isn’t helping anymore.

If that’s the case, please reach out. Ozark Guidance Center is here to help.  Please call us at 479-750-2020.

Therapists at Ozark Guidance would be happy to answer your questions and read what’s on your mind. Click the butterfly icon below to fill out an anonymous submission form with your question or concern. The form contains NO identifying information and is designed to give local women an online place to share concerns with a person qualified to offer feedback.

Disclaimer: This RESPONSE does not provide medical advice It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on nwaMotherlode or Ozark Guidance websites.

On Your Mind: Are you “a little OCD”?

on your mindThere’s a running joke in our house about how I act a little “OCD” sometimes. But lately, the joke is not so funny because I’m really getting worried that my “routines” actually might be turning into a disorder like OCD. I’m not sure if I’m just super picky about door-lock-407427_640things or if this is an actual problem. I find that my routines (like what I do before I leave the house like locking doors, turning out lights, etc.) are taking longer and longer to do. Sometimes I do it once but sometimes I can’t leave my house until I do it three or four times. I just don’t trust myself to do it right, and I’m afraid my kids are going to feel compelled to do things just like I do them. Can OCD be contagious? How do I know when this becomes something I need to talk to a doctor about?

You raise an interesting question. The phrase “I’m a little OCD” is casually tossed around in today’s society. Let’s take a moment to consider how mental health professionals think about obsessive-compulsive disorder. Think about it like this: your brain is the clearinghouse for your thoughts and emotions. For some people, the brain can get stuck on certain thoughts. These thoughts make you believe that you are in imminent danger, and this can lead to feelings of anxiety.

Anxiety causes you to panic, and your brain turns to solutions to get rid of that feeling. For people with OCD, compulsions are the brain’s solution to obsessive thoughts. These compulsions lead to relief from overwhelming feelings of anxiety. If you were suffering from OCD, there would be nothing pleasurable about cabinet-334128_640acting on compulsions, yet you believe these actions are the only way to protect yourself from threats against you and your family.

Compulsions can include things like ordering, counting, cleaning, putting things in a particular order (symmetry), or checking to make sure nothing bad has happened to the people you love.

Since people with OCD derive no pleasure from acting on their compulsions, they’ll go out of their way to avoid situations that could trigger obsessions or compulsions. People with OCD believe these actions are the only way to protect themselves, and they would prefer to be doing anything else. People with OCD don’t believe they have a choice in acting on their compulsions. These actions help relieve the intensity of their obsessive thoughts for a short amount of time.

OCD is prevalent in a little over 1 percent of the population. While OCD is not contagious per se, it is more common in first-degree relatives. I tell you this with caution. It’s important not to self-diagnose or to begin diagnosing other members of your family. I would encourage you to seek the opinion of a mental health professional before jumping to conclusions.

People who suffer from OCD differ significantly from people who may consider themselves perfectionists that prefer order and people who enjoy arranging things in a certain way. People who enjoy ordering their home or their possessions are not necessarily suffering from OCD. If you have doubts as to which category you might fall into, Ozark Guidance can help. Please contact us at 479-750-2020.

Therapists at Ozark Guidance would be happy to answer your questions and read what’s on your mind. Click the butterfly icon below to fill out an anonymous submission form with your question or concern. The form contains NO identifying information and is designed to give local women an online place to share concerns with a person qualified to offer feedback.

Disclaimer: This RESPONSE does not provide medical advice It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on nwaMotherlode or Ozark Guidance websites.

Calling All Shoe Lovers: Save this date!

shoes conquer the world

If you love to shop for shoes and finding an amazing deal makes you crazy happy, write down this date because this is THE ultimate shoe shopping event in Northwest Arkansas.

Ozark Guidance_Horizontal_Banner_Color_1970 (2)The Walk a Mile in My Shoes shopping event happens this year on May 15-16, 2015. It’s an amazing fundraiser that helps support Ozark Guidance.

This event has grown like crazy since it was introduced several years ago, so the selection of shoes is ENORMOUS. This year’s event will take place at the Holiday Inn Convention Center in Springdale, right off the Interstate.

Shoppers at this event can buy men and women’s shoes for $10 each and kids’ shoes for $5 each. Handbags are $10 each, and there’s also a selection of high-end designer shoes for $20 each. (The shoes are new or slightly used, and there are LOTS of new shoes that are donated from local stores, too.)

There will be a Preview Party on May 15, 2015 and the Public Sale is on Saturday, May 16, 2015. (We suggest you get tickets to attend the Preview Party on May 15th if you want the very best selection. The tickets are on sale now. Click here for info.)

Note: If you’re going to the NWA Mom Prom this year, this might be the perfect place to get shoes to go with your Mom Prom dress! The Mom Prom happens this year on May 30, 2015, and the Walk a Mile in My Shoes shopping event happens just two weeks before on the 15th and 16th. Perfect timing!

For more info on the Walk a Mile in My Shoes event, click here to follow the updates on Facebook. We’ll share more details about it as they become available.

walk a mile save the date