Sometimes I Think Horrible Things About Myself.

There are some posts that are harder to publish than others.

I used to get nervous every time I hit the “publish” button. I’d sort of duck my head, as if you could all see me at the very moment a blog post took to the web. I used to feel sick, although not severely, unless it was something really hard to write. I think I felt a little crazy when I was publishing my love story – even crazier when I was writing it to the music I used to listen to when I first lived it. I felt like how I had felt then – but all at once. Sometimes then, and sometimes now – I felt/feel like this:

It’s a true combination of many things to feel – overwhelmed, lost, and always full of joy and magic, however hidden that may be – and sometimes it’s deeply buried. I was going to write about my weekend in New Jersey for a birthday BBQ and a surprise baby shower, but I’ve been in the car for a chunk of my day and it’s a little late right now and the story in my heart is this one.

In high school, I was a lot like I am now. A floater with lots of types of friends. I was warm and friendly to everyone, unless someone pushed me to my limits, which is highly rare, but that would be the only reason I wouldn’t be warm and friendly to you.

I could and can relate to almost everyone. Almost.

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I actually did have a core group of friends who were artists, writers, musicians, singers or just all around open and friendly people, and I also brought home lots of strays. That’s how I was then. That’s how I am now. I enjoyed (nearly) everyone – even those who were considered “losers” and those who were so clearly not going anywhere in life – partly by design and partly by circumstances. One of my secrets back then is that I would pass through these dark clouds of time in which I’d think horrible thoughts about myself, no matter how ludicrous they were, and how illogical. They were true enough to me.

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Occasionally, I have those thoughts again. I used to babysit for three kids and the youngest was a baby. I remember waking him up from a nap one day and thinking about how loved he was and how meaningful he was to his family, and how I wished I could be worth something. Anything. When not in the dark clouds, I know that it’s ludicrous. I’ve always had a place to belong.

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And that baby I used to babysit and wonder why his life meant so much more than mine? He’s now in high school. And that proves just how long it’s been since I have let myself believe in the dark clouds about myself, and how it happens even now.

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Sometimes I think that there is no one more hideous than I am. That overweight people can lose weight, acne can heal, wrinkles can be erased, Botoxed or lasered, or whatever else that can be done to wrinkles – but you can’t fix hideous so you can’t fix me.

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Sometimes I think that everyone else has more promise than I do, and that everyone is more capable than I am.

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I live, love and sometimes suffer within the confines of my own mind. Sometimes I think that even people with depression are better off than me because maybe pills or counseling can help them. I’m genuinely joyful a LOT, but sometimes I think that anyone without my mind is better off than I am. Life transitions tend to run through me a thousand times over up to months before a big change. Can any pill help that? Probably not, but I believe that many things can.

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Sometimes I think any other woman could make him happier than I can.

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Sometime I think I’m the weaker sister, in every way.

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If an amateur photographer takes one good photo out of 100, sometimes I somehow I let that negate the fact that I can take 60 good photos out of 100.

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Sometimes I hear someone say they’d like to write a book and I think that no matter who they are, they will write a book that I can’t seem to write. Sometimes if someone tells me they are thinking of joining the workforce, I think it would be easier for them than it would be for me, because sometimes I think I have no skills.

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Sometimes I think that I’m not strong enough to maneuver this world as a parent, with the constant tests, and the constant letting in and letting go.

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Sometimes I think that I can’t handle another birthday; another year gone.

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Sometimes I think comfort and safety will give way in older age to impenetrable anxiety – worsening with each day.

Sometimes I think that, like always, I will be able to find new ways to rise above and grow.

Sometimes I think that all of these wrongs are just as much right. Together, they make up who I am.

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And most of the time? These thoughts are only notable because they are not my default setting. My head is above the dark clouds, or maybe even below. Somewhere safe from the darkness. Anywhere but in between.

“The less we say about it the better
Make it up as we go along
Feet on the ground
Head in the sky
It’s ok I know nothing’s wrong . . nothing”
— Talking Heads

About Tamara

Tamara is a professional photographer at http://tamaracamera.com/, a mama of two, a writer/blogger at http://tamaracamerablog.com and a nearly professional cookie taster. She has been known to be all four of those things at all hours of the day and night. She is a very proud contributor to the book, The Mother Of All Meltdowns. http://themotherofallmeltdowns.com. After two cross country moves, due to her intense Bi-Coastal Disorder, she lives with her husband, daughter and son in glorious western Massachusetts.

Comments

Sometimes I Think Horrible Things About Myself. — 190 Comments

  1. It’s interesting to read this right now, because I had one of those dark weekends. In fact, I’m kind of still feeling it and wishing that I would wake up and things would be better in the morning. Sending hugs.

    • Oh Michelle! I HATE those kind of days… I know them. And Tamara- I get it. Once again, I get you.

      And I thank God that it does pass… it always does pass. And the big part about those flickering dark clouds that seem so heavy upon us to the point of suffocation? They usually end up growing a deeper part of who we are. All my dark clouds have always proven that. As raw and awful and weak and vulnerable we can be…feel…seem…we always manage to rise above or survive our way through those pits. They are always looming in the air- ready to engulf us again…depending on the ebb and flow of us, of life, of our hearts and sometimes flat out of NOwhere.

      But BUT- they are our sacred places where we can often discover more of who we are, and how we are, and there is something about that knowledge and that insight and that deep relationship with only ourselves, that brings us into MORE of ourselves- we just grow more vast and valuable in the end. It’s much like a love affair really. Ups and downs and twists and turns and pulls and pushes and confusion and despair and limitless love… because we are all we got.

      I’m trying to learn how to comfort myself during those times. Pray about it. And realize I am fearfully and wonderfully made- and I will somehow pass through these clouds once again, and I will surface with more insight and wonder and wisdom in who I am.

      I pray the same for you both- dear sweet amazing friends!

