In the shoes of others

The truth is I'm deeply deeply deeply insecure

- I come across as very sure of myself, like a man that knows where he's going and what he wants, and I'm not pretending to be like that, I really feel like people perceive me in that way. But the truth is I'm deeply deeply deeply insecure. Deeply insecure, and that sometimes surprises people in a very negative way, because they expect me to act in a very different way, and sometimes I just can't cope. Sometimes I just let go.

- Why do you think they perceive you this way?

- Well, different things, this is going to sound very petty, I think it might be the leather jacket, the tattoos... I used to be a corporate lawyer and now I'm in human rights doing my PhD in Edinburgh, and some people have called me "successful" in a way... I feel really ashamed saying these things, because they don't sound, they don't ring as true in my ears but people have told me that I was someone brave enough to follow his dreams and all of that, but... I don't feel any of those things, I just feel like insecure, very afraid... but! I've met someone I love, and that is always a good thing. And this is not the reason I'm with her, but she gives me so much strength.

- How does that affect your level of feeling secure?

- Well, I've done psychotherapy most of my life, since I was very young, because I had a very traumatic childhood, and I stopped going like 5 or 7 years ago, and since I met her and we got married, that was two years ago, I started to feel little by little, because it's not psychotherapy, but I started to feel little by little a bit more secure, the way I used to feel every time I left the therapist's office.

- What are the things that would trigger your sense of not feeling secure?

- Well, mostly hangovers, the abuse of alcohol, I don't do synthetic drugs really, I smoked my share of weed when I was younger and that's it, but yeah, derailing, getting off my set routine, I really like a routine, a constructive routine, getting up early, doing some sport, doing some exercise, getting on the job, ...

- Knowing where you going? Because back to what you were saying, people perceiving you as someone who knows where he is going...

- Yes, it's a good feeling. And getting off that routine makes me feel anxious, very anxious, it's mostly anxiety that I deal with, mostly.

- Do you know the reasons why like, if you know that tomorrow you will have to do something completely different than expected for some reason, why will you feel anxious?

- I mean, I've done that actually, I switched careers a couple of times very dramatically in my life, and I liked it, I moved from different towns from one week to another, just decided I wanted to go and I've done it and I'm cool with that, because I deeply believe that we as humans, we can adapt to anything, or almost anything, but even the worst conditions like civil wars with the most insane atrocities taking place, you can get used to that, but the feeling of not having something to get used to, like, I don't mind that it's new, I just need that there is something that I can get used to... a very simple example, the hangover thing, wasting an entire day just laying in bed not wanting to do anything, that's something that makes me very anxious, like being in a limbo.

- So you don't drink anymore now?

- No, I drink, but I take it easy. Last week-end was awful, a friend from Oxford came over, he stayed with us and we went out on Friday and Saturday, both days til very late, Monday was shit, but we were happy, I mean, I wasn't alone (showing me his wife's hand), and my friend, which I love very much came over and the three of us had a great time. So that was the exception to the rule, but when I'm alone mostly, that's worst, so...

- Okay... you said you changed carriers, from being a lawyer to now be a PhD student. Did you have to deal with anxiety during this transition, or is it like you're so driven by it that you don't really ask yourself the question, or does it feel safe enough to make this transition, or is it very triggering or... ?

- Well, it's been a dream of lifetime, really, I wanted to do this since I was like 14 or something like that, I did my Master's degree in London and 5 years ago I tried to get into Edinburgh Uni, I couldn't, I went back to Chile after that, it was a great experience, a very tough experience, but after I went back to Chile I met Stephanie, I realized that I still needed to do this, so... being such an important thing for me to do, it hasn't been as hard as it could have been. Especially because of my previous experience in London. We're good, I'm happy. And actually, after this conversation, I feel much happier!

- Thank you very much, I'm glad to hear that!

- Thank you very much!

- I'm wondering, if someone reads what you said and can relate to that, would you have an advice for this person?

- Well, I'm thinking of an advice for myself, probably... Nothing is as important as it seems like. Time gives perspective and when you look back on anything that was hard or bad for you, or tough, you will see that it wasn't as bad or as hard as you thought it was. Nothing is as bad as you think. Not even the death of a loved one. Not even that. And we have no idea what comes after death, so, don't give up, try to make the most of life and take it one day at a time.

#insecure #insecurity #insecurities #perception #leatherjacket #tattoos #lawyer #humanrights #phd #phdstudent #edinburghuniversity #successful #ashamed #brave #veryafraid #love #strength #psychotherapy #traumatichildhood #moresecure #alcohol #routine #exercise #anxiety #career #adviceformyself #nothingisasimportantasitseemslike #dontgiveup #makethemostoflife #onedayatatime

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This is a participation to a social project to promote empathy and fight discrimination.

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