Good morning, dear one.

High-functioning anxiety has been the bully that has kicked my ass since I was labeled a ‘gifted’ kid in third grade. For most of my life I was more focused on achieving an expected outcome than I was on enjoying the ride. At least part of that was no doubt due to being raised in a home where love was little more than a dangling carrot, a fleeting, performative reward to be earned at all costs.

My anxiety lied to me for so many years. It had me believing that my worth was directly tied to performance, leading to an unsustainable achievement-based lifestyle that put constant stress on my mental, physical, and emotional health. It wasn’t until earlier this year that I finally swallowed my pride and admitted that I needed to take medication to help manage that anxiety and I am happy to tell you that it has helped a lot. But even now as I close in on my 50th birthday next month, talk to a therapist twice a month, take medication, and do regular self-check ins, my overactive brain can still send me into a tailspin.

A few days ago I was talking to my mentee. Much like me, he’s the type to shoulder the weight of the world like a modern day Atlas, even while people are fitting him with concrete boots and coaxing him toward the water’s edge. And like me, he couldn’t break out of the mindset that he needed to fix things when something went wrong, even when someone else broke it.

I responded to something he shared by saying, ‘It’s not your job to rebuild a bridge you didn’t burn.

Today I share those words with you because I want you to remember who you are. Remember that your worth is not tied to what you can do for someone; if that is their unit of measure it may be time to reevaluate the relationship and whether or not it serves you. You’re not here to tend to the wounds of people who constantly pick their own scabs to watch them bleed.

You’re here to live – to really live. So take back the pen and start writing the next chapter of a life that makes you happy. And never forget that I love you.


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About Sentimental Dom

Michael Nolan is The Sentimental Dom. He wants you to keep your chin up, treat everyone with dignity, compassion, and respect, and drink more water.

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