      • I get you too, Chris! Which is always so awesome.
        I don’t pray enough, I think, because I have been able to find comfort in it before in my life – even with all of my spiritual confusion. It was part of a lineup of ways to comfort myself when I was once pretty lost in my 20’s.
        Sometimes I still feel very lost, even though I am grounded in such wonderful things these days – a family, a permanent(ish) home, blogging, friends.
        xoxo!

  2. You are not alone, my friend. We all have those thoughts and I don’t ever want you to think that you are alone!
    It can be like a prison inside our heads, but you can break free – in fact I think you did by hitting publish and sharing your story. xox

    • I hope I did break free, at least a bit. Thank you!
      It is like a prison. On the bright side, I’ve been so upset sometimes in life and my mom has reminded me – “Everything going on that feels like turmoil ONLY exists inside your head, and can be remedied there.”
      So wise!

  3. I love this post. You know that you and I relate on so many levels and it’s hard to wonder whether or not to put that out into the world.
    Still .. you are never alone my love. Those thoughts run rampant in most people, yet few have the courage to voice it.
    Love you mama …never think horrible things about yourself and feel bad about it. We all do it.

    xoxo
    Lanaya

    • I guess so! I always worry that my horrible thoughts are extreme, but I guess the fact that they’re transient should tell me that things could be a lot worse.
      Miss you, friend! Excited for your post today, judging from the title. I have a lot more than one!

  4. You are not alone. There is doubt, sadness, and melancholy. But there is also joy. I find it is hard to navigate between the sadness and happiness. My new mantra revolves around the words be here now in order to sink into the moment I am in. Sometimes it helps, other times I need to wallow and accept the plunge into doubt. It’s all life, I suppose, but somehow, on certain days, this idea is hard to digest.

    • So much! And other days, it’s easily digestible. Easily.
      I’ll never understand it all – how the tides of change push me and pull me and sometimes I’m fine, and sometimes I’m destroyed.
      I think I have a built a strong foundation – of anxiety tools, and family and friends, and things I love doing.
      That all helps.

  5. I’m glad these aren’t your default, and that in this you find them noteworthy. I’m glad the dark clouds are fleeting for you, and that you keep your head away from them, and understand their ludicrousness.

    I’m glad you hit ‘publish’.

    • Thank you.
      I always get glad when you comment, and when you hit “publish” too.
      It’s not always sunshine with me, although I can definitely sustain it for long periods of time. Life is life, though. And transitions are hard for me. I’m on the verge of big ones (blog conference, preschool, kindergarten, Des turning two, new baby in the family, sister’s wedding, etc.) and even though they’re all happy things, I feel them run through me and the result isn’t always pretty.

      • That’s good – to be able to sustain it for long periods of time. I’m in one of those at the moment – perhaps the longest I’ve enjoyed for a while, and I’m revelling in it. It’s lovely to have those dark clouds as mostly background for once, with perhaps a shadow or so across the sun, but nothing majorly shaking.

        You have your people around you, Tamara, both in real life and on the Blogosphere, and I have confidence that with their help you’ll manage the transitions well – we aren’t meant to face these things alone, I don’t think, and the stronger your ties with other people, and the more rooted in relationships you feel, the easier these big things will be to face.

        Happy things can be just as stressful as sad things or challenging things. It’s a legitimate and understood pressure. Unpretty results can be absolutely explainable.

        • How wonderful! I’ve had long periods of it, after the birth of each baby and after meeting Cassidy, and then most of my early childhood, of course. Despite losing my father at age four – I’ve still found a lot of joy in this world. A lot.
          Now I think I need something else to propel me to those heights – maybe more about my career. I think I feel low a lot because I’m not a big breadwinner, but the potential is there.

          • You don’t need money to be a success. If you pin your esteem on money, it will rule you. Find success in other places – kindness, gentleness, lovingness, friendships, empowering others, making the world better and more beautiful, offering comfort and encouragement…ultimately being worthwhile just because you are your own, wonderful person – not because of what you can achieve or can earn.

            (this all falls firmly under the heading of ‘advice I am trying to take on board’)

            I’ve started a daily thought (sometimes published) of Three Things of Worthwhile – just three – things which I have done, in that day, which make me an acceptable human. I invite you to try it, if only for yourself.

            • Oh, I don’t care much for money – I just want to make some to help out and to make what I’m worth because I work very hard!
              It’s more important to me to find success in other places, but the last one is to gain the confidence to earn what I deserve.

  6. It’s like you’re in my head.
    Many times, I’ve told my husband that at nearly 40 now, I feel like I haven’t accomplished anything significant in my life. I don’t have a gold star for anything. I don’t even have a participation certificate. It’s like life passed me by. I felt (feel) invisible, and small.
    I think you’re stupendous, if that helps. xo

  7. Throughout my life, I’ve always had doubt, felt others were better. Sometimes being a blogger doesn’t help because you can see the successes of others:maybe it’s the comments or the great many of ads or features. The feeling comes in that I am less loved. But having the strength to push publish on a part like this is amazing. It shows that you are willing to put yourself out there and the anxiety or bad things don’t win, the good things and JOY do. These feelings will pass as they always do.

    • It’s true – the blogging world can be difficult to navigate, especially if you want visible success. And I don’t even know what that means – it’s probably different for everyone. Lots of comments? Financial compensation? And more.
      I’ve always had doubts about myself, and I imagine I always will. I used to think it would magically disappear forever, but I’m comforted to know it comes, and it GOES.

  8. I left a wonderful comment, but it wouldn’t load! So, I’ll start again. πŸ™‚

    i often have similar self doubts. Am I a good ENOUGH mother? wife? friend? daughter? sister? I look in the mirror and think I am not pretty enough, skinny enough. When I was younger, I was not the star athlete my brother was or the bubbly extroverted cheerleader that others were. I don’t know why we, as women, seem to put so much pressure on ourselves to be so perfect, but after reading this and the comments, it seems to be a common thing. And, the self doubt can be overwhelming and it can feel so heavy and burdensome sometimes. Thank you for sharing this piece of your soul with us. You are beautiful inside and out. I am happy to call you a friend.

