So, I don’t tend to write about this issue when it concerns me, mainly because I’m not open about it with my people. I find it hard to talk about it, because I occasionally still struggle with it and it’s hard for me to talk about my feelings/experiences so openly; but this is more for you than me, because it breaks my heart to know that there are so many people that struggle with what I do, too.
And the, ‘it’, this ‘thing’? Is self hate/self love/depression/self harm.
I’m completely aware that these things are very different and are not the same, but I’m just going to talk about them as a whole, regarding my struggle with all of them because for me they all go hand in hand. I’m also going to be really open with you on this, because it’s the only and the best way to do this.
I’ve struggled with self hate for a couple of years now. It’s a daily struggle still, but I can’t say it’s necessarily gotten easier as I’ve gotten older, if anything it’s gotten harder BUT I’ve learnt how to handle all of these things better.
I think the problem with society and depression/self hate/self harm/mental illnesses in general is that when spoken about, or when people are struggling, society seems to shame them for that very reason they opened up; and for me, that was a problem and still is. What I want to tell you is:
It’s ok to have feelings, it’s ok to feel down sometimes, or feel hurt, or want to hide into a hole but what’s not ok, is letting yourself stay that way permanently, because if so, you can let all these things take over you and they can become you and then you won’t be able to truly know your true potential and what you are capable of.
Normally, people tend to tell you to go exercise; or to get out of the house; or to learn to love yourself, etc. but honestly? it’s really hard to do those things. It’s hard to leave the house when you feel like hurting yourself; or when you don’t feel safe in your own body; or you just want to not see or speak to anyone: it’s hard and sometimes taking care of myself or moving my body or loving myself are the last things that I feel like doing. So, I’m going to give you a list of things that I do:
- I tell my people – of all the things, this is the hardest thing for me to do, but I can’t stress how important it is to have the right people around you. People that understand you when you’re hurting, and if they don’t they still try to; people that won’t judge you based on your circumstance or won’t love you any less because of the state of your mental health. I learnt this the hard way, but I’m so lucky and honestly thank God everyday for the friends and the people He has put in my life that keep loving me, especially when I’m hard to love. Having a strong support system around you is incredibly important, and so so so helpful.
- I cry – this may seem like a weird one, but it’s probably the best and most therapeutic thing for me to do. Allowing myself to feel my emotions, and I just let it go because it’s easier to cry sometimes than holding everything in and letting the hate and anger grow inside me even more. Crying can help so, I challenge you to try it the next time you’re down.
- I read/watch a show or film – I really like doing this, because escaping helps. Going back to what I love, or watching a new film/reading a new book allows me to get away from my own life for a little while and to just not worry about everything, and it makes me feel a hundred times better because I can shift the focus from what’s going on inside me.
- I write – I hate writing sometimes, because it means that I have to confront how I’m feeling, but once I do write, I feel SO much better because I’m no longer harbouring all the feelings I have within me. I’ve let them go and they’re out there, so when I look back I can see my hurt and pain and sadness and say “hey, look. you made it through and it’s going to be okay in the end.”
- I talk to God/read my bible – for my Christian buddies, this is what’s most important to me. Even if you’re not a Christ follower, I really recommend this to be honest, because without God I honestly wouldn’t have been able to get through any of the hard and painful times. Talking to God makes me feel so good and relieved because, I know He knows it all and He just wants things to be good for me, He is in control and He loves me SO much more than anybody else can. He is constant and He never fails; the answer yes or no, He just wants what’s best for me. If you want any comfort, I suggest that you read the Psalms because it’s the most honest and pure book I’ve ever read. It shows me that I can cry to God and be angry and hurt and hate and just pour my heart out to Him and He will comfort me, and love me even when, and especially when I can’t do those things for myself.
- I treat myself/try move my body– I feel like this is the most self explanatory, and probably the most annoying thing for me but it helps me a ton once I do it. Eating well, doing yoga or just walking, or painting my nails or even just having a shower help me feel so good about myself, because I’m doing something for myself, to help myself and love myself. Which, when you spend so much time loathing who you are, it’s important to care for yourself and do the little things, because the little things count.
- I help other people – doing this helps me take my mind off of myself, and helps me to know that even when I’m hurting I can still help other people in some way; and it honestly warms my heart so much to know that one less person will be hurting.
These are only a few things that I do, but they’re the things that I do the most because they help me so much. I’m not going to lie and say I do these things all the time, because I still have really bad days but doing these things make me understand and value myself in some way, because I know that when I help myself, I also help those who love me and that makes me want to be a better person all the more. It makes me want to love myself and see the person that they love too.
Awareness & Reaching out
So, I’m going to stop waffling soon, but I think raising awareness and reaching out to people who struggle with depression/self hate/self harm/mental illnesses in general, is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT. I can honestly say that I won’t be the woman I am today, if people didn’t constantly reach out or check up on me or made me aware of their situation too.
Community is really important, it builds people up and it also brings love. I learnt love from different people, but mainly from Christ, because honestly if I didn’t have His love or the love of my people I wouldn’t be able to make it through the little things.
Reach out to people, love people. Despite their experiences, despite who they are and to be honest that’s ALL the MORE reason you should love them, because we are all hurting in some way and we need to have people around us that show love, because you honestly don’t know how much you reaching out or smiling at someone may make their day.
Love, because it’s important.
Love, because it matters.
I hope this has helped, and if you ever need me my inbox is always open, and I’m listening. I love you, I care and I value you, so much.