Today I don’t like myself – Part II

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For Part I – read here.

Sometimes I feel like my biggest life struggle is a never ending mission to like myself.

My life motto is to always strive to be a better person – smarter, kinder – the type of person I want to be best friends with, but every time I think I reach that point, something dark inside me pulls me back and makes me think that I am not smart or kind or good.

I wonder why it is so hard to be best friends with myself. I have a lot of friends. They like me (I think?) – why don’t I like me? Why do I have to try to be best friends with myself? Why doesn’t it come naturally? Why do I have to tell myself again and again:

You’re lovely. You’re smart. You’re funny. You are a great person. I like who I am.

The more I say this to myself the less it feels like the truth.

What is this dark thing inside me? Why does it do what it does? Why does it throw away all the happiness I’ve gained and earned and make me feel like my life is so empty?

And why do I let it do this to me?

I’d like to think that my mental health is good. I tell myself not to drink my sorrows away because it will only amplify my negative emotions. I tell myself I don’t need to take drugs to escape from my problems. I remind myself that I can change who I am if I am unhappy with myself.

I tell myself: you’re just having a bad day, you don’t have a bad life.

I know this. I’ve always known this. It just doesn’t make me feel any better.

I pray that I’ll always have good days because it’s scary to have bad days. The thoughts I am left alone with are so dark and ugly that I wish it didn’t come from me. I wish I can always see myself how others see me, or how I see me on my good days – as someone who works hard and cares about other people and possesses a goodness- but I also know that I can’t always be happy. I know I will never be a perfect person, and that you can be best friends with someone and still be angry at them or hurt by them.  I just wish I didn’t hurt myself so much.

There are so many people out there who can do that. The whole damn world can tell me all the negative things the dark thing inside me whispers into my mind late at night, but I shouldn’t do that to me.

I should be better to me. More kind. More forgiving. More accepting.

Yet tonight again, I surrender to my demons. May my soul wake up to a day when they are silenced for good.

Sincerely, Loewe

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4 thoughts on “Today I don’t like myself – Part II

  1. (Sorry for the armchair psychologist essays, but I really enjoy reading/commenting on posts about people’s personalities and what goes on inside their head lol)

    Because you are a responsible person, you take yourself seriously. You have high expectations on yourself and you need to meet them. When you don’t, you scold yourself. As I read your post, I found myself nodding along to your train of thought as I often have thoughts like this too.

    1. I should be a certain way. [ideal Loewe]
    2. I am not a certain way. [current Loewe]
    3. I should be a certain way so therefore something is wrong with me.
    4. I am not a certain way and I am not a good person.
    5. I should be a certain way but I’m not, therefore something is wrong with me and I’m a terrible person.

    I think this is inevitable when you’re a type-A, high-achiever.

    Type A comes with its own set of pros and cons. Of course it’s best to be high-achieving & totally content, but that’s a bit of an oxymoron. When you look at the ‘totally content’ people around you in life, where are they? What have they accomplished? I don’t really believe that happy people will try super hard to get to somewhere else because they’re too happy with where they are.

    You need to be good at your job. You need to look a certain way. You need to manage your weight. You need to be popular. You need to excel at hobbies. You need to have a perfect boyfriend. You need to have a perfect relationship. You need to like yourself.

    You know what, you’ve checked off a lot of those boxes. Way more than the average person, but you might think because you have a few missing you’re not doing well enough – so you scold yourself and have negative thoughts about why you’re not good enough. Meanwhile, someone else (type B) may have checked off 1 or 2 and feel like they’re Beyonce.

    Like you said, your life motto is to “always strive to be a better person”. This motivation is what drives you to work hard and form the basis of your ambition. Yet ‘better’ means ‘different’. Even if your baseline was good to someone else, it’s not enough for you because it’s not better. You always need to make progress. So when you get set-backs it hits you harder than it would hit another person. All of a sudden not only are you not ‘better’ you might feel ‘worse’ than before.

    Meanwhile, a type B person already shrugged off the set-back and is back to being happy and content with themselves. But have they learned anything from the experience? They’re so busy being happy that they don’t become ‘better’ – well, why would they need to be? They’re already happy.

    I believe that’s why you see some people making the same mistakes over and over again. Hopping from dead-end job to job, dead-end relationship to relationship, roaming in and out of debt, no clear direction. Why do they care? They’re happy with themselves at night. They don’t have self-loathing like the Type As.

    If you had to choose between:

    Being happy with where you are OR constantly striving for improvement.
    Admiring yourself OR being admired by others.

    I bet you’d choose the second.

    It would be ideal to have both. To be happy, yet still try to grow and improve, to both admire yourself and be admired by others. But that’s asking a lot. Some people have neither. Lots of people hate the President of the US. Maybe that bum on the street is happy with their life. The point is, no one has everything.

    Anyways, that was the long winded pre-cursor to tell you that I (totally projecting) understand the struggle. I have no idea how you will get past it, because I haven’t, and I find myself being hard on myself and full of self-loathing all the time. Tracy, why did you make this mistake on your spreadsheet, why does your boss not praise you more, why did you overeat, why is your face breaking out, why did you forget this date, why can’t you save more money, why is your skin so gross, why can’t you clean your house more, why is this other bitch so much better than you in every way, etc etc.

    I want to stop the self-loathing, but I recognize that no one else will be hard on me except for myself. Therefore, I choose high achieving + daily dose of self-loathing.

    *goes back to work after slacking for half an hour*

    **feels guilt for calling self high-achiever while slacking by posting on friend’s blog**

    ***cycle of self-loathing never ends***

    1. Thanks for the long comment. I think you do understand how I feel because I also nod my head a lot at what you wrote in your comment.

      Self-loathing is such an unhealthy activity and I’ve been trying to really cut down on it, but I feel like that only piles it all up and destroys me when it actually happens. Sometimes I feel like such a phony (haha) because I wonder if I am truly happy with my life and if I tell myself rationally that I am, then I wonder why I still feel this way.

      I also try not to compare myself to other people (like B-types that you mentioned). My argument for the whole starving-children-in-Africa (basically, someone else out there has it worse than you) always leads back to my rebuttal of how yeah that sucks for those people, but it doesn’t make my situation any less relevant to me. Clearly, I’m not the most compassionate individual.

      Yes, I would love to have both – self acceptance as well as ambition. It seems kind of contradictory, because if you truly accepted yourself you wouldn’t feel a drive to improve. I guess it’s about identifying areas that offer actual feasible improvement opportunities, versus areas of life where you just have to accept things the way they are because it’s beyond your control. It’s a tough realization for someone like me, who believes I can have it all. I really do hate the idea of “settling”.

  2. Hi Hi!

    Be kind to yourself, let yourself feel bad. And I know the latter is usually bad advice, fight, but know your battles sometimes the harder you try and fight it and push it down the stronger it comes back and is in your face. Just know, you are not alone with your demons just because you can’t see the light tonight, it doesn’t mean someone isn’t shining it for you tomorrow.

    Being Type A will get you everything you want in life it gives you that drive to work for it, so self love and self acceptance should be something you strive for and work hard towards. I find that my Type A personality helps me strive hard to accept who I am as a person and some days it is easier than most. Don’t think of it as settling, think of it as a step to self acceptance, you need to be here now to level up.

    When I have my days, I do checklists; things that I know I am happy for, things that remind me of those good things I have in my life.

    From one sleepless thought to another :)

To Loewe:

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