    • Thank you for coming back! My host (Hostgator) was having outages this morning. Ugh! When I had published this post!
      I agree that these comments seem to show that we all (or many of us) have such thoughts. Mine can feel very burdensome at times – that’s a great word for it!

  9. Tamara, I have so many of these doubts about myself daily and will tell you that I try so hard to quell them and not let them take over or flight, but like you they creep in when I least expect them and hate that they do, but still they do very much try often enough (you aren’t alone on this in the least). Just know that these thoughts are definitely just that and you my friend are truly amazing and one of a kind. I honestly can say I love you and we haven’t even met in person yet, but know in my heart of hearts then when do finally meet I am going to love you that much more. Hugs and so, so happy and proud to be your friend! πŸ˜‰

    • I can honestly say I love you too – and I know real life is just icing on the cake. Or should I say, “in person.” ‘Cause this is pretty real life!

        • I wish it could have been this weekend but it was nuts. I didn’t even have a half hour to myself. I know our day will come in August, if not sooner.

          • Trust me I wish I could have too, but will the girls having soccer both days, I too didn’t have a minute to breathe or stop. Our day will totally come though and I don’t doubt it for a minute ever πŸ™‚

  10. Tamara, I think you are expressing what many of us women feel every now and then. I think the key word is sometimes. Sometimes we feel inadequate and that self-doubt seeps in. But, yes, it does pass. We go on. I think it’s what makes us human, though it can really suck sometimes. Hugs to you, my friend!

    • It sucks a lot, but it’s a big emphasis on the word “sometimes.” I’d even go so far as to say occasionally, but it didn’t have the same ring.
      Big hugs to you!

  11. It is this post, and Michelle’s comment, and Christine’s…and all that follow…so many of us ache and relate and survive and are worth more than we give ourselves credit for. You put this beautifully but at the bottom of it you are still dealing with those awful feelings and I’m sorry for that. Obviously, unfortunately, you are not alone.

    If only we could easily see ourselves through other’s eyes, imagine the kindness and love that would permeate our day to day instead of fear, self-doubt and pain. Hoping today is a better day.

    • I worry that I always will, to some extent. And maybe that’s just my way. As long as it never becomes more than fleeting. So far it’s been kind to me, at least in adulthood with kids.
      It can be hard to feel worthless when you have a toddler wanting to hang out with me ALL OF THE TIME! Seriously. All of the time. How bad could I be?
      I hope you have a wonderful week!

    • I don’t know – we probably both have our moments. You, many times over.
      Love you too, my friend! Thinking of you during this crazy exciting time.

  12. I hope that writing about these feelings helps a little. Even though they aren’t your default setting, they can be all encompassing when your head is in that place. Get that head above or below those dark clouds, Tamara, and remember how fabulous you are.

    • Writing about it does help a little, for sure. I was thinking of a conversation I once had with an ex when I was going through a rough time and I (stupidly) said, “This isn’t me. You’ll see. In the summer. I’ll be more myself. I hate winter.” And he said, “Honey, it’s ALL you. It doesn’t have to all be perfect, though.”
      That was so wise! He sucked! That was so wise, though. Then he cheated on me three times!
      He said something cool, though. We were all of 20-years-old.

  13. I can relate as sometimes I have those exact same feelings. Sometimes I am really great at ignoring the negative voices in my head, other times they get the best of me. Usually, my hubby is there to pick me up and remind me that those voices exist only in my head and that I am selling myself short.

    Sending you a virtual hug.

    • It can be a fine line. Cassidy can see that it’s ridiculous, because it is, but that doesn’t break me out of it easily. We have to learn together what he can do to help.

  14. Oh boy, we all have those dark moments, but I love your ending. Rise above the dark and look to the sky. No one is perfect, but who we are and have fought to become is something to be happy about.

  15. You’re not the only one that gets nervous hitting publish and hiding! I have those feelings more times than not and I used to have them more often but I feel as though I get stronger and more confident as the years go by. It’s changing your self-talk and self-perception. Taking compliments and internalizing them to be your own thoughts without getting cocky. It’s something I work on every day, especially when starting a new job or when the thought of returning to school ( my goal next year ) pops up. Knowing I can take the classes and excel. That I am as smart as the world tells me but I don’t believe it half the time because there is always someone more intelligent. Sometime’s it’s just saying to yourself: I am more than beautiful, I take wonderful photos, I am a wonderful parent, I make my husband very happy, and I am awesome. And calling it a day and eating cake πŸ™‚ We put on a great front don’t we? Happy Monday Tamara! -Iva

    • Cake and ice cream, right?
      I wish I could self-talk the way you do! You have helped with my nerves about going to BlogU and leaving Des and Scarlet behind.
      They’ll have fun. They’ll be spoiled. I’ll have fun. I’ll be learning.

      • Hell yes cake and ice cream – top it with some cookies and sprinkles and that’s a partay! Haha it took years to be moderately OK at it and still mediocre at best but I’m doing better. πŸ™‚ I am very very happy to hear that I’ve helped to some degree with your nerves in regards to Blog U (which is very close btw!) πŸ˜€ They’ll be fine, they’ll be happy and spoiled and you will definitely be having fun and learning. Our kids will be a great contribution to society and that’s all that counts. πŸ˜€

        • Do you know..that I’m obsessed with sprinkles? Like..at my sister-in-law’s baby shower yesterday, the cupcake company royally screwed up. My friend ordered chocolate and vanilla cupcakes with purple sprinkles. For some odd reason, the company gave her chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting that all said their company name on them. Um..what?
          And I was really disappointed about no sprinkles. So was Scarlet.
          Um. Anyway. BlogU is so close, I have butterflies in my stomach RIGHT NOW!

