Losing Sight of Yourself

"There are three things extremely hard: steel, a diamond, and to know one's self." - Benjamin Franklin

“There are three things extremely hard: steel, a diamond, and to know one’s self.” – Benjamin Franklin

You know yourself better than any other human.

Sounds simple, right? Why is it then that I find this so hard to remember? I look to others to tell me what I do well, how I look (or how I should look), and who I should become. When I need approval, I don’t even try to rely on myself. Instead, a friend or family member is sure to boost my self-esteem.

Or at least, that is how it has worked most of my life. A time arrives, however, when people around you belittle instead of charm, critique instead of comfort, and ignore instead of notice. Suddenly, you are forced to look at yourself in the mirror in confusion, wondering who you are without the words of others. Or perhaps, wondering if the bitter, nastier labels they stuck on you are the reality of your character.

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Self-Hatred: Part Self-Doubt and Part Self-Disgust

Without even looking down, I tugged. The denim refused to budge. Surprised, I turned my attention to the jeans from my sister. As much as I hate pants, these ones were acceptable to wear on the odd day when I felt so inclined.

The jeans, on the other hand, did not feel so inclined to me. After another tug, I realized that there was no way the buttons could close over my hips. The jeans that had fit the last time I tugged them on now were too small.

I hate recovery. That was my first thought. Hate it so much. Almost as much as I hate myself.

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I’m Never Good Enough

All I Want is Perfection

Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it. – Salvador Dali

Whenever people claim that I am nice, hard working, considerate, sweet, smart, or another positive trait, my first thought is that I am not good enough at that.

I am not perfect enough to be a perfectionist. I am not pretty enough to be a beauty. I am not talented enough to an actress. I am not, I am not [fill in the blank] enough to anything.

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Recovery in the Media: #66. Imagine Dragons

This band might have dark songs, but their honesty and glimmer of hope make the music powerful.

This band might have dark songs, but their honesty and glimmer of hope make the music powerful.

66. Selected Imagine Dragons songs

Rock music usually overwhelms me. Heavy beats and screaming lyrics were what I associated with this genre. However, as I have been exposed to more types of music, my tastes have begun to broaden. The first song that I heard by Imagine Dragons was “Radioactive.” The somber lyrics and apocalyptic feel bewildered me, but something about the eerie tone transfixed me. As I have listened to more songs by this band, I have found that the morbid nature of their lyrics actually has some hope hidden beneath them despite the darkness in our world. Likewise, depression can cause one to see things in a grim light, yet hope remains for those of us who struggle with mental illness.This is one of the reasons that I chose them for Media Monday.

Selected Songs:

  • “Monster” from their Smoke + Mirrors album
  • “Demons” from their Night Visions album
  • “I Bet My Life” from their Smoke + Mirrors album
  • “It’s Time” from their Night Visions album
  • “On Top of the World” from their Night Visions album Continue reading

Everybody Hates Me, Everybody Loves Me…

Today I walked to and from the place we are staying by myself either very early in the morning or later in the evening. Both times I was alright but anxious and did not feel quite safe all alone. However I was too scared to talk to anyone.

Today I walked to and from the place we are staying by myself either very early in the morning or later in the evening. Both times I was alright but anxious and did not feel quite safe all alone. However I was too scared to talk to anyone.

Do you ever feel like you are on a roller coaster when it comes to relationships? At one moment, others seem to enjoy your presence, and you begin to trust yourself with others. Perhaps people could genuinely like your company and think you are fun.

Then the world seems to shatter as someone sneers at you, ignores you repeatedly, and grins knowingly at a friend while turning their back to you. Suddenly you think about all of your worst qualities. Of course thinking others could enjoy you was stupid. They would never accept your ungraceful remarks, know-it-all demeanor combined with obvious ignorance, and disgusting looks. If you were in their shoes, you would hate yourself as well.

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I’m a Bad Luck Magnet for Cars

Saying goodbye as the brothers drive away

I have always feared being around cars much less driving them.

Most teenager long for their driver’s license and the freedom of driving. Youth ran to get their license at 16 and dangled their keys in front of others, causing envy and longing. At least, that seemed to be the response of my friends and family.

I, on the other hand, dreaded cars and everything related to them. Driver’s Ed was one of the worst experiences of my life. The fear tactics that amused other classmates terrified me. Anxiety about crashing and nightmares with graphic images haunted me even when I was a passenger. Worse yet, my intrusive thoughts (probably from OCD) would enter my head and refuse to leave. Suddenly, I kept visualizing killing others and myself in horrible ways. The responsibility and power one has when they drive a car crippled me with fear.

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