I started writing a post about family separation at the border and I couldn’t get through it.
I’m having trouble getting through much of anything right now.
I can tell myself over and over that I am worth loving, that I have something to offer, that I do have friends and family in my life who know exactly who I am and love me anyway, and sometimes I believe it. Sometimes I see myself as the incredible and beautifully complex person I am. And sometimes I don’t.
It’s painful to realize that people you thought were friends are not. It’s painful when someone uses your own struggles against you as you’re trying to learn to love yourself. It’s painful when you can’t be the person or friend you wish you were. For people like me, it means another exhausting battle with the voices in my head telling me it’s because I am the problem. I am a mess. I am causing “drama.” I am impossible to love. I am not this enough or that enough. I am just not enough.
But you know what? You know what phrase I fucking hate? It’s the one that goes like this:
You can’t love anyone until you love yourself.
Stop fucking saying that. It is yet another way to diminish people who struggle with self-hatred as a result of mental illness. It is another way of perpetuating our own ideas about ourselves–we are not worth anything. We don’t even have the capacity to love until we get our shit together.
This is fucking bullshit. I know, because I live this. I live on this long, isolated road. Every day. Sometimes I can see the path ahead and other times I am suddenly, terrifyingly, lost.
I am not saying loving yourself is not important. I am working constantly on loving myself. It’s just that sometimes I fail. I don’t hate myself every day, but I hate myself for part of almost every day, and it doesn’t diminish my ability to love other people. And my ability to love other people means that I can say (and truly believe) these things to those I love:
You deserve to be loved.
You deserve to be treated well.
Expressing hurt is NOT CAUSING DRAMA.
EXPRESSING HURT IS NOT CAUSING DRAMA.
Friends should lift you up, and if they don’t, something is wrong.
Trust your instincts. Especially if you are a highly sensitive and intuitive person. We are the ones that people love to call “crazy” and “over-sensitive.” Those of us who are also depressed and anxious are the people who are not listened to, because how can we be trusted?
TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS. You are right.
You deserve to be heard and acknowledged and valued.
I believe these things about you. I believe these things about me, but I have to keep repeating them. I need people in my life who will hear me, who see me, and who will lift me up. I need people who do not use guilt as a weapon. I need people who do not use my personality as a weapon.
I will lift you up. I will do my best to hear you, especially if you express hurt. I AM NOT HARD TO LOVE. My social anxiety makes life difficult. I know my friends get frustrated with me sometimes. I get frustrated with them too. They love me anyway. I love them anyway. And some friendships just don’t work. I am not the friend for everyone, that is for sure. But there is nothing about me that is inherently wrong or broken or FUCKING WRONG.
I’m so tired. I’m so fucking tired of not being able to consistently trust myself or see myself as worthy of love. I am so fucking tired. All the time. I’m tired of being tired and tired of beating myself up for being tired and for not doing enough and not doing anything and not being anything.
I’m so fucking old. Why don’t I have my shit together? WHY CAN’T I JUST FEEL BETTER? Why can’t I just be a happy person? A “normal” person?
If you are a person who struggles with these things and you have people in your life who reinforce your own negative feelings about yourself, TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS. Let go of those people.
My fucking life depends on respecting myself enough to listen to my instincts. My life depends on surrounding myself with loving and supportive people. My life is worth protecting. And so is yours.
I am not a victim and I am not tragic. I am a human being with a mental illness who also happens to be very sensitive and intuitive and these can be great gifts and they can be great weaknesses, and I am trying to find my way through the world. The world I know is particularly painful and dark right now, and this dark world needs my gifts of sensitivity and intuition and compassion. That means I need to be careful.
I am a fucking warrior and I deserve to be loved. I may not believe that all the time, but I believe it about you, and that’s how I know it’s true.
*In case anyone is concerned, my life is not in danger and I am not suicidal.