          • Lol did you know that so am I? What’s ice cream or cake without sprinkles!? Man that’s quite the f up – I hope they didn’t charge you guys for them.. Haha I would be disappointed too!! I used to eat sprinkles by the handfuls as a child. πŸ˜€ Woot Woot I know I’m so excited!? I have to figure out parking since I’m going to drive up after work

            • My old boss was dared to eat a whole spoonful of rainbow sprinkles at once, but it was that cheap, waxy kind. He succeeded! Easier than the cinnamon challenge.
              I’m not sure what happened with the cupcake debacle but she did say she had called the manager about it.
              I have no idea about parking! I’m driving in too. I’m hoping that it’s explained somewhere or that they will explain it soon.

    • Thank you so much! It takes time but I can have long periods of feeling great so the short dark periods really grate on me more and more.
      I feel stronger than I used to feel.

  16. You are not alone. Sometimes I feel like such a loser and I feel like I have not accomplished anything in life. Especially when I see the accomplisments of my college classmates. But I have to tell myself that I have an awesome life. I’m very lucky to be a mom of two sweet kids and the wife of a really awesome man. I really shouldn’t complain, my life is great. I just need to stop the comparisons and just focus on myself and my family.

    • Probably most people. And I always thought my lows were more extreme, but I guess not!
      I am feeling better, thanks! Had a weekend with family. Hard to feel crappy then.

  17. Oh, I see this right before I must leave the house for work! I wish I could devote more time to a better response, but I have this: This really spoke to me, Tamara. You’re brave and strong for hitting that publish button! I know that you have such a wonderful group of supporters here who are/will make you smile when you read all of your comments. Pills are certainly not a cure-all, but I know what you mean. I’ve had those same thoughts about ‘people with __ cancer’, they’re treated and that’s it! There’s no rationale; we all have our inner demons. Sending you big hugs! I think you’re helping a lot of people by voicing your insecurities.

    • I love this response.
      And I know..I totally get those thoughts about cancer having effective treatments and mental illness being sort of…a hit or miss with pills. Although I’d rather have mental illness, of course.
      I just know that you get it. There’s not necessarily logic there but that’s the way I think sometimes.

  18. I get this Tamara – I don’t know if I feel these things to the same extent but I have those times when I think that I’m completely bottom of the barrel. And, sadly, there are times that I think it is just a matter of time before Chris leaves me – I think between the issues and lack of relationship I have with my mom and another huge relationship that ended recently, I feel unworthy of true love. But then I look at my 3 boys and smile and do the best I can to show them all the love that is in my heart!

    • Aww! I’m so sorry you’d ever think Chris would leave you. I have totally felt unworthy of true love. For years.
      I look at my three (four if you count the dog) and often I know that I’m an important part of this family. They wouldn’t exist without me!

  19. Wow Tamara, I’m so glad I clicked on your blog link on another person’s comment thread. I can so relate to your feeling, yet because I have a diagnosed mental illness, I tend to think that my horrible thouhts are justified. In reality, these dark clouds are not reality. I’m so glad also to see a succesful blogger post about this. I’m not nearly as successful as you are and, while I don’t feel these feelings when hitting publish, I do feel these dark feelings after I’ve published a post. Comparison is bad, they say, but then again I tend to think only successful people say that.

    • So glad you found me!
      I’m not sure how successful I am – but very happily in this blogging world. It used to be very hard for me to hit the “publish” button and I pre-schedule these days, so I’m usually asleep when it happens. I’m not sure if that helps or hinders!

  20. Even in the darkest corner of your mind where the self-deprecation sits, I still think you’re one seriously special person. And if you didn’t have that little voice that doubted you and shot you down, you wouldn’t be such a sweetie pie that can empathize with everyone. Even though it might not look like an asset or sound like an attribute, doesn’t mean it isn’t.

    • That means a lot! I’d have to believe it’s here for something – maybe it sucks and is painful but in the long run, it’s part of who I am and what I write about.
      Not that I wouldn’t want to write happy things a lot! Sometimes I do. Sometimes I don’t.

  21. This is why I love your blog. You say the things I’d never have the nerve to say out loud. And I agree with Rebecca above me, about how it contributes to your ability to get along with everyone and it really is an asset!

    • Well, thank you! I never knew you felt that way. There are some posts that are much harder to post than others. In all, I’ve gotten better at it so I don’t know if I’m more comfortable with my writing these days, or just writing about less squeamish things. Probably the first one.

    • Thanks! I tried to find as many of those photos as I could. I guess I used to do that a lot.
      These are the worst days. I didn’t write this today – I wrote it yesterday – so I am actually feeling different today. Better different.

  22. I’m so glad you wrote the story that was in your head and your heart today. It is powerfully honest. I know I’ve experienced many of the same feelings before. I think it’s easy to think that some people have it easier or are better than we are but we don’t know their struggles. We’ve not walked a mile in their shoes.

  23. As I was browsing through some comments above, I can say that we all pretty much feel the same way about ourselves. Even though I’ve always known myself to be very optimistic, there’s always that voice at the back of my head that needs constant affirmation that I’m doing just fine. I used to think I was such a waste when I got married early and had a kid early. During bad times, I seriously hate myself that I just want to run away and leave the world but knowing that it isn’t possible, I move on and think that there’s always someone who’s better than me but also knowing that I don’t have to compare myself to him/her.You’re one very successful woman – beautiful writing, beautiful photography, beautiful family and beautiful personality!

    • Thank you! Not sure I could ever really think about the age you became a mother, because you always sound wise and mature. And loving! And that seems ageless to me.
      These comments blew me away! I always thought my feelings were extreme.

      • Thank you too! Ageless sounds nice! And well, whether we’re young or not getting any younger – age is just a number right? Thanks for sharing your emotions to us! πŸ™‚

  24. Absolutely beautiful! I, too, have been trying to fight through that dark and lonely space in my head. I have been trying to fight through it most of my life. Mine started with a mom that never thought I was good enough, and progressed from there…if she didn’t like me, then how could anyone else…how could I. Now as I still struggle with those issues, I watch the kids grow up and pull away to some degree and it makes me lonely, because I have focused so hard and long on them. Then there is my hubby, who even though he may be right next to me asleep in his chair…we don’t talk…we don’t go out…we rarely focus on just each other and that makes me lonely, too. Since I quit working, the only people that I ever “talk” to are my blogging friends and for that I am so amazingly thankful! Hugs my friend!

