Over the past few years, I have become very aware of how horrible I am to myself. There’s the question I sometimes ask myself when I’m being mean to me: would you say that to someone else? The answer is always no, that would be really terrible…
“You are worthless/gross/useless/disgusting”
“You are a fucking idiot”
“Nobody will ever love you”
“Everybody hates you, they’re only pretending to be your friend”
Typing that, knowing that I tell myself these things on a daily basis, made me a little sad. Changing thinking habits is probably the most difficult thing that I have had to work on through therapies and eating disorder recovery. It’s not like quitting smoking. Cigarettes are something separate from your being. Thoughts are not, they are etched into your brain. When someone tells you to think more positively and you cannot imagine how that is even possible.
You make a mistake. You think “oh fuck, better not do that again.”
I make a mistake. I think “I am an awful person, a failure, I might as well be dead.” It doesn’t stop there, I will be thinking about this mistake for months to come, beating myself up about it.
The emphasis on self love that has increased recently is great. It is really important to practice self love for better mental health but it is also important to acknowledge how painfully difficult that is for some people. I make an effort to battle against negative thinking patterns some days. But honestly, often it is just too exhausting and feels like an impossible task.
I know that, in order to cope better with life, I have to push myself with this. Here’s how I plan to give it a go:
- Become more aware. Through being more aware of my thoughts and how they make me feel, I will be able to identify the negative self talk. That’s a step in the right direction. I will try to just be with my thoughts/feelings rather than using alcohol/medication/sleep to escape it.
- Every time I vocalise something negative about myself, I will vocalise something to counteract this.
- I will slowly (with great struggle) assemble a list of positive things about myself and refer to this when I’m filled with self hatred.
- I’ll remember everything I was taught in my MBT skills group. I will push myself to practice this.
This will be the start of a long and difficult battle against my own brain… what has helped you with being kinder to yourself?