I am not hiding the fact that I am very self-critical. It has been a part of me for so long, I do not even realize that I’m doing it. We all tend to do that at times. We put ourselves down without even acknowledging the hurt we put on ourselves. For me, I know it is a problem. It’s going to take some work. What got me realizing this was a bigger problem than I let on is this: Imagine you saying the things you say to yourself, to your best friend. This got me thinking. I would never ever say many of the hurtful things I put on myself to anyone else. And when my friends are self-critical, what do you do? You prove them wrong. You show them that their thoughts aren’t accurate, and if they are, you show them the good to outcast the bad. So why is it any different with myself?
Everyone has insecurities. I try my best to find ways to love mine. I really do try. Some days I forget, and i look in the mirror and pick them out. Other days I accept them. But I really do try. I am not a very confident person, but I do have moments where I am confident and I take those seriously.
I found this quote on Pinterest:
It is a shame that sometimes we are the ones destroying our own minds. My anxiety has always triggered embarrassment over the smallest things. Sometimes I remember stupid things I did when I was 11, and to this day, I close my eyes very tightly until the memory goes away. Why am I still stressing over things I said or did years ago?
I saw online the message: Be your own best friend
I want that. I want to try and pretend that when I say something hurtful in my head, that it is being said to someone else. And then apologize, or something.
I find myself saying “I hate myself” multiple times a day. Whether it’s being said while laughing and joking, or being extremely embarrassed, I always tell people I hate myself. That’s like saying “I hate you” to my best friend many times in one day.
The thing is..I know what I need to do. I know I need to not let the little things bother me. I know I need to remove the unnecessary negative thought processes from my head. I know that my anxiety makes me feel like crap, but I did not choose it, and I do not deserve it.
These are all things I know!! Why is so hard to believe in them. To trust them, to act on them?
I have had many unkind things said to me in my life. I will continue to experience unkind people in my life. Oh well. What are you going to do? My Nana always says “Kill ’em with kindness.” I’ve trained myself to be strong and to stick up for myself, and to show I am unaffected, even if I am. In a way..I want to work on that. I don’t want to “act” unaffected. I want to truly be unaffected by the stupid things people can say. If I stick up for myself when other people are unkind to me, why can’t I stick up for myself when I catch myself being unkind too?
This is so much easier to say than to do. It has become so natural for me to blame all my actions on me being stupid, awkward, pathetic, etc.
The thing that I realized is..it’s a problem within myself. Now let me explain. Say you are being bullied. You put the guilt on yourself for people not liking you. You assume you deserve the hate. We all know in reality it is the bully that is the cause. My bully, in this case, is my anxiety. I do not have an external bully to put the blame on. The anxiety is in my head, in my thoughts, in my symptoms. It’s within me. So instead of blaming the word “anxiety” in thin air, I take it out on whatever I am feeling. In a bad way, I am training myself to believe the anxiety is a part of who I am. Wrong.
Changing your thought process isn't rocket science. “You just do it.” No. It’s actually really fricken difficult.
I let a lot of things slide now that would have affected me much more when I was younger. I hope the same will follow for me into adulthood, and that as I get older I become stronger with what I allow to affect me.
I think what scares me the most is that I am picturing myself as I am now in an adult atmosphere and saying holy crap I can’t do this. I have not graduated, I haven’t experienced college yet, my first real career, buying a house, starting a family, etc. I am forgetting how much growing I have already done throughout the years and that the more experiences I endure, the more I will continue to grow. Adulthood doesn’t happen with a snap of your fingers. Growing up is a process. I can already recognize a drastic change in strength from when I was in middle school to now. I need to stop thinking that this is how I will think and feel for the rest of my life. Within time I can look back at 17 and say “look how far I’ve come.” I need to stop freezing this struggle in time and expecting I will always be this way. If I already notice I am getting stronger throughout the years, maybe later I will look back and things will be different.
A Boston social work student, using writing for healing. Sharing the peaks and valleys of an empath's mental health journey.