    • Oh, that is a LOT. What would we all be like without social media? Probably fine but it’s interesting to see how some people take to it over others.
      I have a fantastic mom but my father passed away before I was four and at that age, specialists always say a child will blame themselves.
      I think that must have something to do with it for me.

  25. I’ll join the chorus and say that I can definitely relate to this. What I find powerful is the ability to be cognizant of the thoughts as they’re occurring. They used to loop through my mind in those dark places and I wasn’t even aware of how terrible they were; I wasn’t even aware of what I was saying to myself. And then I had zero control over them. Now I’m better at sensing when they’re coming on, I can see them flowing through my brain. That awareness helps me to come back to the light.

    • How interesting. (and poetic!) I do feel that I have more control these days. As a kid, I felt powerless and worthless. Now I can actually and openly think more about these thoughts. I share them. I look at my kids. I realize my kids don’t find me even an ounce worthless.
      I’m married. I have a few jobs.
      It’s certainly different now.

  26. The title called to me when I saw it on Twitter more than likely because I’m having one of those dark days myself. I’m nearing the end of a workday at a job I can’t stand thinking that I can’t and won’t make it out of the circumstances I’m in (job is just one of several issues casting shadows on my life right now). It’s been a long time since I’ve turned to the blog to vent out those feelings. Your post today reminded me of that edge you go to when you write out your truest feelings and put that out there for the world to read. It’s a moment of pure exhilaration and terror- like free falling. I think I had a similar experience when I read your blog for the first time a long while back. You have a way of casting light on these little dark corners that’s hopeful. I’m glad I found my way back to your page today to read your story. You’ve got tremendous strength and beauty and a passion that’s yours to share- and yours alone. Sometimes we lose sight of that specialness we bring to the world, but have faith that you’re surrounded by goodness wherever you turn. Even here, from readers who may never meet you in real life, but who can relate to your words. Thanks Tamara. πŸ™‚

    • Maribel! It’s so nice to see you again.
      I’m so glad I posted it on twitter. I’m not great at marketing my own stuff. AT ALL.
      I hope you have a lighter day tomorrow, and many light days ahead. I actually wrote this yesterday, but it was based on notes from Friday so I’ve gotten considerably lighter since I started it. I know dark days will happen again, though, so everything here still feels so valid to me.
      There is an edge..to write out our truest feelings. Sometimes it’s easier for me in every way to talk about something else, or to post photos.
      Other times, this is the only way.

  27. Your strength? You can separate yourself from the thoughts. You know they’re not true. Most of the time. You can observe them and step back from them and question them. That’s huge. That’s more than so many. That’s more impressive than being able to lose weight or getting botoxed or anything else I can think of. And you can float among many groups of friends because you are not at all any of those horrible things but enough good things to enough of us that we all want you as ours. That makes you the opposite of all horrible things. In the lovliest of ways possible.

    • This is absolutely lovely.
      I want to be worthy of my granola blend, you know? That’s honestly what I want. I want to be someone who inspires friends, because my friends sure inspire me.
      We had a collaboration! That’s how I describe to people a lot.
      I can definitely see the thoughts as wrong, and it’s weird to me that they can always still come.

      • It’s way more than fitting that Tamara is my rock star granola. And you inspire so many. Just by being kind and friendly and supportive – And we haven’t even gotten to your photos yet. You’re amazing. And the granola blend pales in comparison to the 3D you.

  28. I think we have all been there. I can relate to you in so many ways. Sometimes I feel like I can’t do anything right. I have been out of the work force for five years now and I wonder if I have any skills left. I was feeling pretty low this morning after some serious thinking over the weekend. I am sure you will pull out of this dark feeling and things will get better for you. When I feel low I pray about it and everything works out in the end. Sending you *hugs*.

    • I do believe everything works out in the end. And I wonder a lot about what happens when my kids go to school, since we’re not homeschooling. Will I be able to ever enter the workforce again? I know I don’t want to, so I’m trying to use this time to think about other options.

      • I know exactly what you mean. If we move to Chicago I might have to try to find a job and I don’t know if I am cut out for going back to the workforce either. My youngest will be in Kindergarten in 2 years and I don’t know what I will do with my time when he is in school. Maybe I won’t have a choice but look for a job. Like you I am not planning on homeschooling my kids either. I just don’t have the patience for that.

        • Same! I would be a terrible teacher, but at least I know it! I’ll let other people teach my kids all that school stuff. I’ll teach them the life lessons.

  29. There are so many beautiful comments here, and I am not sure I can add anything that has not already been added, other than a “Yes, me too!”

    And also my gratitude that you chose to write this out and chose to publish it. I think taking control is very brave.

    • A “Yes, me too!” IS beautiful!
      I know I say this a lot, but I often think I’m alone with a lot of my thoughts.
      Blogging has made me realize that I’m not as alone as I used to think.

  30. These kinds of thoughts are thankfully very rare for me, but when they come along… I find it so hard to shake them. Even though it is so hard to do, I think talking it through with a good friend (or blog…!) really does help. Shining light on those dark, untrue, hurtful thoughts that you’d never say to anyone else on their worst day, but somehow we all sometimes say them to ourselves. I hope you found some joy today!

    • Yes, for me too. Rare but they seem unshakeable. And of course, they never are luckily.
      I have now what I didn’t have then – a blog. Blogging friends. And kids! Kids who need me!
      It’s really hard to stay too long in a funk with that.

  31. I hope that the days when you think horrible things about yourself grow fewer and fewer. I know from talking with my sisters who struggle with chronic depression how hard it is to stop those thoughts from coming!

