Everyone has their own struggles with love. It could be a struggle with loving members of your family, friends, or a significant other. For me, my struggle has always been trying to love myself. Loving and caring about others has always been above caring and loving myself.
I recently found out that the way I felt about myself was not how most people felt about themselves. From a young age, my thoughts about myself had always been negative. I grew up making self-deprecating jokes about my body, intelligence, and abilities. I had never been good enough, I tried to become the kid that everyone else liked at school. I tried to be someone else for so long that I lost sight of who I really was. I was no longer happy in most aspects of my life. I was ugly, fat, stupid, obnoxious, odd, and useless. Every time one of these words popped into my mind, it felt like razor blades slowly scraping away at my insides. Negative thoughts began to consume my mind.
I felt as though I was lost in a sea of loneliness, struggling against the strong waves trying to pull me deeper into a depression. The negative thoughts and memories of past taunts and humiliations swirled through my mind, even though most of the negative people in my life had been gone for over a decade. Thankfully, my desire to love and care for others kept me alive during the days, but my own hatred towards myself made me question whether or not I should go on living. No one really knew how I felt because I kept my feelings buried and brushed away their worries with a painted on smile. Slowly, the painted smile began to wear away and the tears I had suppressed were hard to hold behind my closed eyes.
Failures, rude comments, and small and insignificant rejections began to eat away at me. I found myself on the brink of a breakdown. I saw no other way out in my exhausted mind and overwhelmed emotional state. I swirled into despair and made decisions that I wish I could regret. However, the bad decisions that I made have shaped who I have grown to be.
I am still learning to love myself. I have not done it alone. Having a loving family and amazing friends have helped me to realize who I really am and they have highlighted the things that make me unique and loveable. I also have therapy to talk about my feelings, where I’m trying to be more honest with myself and starting to actually let people all the way in rather than stopping them at the surface. I have also started to develop a real relationship where I’m able to see the good qualities he brings out in me.
I still have a lot to learn, but I’m finally beginning to see the good in me. I can now see that I am funny, caring, adventurous, whimsical, kind, smart, and talented.
What do you love about you?