let’s talk about something that’s usually not being addressed openly, shall we? it’s been a while since my last
more thoughtful exposing post, where i revealed ‘things i’m afraid to tell you’. well, the list of my flaws is long… so long. but today i want to address another topic. namely the horrible monster called ‘low self-esteem’…
there used to be a few periods in my life when i pitied myself, a lot… not because something really bad, life-changing or traumatic happened to me, mind you. i simply felt sorry for myself for various reasons. oh, yeah, there were a lot of really good reasons…
for starts, i thought life in general was unfair. like, when everyone seemed to go abroad for an exchange term at uni – i felt sorry for myself for not being able to do the same, and for having to work for a living, instead (although actually, i managed to get really cool jobs all the time, and got there all by myself, and in the end it did bring me somewhere – but that didn’t occur to me back then…). it didn’t need a lot to convince myself i was inferior to everybody else. i felt i lagged behind in the looks department. because compared to me, everyone else clearly had shinier and fuller hair, brighter and straighter teeth, bigger boobs, fuller lips, skinnier limbs and better skin. everyone was better, wittier, smarter, funnier, xyz (fill in the blank). of course, that was, i reasoned, also why i didn’t find love… because i simply wasn’t good enough – and because everyone else could see it, too. i did have the odd date or boyfriend, mind you. and i had my fare share of fun with them (sometimes…when they weren’t complete assholes…). but i never really found true love, although it used to be the single most important goal in in my life, to just find love. sure, once or twice i did fall in love, hard… but only to be thrown back after some time and end up being terribly heartbroken and lost. each heartbreak felt worse than the last. and naturally, insecure that i was, i was good at blaming me for everything.
so i ended up in a circle of self-pity and self-hatred. the more i pitied myself and everyone pitied me, the more i hated myself. sometimes, i cried myself to sleep for weeks. i grew lame with fear and sorrow about the future and blocked out all the love friends and family were trying to give me. in fact, i wanted them to be sorry for me, too. i wasn’t really depressed in the medical way. but i sure was in a very dark place. and i had caused it myself… i brought myself down with my self-criticism. i wasn’t nice to myself; no, in fact, i was my worst enemy…. i got out of this self-destructive phase after some time after i had cried and blamed myself enough. eventually, even i grew tired of pitying myself. it left me with no energy, wasted, empty and lonely. sadly, i never fought the problem at the root, because i didn’t understand back then that i was the problem; that my low self-esteem was to blame, that only i was able to help myself out of this shit, and no one else. i didn’t know i had to love myself, first, to improve my life.
at the beginning of this year, i’ve experienced a great deal of real, true sorrow… things in my family. and a break-up that feels more like a divorce. it all came at once, like a storm that washed over me and left me with the ruins of my life. and honestly, this time, i would have had enough reason to pity myself for good measure and to stay in bed until spring. this time, it really was either ‘break’ or ‘move on’…
but i didn’t break… i went out there and moved on with life. sure, i cried
a bit a lot, and i shared my worries with my best friends. and then we cried a bit, together. at times i still feel lost and in despair, sure. but i changed something significantly this time: i didn’t want to be pitied, and i didn’t want to pity myself, either. it seemed to be the better coping strategy to just not think about all the shit that went wrong – and to focus on the good things instead. i learned that to pity myself won’t bring me anywhere. i learned that i have to pick myself up from the ground, over and over again, because no one else will or can do it. that only i can change my life, actively, and that i’m in charge of how i feel. i’m not perfect, i have a lot of flaws. but i’m lovable, i’ve got a lot of love to give, and i know will be happy again. i don’t want anyone’s pity! because it makes me feel sorry for myself. so i smile at myself in the mirror each morning – although i feel anything but it. so i go out for dinner with my lovely girlfriends – when the least thing i want to think about is food. so i stay up unreasonably late and dance the night away – although actually i feel like an alien because i haven’t been to a club in what feels like ten years. i shave, i blow out my hair with extra care, i dress up, i get myself a really nice new moisturizer (god, a really expensive treat… you could fly to the maldives for that…) and smear it generously all over my face, neck and décolleté (haha, because i can). i smile for the sake of it. and with the smile comes the belief that everything will be fine. with the proactive, apparent fun activities comes the actual happiness. it crawls into my heart. and it gives me hope.
i’m not questioning the bad things anymore. i accept them. i am willing to put up a fight, to not have an easy life. but i’m young(ish…), wild, and free. i can do whatever i want to do, without having to ask. i can pay for my own light bill and go on a holiday alone. i’ve got friends who care about me, and that’s a pretty damn great achievement. hell, i probably get more love than other people who are in a relationship! not only am i moving on, but i’m enjoying every single thing in my new life without self-pity and sorry feelings. pity parties are yesterday, today is only intentional happiness. i prescribe it to myself. i’ve still got me, and that’s pretty good for a start.
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