    • Oh, I imagine! Any mental illness – no matter how severe – can cause really tough thoughts.
      The power is in the ability to not have them at all, or to be able to make them go away!

  32. I think as women we are all so very hard on ourselves, striving to be the best mom, wife, daughter, etc….. I get really sad when I visit my aging parents every week. My mom’s life is slowly slipping and it crushes my heart. I don’t often write about it but it’s there every day. I think you are amazing Tamara in many ways. Sending thoughts of light and joy your way!

    • Ah, that’s so hard. That’s how it is with my grandmother. She is 100 so it’s to be expected. She still has a lot of gusto, though.
      You can share with me anytime, if you don’t want to write about it!

  33. Some days I doubt myself. I don’t think I’m good enough and when I look in the mirror I think, “Blah!” Other days I’m all, “Yay, life!”

    I happen to think you rock! I love your photography.

  34. I think every single person in the world can relate to this–especially every woman. I personally have had that those thoughts at one time or another. Its hard–its difficult to turn around and say to yourself NO STOP you are AMAZING. flaws are normal. I find that sometimes looking in the mirror and saying positive affirmations does it for me even when I don’t feel it AT ALL. This is normal, I hope that this was a release for you.

    • What’s weird is that positive affirmations totally work for me! I think it was an ex who taught me about them, but my mother-in-law has some in her bathroom – pre-printed, and I used some of the wording to make my own. I really love them.

  35. Well huh. I was GOING TO say that I completely relate until all these OTHER PEOPLE already said it first (and maybe, said it better than I would have, anyway, sigh). Just this weekend, I spent a lot of money and time to do this (possibly awful – too soon to tell) procedure on my poor ugly old wrinkled up face because I feel so ugly. And, I’m allergic to Botox. Also, yeah.
    Personally, I think you’re fabulous wonderful amazing and, well, real. xoxo you. Be kind to yourself. You deserve it.

    • Oh! Your face is beautiful! Allergic to Botox? How did you figure that out? Wait, don’t tell me. As long as it wasn’t too painful.
      Personally, I think you’re a goddess.

  36. What an incredibly brave person to share something so personal yet not so personal because most of us can relate. I think we all feel this way during different times in our lives, some more often than others. I get this feeling every now and then, of being homesick…I always have, and I think it’s because we are spiritual beings and there is only so much that can be fulfilled physically speaking. Does that even make sense? In other words, you’re not alone my sweet, caring, creative, beautiful friend.

    • It makes SO MUCH sense. Every now and then I feel homesick and I think it’s because I can’t be all of the places and with all of the people at all of the times. Life is so cyclical. I love my home and it’s more than a house – it’s a home, but I still feel that aching, empty yet full, homesick feeling.

  37. I don’t know you – much, Tamara, but just the fact that you are writing this, opening yourself so much for the world to see… very, very admirable.
    On a different note, I am not sure it is so uncommon that you have a ‘dark cloud’ with all those doubts, overly conscious about yourself and what you do. I know that I have those moments, too. I usually blame them on the perfectionist in me… that part where you ask yourself if another woman could make him happier than you do or your sister – I can honestly say: Me, too.

    • I think it’s more common than I thought! I did think my clouds were darker than others, but maybe not. And they are just that – clouds. They do go away!

  38. I think we all question ourselves…and we shouldn’t! Just from meeting you online over a year ago I can see you are a woman of many talents. I know sometimes it might seem to you that you aren’t but we are always our own worst critics! I think as we age we are tougher on ourselves too.

    • Aw, I am so glad we “met”! You’re wonderful.
      We are very hard on ourselves. In some ways, motherhood helped my self-esteem because these two kids need me. In other ways, it makes it harder.

  39. I think a lot of these things sometimes. And other times I think that I’m really more of a Risky Business person. You know, “sometimes in life you just have to say wtf.” However, to me it doesn’t always mean taking risks sometimes it just means letting it go because ultimately I don’t think I’m ever going to know why or how everything works or wtf is happening. It just is. I have to let it go.

  40. Are you in my head? I was feeling a lot like this today, for the first part of the day anyway. I know we all doubt ourselves and even everything that is going on around us sometimes. I think that is normal, right? At least I hope it is.. xoxo

  41. I was pretty much the same as you when I was younger — I could flit from one group to another with ease in high school, feeling like I somewhat belonged in all of them. If I saw someone alone, or being picked on, I made sure to be-friend them. If I saw someone hurting, I went to them. And that’s a wonderful nature to have — but it does come with it’s own pressure. Everyone expecting you to be the gentle breeze that blows their rain cloud away. No one can be that all the time.
    But the thing it DOES mean is that you feel deeply. And you SEE people. really see them. (hence why you are such a great photographer.) That is golden because it’s very, very rare in this world today. Most people run away from pain; within themselves and when they see it in others. Some of us stare it down. Right.In.The.Face.
    Naturally, it takes a toll. But I see us as willows; we may bend and sway with the wind — but we don’t break.

    • I have a lot of sensitivity to the world – and not in a good way, but just that my senses are extra strong, and that helps with the photography too.
      I am still a bit of a floater. I’m not one for just one small group, I think!
      I used to run away from pain – I think I’m learning not to do that, or at least not always.

  42. Oh Tamara, this post speaks to me on so many levels. I also get stuck in the storm. Surrounded by dark clouds of horrid thoughts. My dark clouds are always full of self-loathing and worthlessness. It is a constant inward struggle to try and rise above the storm. To fly above those dark clouds. Just remember, other people may seem to do it better, but no one can do it like you. No one can accomplish what you accomplish because you are the only you! Deep, I know, right? The Prozac helps, lol.

    • Love it! People may be better than me at certain things, or worse, but there is no one who does it like me. And some people like it the way I do things!
      The Prozac comment cracked me up. Everyone I know who takes it seems to benefit from it.

  43. Oh man…whew! That was somewhat tough to read because I can relate so much. There is this voice in the back of my head that constantly tells me I’m not good enough and everyone is doing better than me. That I’m just an “awkward” person and always will be. Thank you for hitting publish!

    • I am so awkward! I think I always will be and it’s not the worst thing. Sometimes I feel like the hottest mess on the playground but I think others feel that way too and they don’t necessarily think I do.
      We all have our moments.
      Thank you for hitting “post comment!”

  44. 1. I love that no matter what, the post foremost in your heart is going to make it to the page. Wouldn’t it feel like a disservice to write about anything else that day?

    2. Many times, people will say, “snap out of it!” but it’s not that easy. Nor would I want it to be. I think you’re like me in that when these clouds come, you retreat a bit. You don’t make the world pay for it. So the world should just trust that we’ll emerge in our good time. This aspect of us keeps us grounded.

    3. I firmly believe that the things we do – write, coach, parent, friend – while we’re not thinking of our legacy, that come from the heart, become our legacy when we don’t even realize it. If you look up and look back, there’s some pretty awesome things that have happened in this world because of you.

    • It’s funny because I started writing this on Friday, knowing I’d be away all weekend. And then I finished it on Sunday night when it was still strong. Now it’s Tuesday and it’s not quite the same here, but it was still the story I HAD to tell. I had to change my schedule for it.
      I really always wanted to see what the world would be like without me – like “It’s a Wonderful Life” only with magic and only a temporary glance!
      I really do believe we all matter so darn much.

  45. What a relatable post. Thank you for sharing your words and images with all of us. You are a gift. There was one thing you said that stopped me in my tracks and I said, “YES!” — the constant letting in and letting go. Oh, that has been tough for me. So tough. Nice to know that someone else feels that way–I’ve never heard anyone else say it quite like that, but that’s exactly it.

    • Funny because I didn’t really know how to say it – it just happened. I’m glad you took something from it!
      This comment is a gift – thank you.

  46. I love your honesty here. And yes, I do the same. I don’t know that anyone is totally immune to these feelings. And I’m thankful every day for people like you who make sure the rest of us know we aren’t alone. And hopefully we’re helping you realize you aren’t alone either. We’re all in this together.

    • I often wondered if anyone else had these feelings when I was younger. Now I worry if anyone else has them quite as extreme. At least I do know that they’re extreme and mostly false. Or I mostly know that they’re fully false!

  47. It kills me when you write these posts. It is so hard to see you struggling like this. I believe you are such an amazing person, a wonderful mother, extremely talented photographer and beautiful woman. I understand though. I believe that going through these dark phases happens to us all. We do rise above and see the greatness.

    • I’m so sorry it hurts you to read!
      It’s not all of the time but when it happens, I have to get it out here.
      I do believe we all can rise above, but it seems like the dark phases are more common than I thought.

  48. I think we all have feelings we’re not proud of sometimes but not being defined by them is what allows us to rise above those feelings. I can tell you’re not defined by them at all. In fact you are defeating them by being open and honest. I’ve been there too, thinking things I shouldn’t but not being able to help it. It’s all part of being human, I think and hope πŸ™‚

    • I can’t believe how much it helps. If I knew it would help this much, I would have written more about it ages ago. I used to write more about anxiety when I was experiencing a lot of it. Sometimes life really is smooth.
      It’s good like that.

  49. Can I tell you something completely honest right now? For as long as I have been reading your blog, I have always thought of you to be one of the most gorgeous women in the blog world! We all obviously have insecurities but you really shouldn’t. You are stunning. Your family is stunning. While there are always ups and downs in life, you should cherish what you have – I know you do, but you need to take a minute to cherish yourself, imperfections and all! πŸ™‚

    • Now I have to tell you something. This means more than it could possibly mean – and most of all, from YOU. Just today I was reading your fun interview (Derek Hough for breakfast?) and I kinda sighed and thought, “Ah to be so young and pretty and talented.”
      So for you to say something nice about me? Made my day!
      I might even go have ice cream to celebrate. Er… I mean… fruit. Yes. Fruit. Vegetables?

  50. First, this, writing this, saying this was very brave of you. I can relate to this, I think most of us can. I think most have dark days/dark thoughts and most of us struggle with questions of worthiness. I think it helps me to try remembering when in the midst of one of these days/moments that it will get better, that I am good enough, that I can do anything I put my mind to. This righteous self-talk of mine isn’t always easy, but I’ve found it to be the only thing that helps. I hope this helps, Tamara. xo.

    • Sometimes I just feel like I’m on fire – in a good way – and there’s nothing I can’t do. Sometimes that lasts for YEARS so it’s hard when I go through a cloudy phase, but I guess they’re inevitable.
      Thank you so much for your thoughts.

  51. This is one of those posts that I feel so deeply, because it is my heart. And I feel too overwhelmed to comment. So I read silent and quickly click away – as if that would make this any less true for me. (It doesn’t.)

    But you have the strength to write it, and the courage to hit publish.

    And for that, I must call up every bit of me that is reaching out of the dark place to say…..I read this. I read it, and I felt it, and I thank you for writing it.

    Your words are strong. And you are amazing – even on the days when you don’t feel it.

    • Thank you for coming back too – I know my server was down yesterday which after publishing this post, drove me a bit crazy when I thought about it later. I’m so glad you came back and commented, despite feeling too overwhelmed. I get that.
      You are amazing – always. People mostly can see us shine, even when we can’t.

  52. Yep, been there. Right after the birth of my first child. I’ve kinda talked about it on the blog but never with anyone IRL. Thank you for sharing your story, I’m sure it’ll help many others.

    • Wow, the births of my children helped me a lot to get out of those funks but I’ve still had to do a lot of work on my own. And motherhood presented its own set of anxiety.
      I’d like to read more – maybe I need to dip into the archives!

  53. Oh my gosh, I feel this way too sometimes. Dark clouds is an apt description – because like you, it is not my default. I am normally pretty sunny. But when the cloud cover comes, it is sometimes hard to see the sun again for a while because those thoughts are just so *heavy*; they drag me down. I am always so energized when I can see the light again, and I can let myself off the hook for every fault I had beat myself up over the previous day.
    I think you are so talented and amazing – and your words never fail to connect with me (and many others too!)
    Also, I used to be SO nervous to hit publish, too. Thankfully it has gotten easier over time.

    • Isn’t it funny that when you’re back up again, and in the light, the dark thought seemed sort of..silly? Or just..smaller. That’s it. A lot smaller.
      I wonder why it has gotten so much easier to hit “publish.” I’m grateful for it!

  54. You write about your dark days, and I feel like you are inside my head. I wish there was an off button for self-doubt, but I guess that is what friends and family are for πŸ™‚

    • Yes! I think they’re our off buttons. And blogging.
      Whatever it is, it really does work. My problem is that I often don’t let people in enough to see this darkness. And I’m talking about the people in my face to face life.

  55. I can remember when I could feel you thinking these thoughts when you were little and I was angry that I couldn’t give you your father back or make your life perfect. Our lives get woven into intricate patterns whether in some way controlled by a higher version of ourselves, God/Goddess, or just the swirling energy of creation. Just know that you are that Jarryd to me and you were and still are to many many people.

    • I really believe it now.
      I’m struggling now with Scarlet starting kindergarten – more so than I did last year with her turning four. I guess it was the upheaval of my life at this age. It’s all good, though.

  56. Wow Powerful! I have self-doubt all the time – I think everyone does. The good outweighs the bad though I hope! Hope you can keep up your spirits πŸ™‚

  57. Oh wow, I really needed to read this a couple weeks ago. It is amazing how you are able to put into words what so many of us (unfortunately) feel. I almost feel like I go through this more as I get older. I have days where the self-doubt feel like they are going to consume me. They seem to come as I feel overwhelmed by too much stuff.

    It’s so sad, having ready through some of the comments, that so many of us go through these moments. But I supposed it is also comforting. Because in the moment you feel so alone and wonder how anyone could possibly understand what you are going through. But we do, and we need to remind each other how wonderful and amazing we all are!

  58. I always had multiple ‘groups’ of friends as well. But there was always that core group…the ones that I went back to time and again. As far as the negative thoughts, I think that having those to some degree is normal. At least you’re able to know that it’s temporary. Here’s hoping those times get to be fewer and farther between….and shorter each time.

    • Definitely core groups. It’s funny how I’m friends on Facebook with people I never would have otherwise talked to again, and we have a lot in common as adults, just like we did as little kids.
      I’m finding old core groups and it’s a little weird!

  59. I can attest to feeling quite similar…and lately too. I’ve been stuck in quite a runt lately, with so many changes happening in my life so fast. Its even harder as a mother and wife and not just as myself as it used to be. Part of it all is my anxiety and the other is legitimate things that are just hard to handle. I think we live in a world where everyone else’s life looks so ideal and perfect, and its easy to forget that its not. That only adds to the pressure, and worsens the feelings. Thankful, like I’ve heard you say…it to shall pass and things always get better. That’s what keeps me pushing on.

    • Aw, I’m sorry you’ve been feeling this way too.
      I’ve been in a rut since the late winter and I honestly thought spring would magically change it. I think for me it’s a lot of transitions going on right now and soon. In truth, I have to get better at changes because they will never stop. I’m in it for the long haul!

  60. Our inner voice can be so mean sometimes. It’s like that ‘friend’ who you had for ages but always seemed to bully you into thinking you were not as good as everyone else. It takes a lifetime to see that we all have gifts that benefit the world in different ways – we just have to let ourselves go and believe that. At least that’s true for me. Thinking of you. xo

    • And as much as I had that friend throughout life, my inner voice was always meaner!
      It’s hard to undo years of that, but I can definitely believe good things a lot lately.

  61. You are not alone, Tamara as you can see from the many responses this post has received. It boils down to the ebb and flow of our hormones. Which will rule our emotions till we leave this earth. I am actually find out some very awesome things on hormones and will have a future post on it. Till then know you are loved, beautiful, and cherished by all those who’s life you touch!

  62. I think most people battle with some of these things at some point in their lives. I think because you’ve felt such darkness, you are more able to appreciate the light and joy in your life. Maybe it’s because you’ve been down, you have a such a gift of sharing the up! That’s my take on it, at least!

    • Well I LOVE your take on it. I really do have a lot of light and joy. I always have. Maybe I was born with it (probably) and maybe even more came from seeing the darkest and pulling through it.

  63. I’ve been holding back a post that I wrote weeks ago about my darkest hour. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one ducking so to speak when I hit publish. The thing is, we all have dark moments. As my faith gets stronger, I do see the moments dwindle and I have them less frequently which is good. When tragedy happens, I’m able to even deal with that in ways I never thought I could.

    • I think that’s so inspiring! I find myself going through that every now and then, when I discover a new feeling of spirituality or friendship or so many other things.

  64. Oh Tamara, I’m speechless. I have my doubts as well, but here’s a quote I try to come back to during these moments: β€œEverybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

  65. Pingback: I’ve Been Looking Forward To This All Week. | Tamara Like Camera

  66. I just want to hug you…from over yonder.
    I often feel like this…drifting…not knowing where I stand or if I stand at all or if I am even good at standing.
    I relate to this and it hurts because you feel this way. There is nothing worse than not being able to see what others see…or maybe they don’t and they’re just blowing smoke up your ass.
    See..
    Horrible stuff.
    But truthfully, I think you’re amazing. I really do. xoox

  67. This was so raw and honest. I just wanted to say how impressed I am with your ability to name your struggles not only here but to yourself. (though I guess the latter comes first!) I have many doubts about myself too.

  68. oh i am definitely feeling this post right now! like how i’m not going to be a good enough mother because i can’t get my baby to stop crying. and why is it that everyone seems to post about the happy moments, but not about the bad times. i appreciate you being so truthful.

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