I usually write articles in attempt to relate to others, but this is going to be different. It’s going to be as personal, as real, and as vulnerable as I can possibly be. It’s going to be the most honest I have ever been and the closest look in to my heart anyone will ever see.
About a month ago I wrote an article encouraging people to be more real on social media. I want to follow through on that by being the most real I have ever been.
For a year of my life, I was broken. And that is no exaggeration. Up until about 6 months ago, I was severely depressed. I wouldn’t leave my apartment for more than a week straight, and I wasn’t taking care of myself at all. Most days, I couldn’t even make myself shower.
People rarely talk about the gross side of depression. The truth is, taking a shower felt like running a marathon. So many times I had rationalized my poor hygiene by telling myself I wasn’t leaving my house anyway, so why did I need to keep up on it? I didn’t even love myself enough to keep myself clean.
I think when a lot of people hear the word depression they picture someone laying on a couch, and crying. It was more than that for me. It wasn’t only sadness, but overwhelming emptiness, and hopelessness.
I would lay in bed for hours to the point my body actually felt sore. I would only eat food that had no nutritional value, and I lost interest in almost everything I loved. I began to hate myself.
It was overwhelming. The thoughts that invaded my mind with only the intention to destroy me. I was never enough. I was ugly. I was disgusting. I was stupid. I was weak. I was lazy. I was unreliable. I was anything that was bad, and nothing that was good.
I struggled with sharing my issues with friends and family, because for a long time I wouldn’t give myself the benefit of saying I was depressed. I told myself I was lazy, and whiny, and then, I hated myself even more because of it.
I hated myself mostly because I felt that I had no reason to be this unhappy. I have amazing parents, great friends, and the best husband that I could ever possibly ask for. I felt bad for them, that I felt so miserable. I didn’t even want them to have to be around me, and there were days where I even thought that they would all be better off without me, but then I began to realize this wasn’t about them.
The problem was that I was just simply unhappy with myself. It had nothing to do with anyone or anything I had around me. It was just me. I felt behind in life, and completely unaccomplished, and instead of fighting through that, I gave up, and lost myself to point that I saw myself as worthless.
It became so bad that I wouldn’t just not leave my apartment for a week, but I wouldn’t even leave my bed. I felt unworthy of all that I had, and I just genuinely did not like myself, and I couldn’t understand why anyone else would either.
For a long time, I put the minimal amount of energy that I had, in to hiding it from everyone. The only person who knew, was my husband. He tried to help, but he couldn’t. Every day he stood by me though. He even married me during this time, and for the rest of my life I will feel blessed to know, that even at my absolute worst, he loves me.
It was hard, but I did come out of it, and it’s in large thanks to the people I had in my life. My family and friends helped me without even knowing I needed to be helped. It was the constant “I love you” and “I miss you” texts just because, that I focused on for a long time.
I concentrated on how amazing they thought I was, and without them even realizing it, I would take screenshots of those texts and whenever I was feeling pure hatred for myself and like I was the worst person in the world, I would stare at those texts, and ask myself in the nicest way possible why they loved me and missed me. I would look in the mirror and have a conversation with myself about what there is to love about me.
At first, I couldn’t think of anything, but I dug as deep as I possibly could and fought all the insults I had ever said to myself and just pushed them right out of my mind. I realized they didn’t belong there, because if I was so bad, then these people that I knew were the most amazing people in the world to me, wouldn’t love or miss me, and they did, and because of them, I was able to list reasons why I was good, and why I should be loved, especially by myself.
I started out slow by just being nicer to myself, and then I made myself shower. I told myself I deserved to be cared for and I made myself bathe. I did my makeup and my hair, not for anyone around me, but for myself.
I started leaving my apartment, even when I didn’t have to. I went for long walks and became prouder of myself with every step that I took. I quit putting so much pressure on myself to be happy, and just did things that made me happy. Instead of only setting goals that would take me years to complete, I set small goals and gave myself credit for achieving them.
I built myself up, and I let myself off the hook. I quit dwelling on things and stopped trying to make everyone around me happy if it meant that I had to suffer. I put myself first more often and did stuff just for me, and the people who truly loved me, never got angry with me for doing so. They were happy that I was happy.
I quit thinking of myself as selfish and started thinking of myself as independent, and in result I became important to myself, and that is when true change happened.
I quit relying on people to do everything for me, especially my husband, and I tried to do it by myself. I didn’t wait for him to get home to fix the broken drawer or hang up a picture. I did it myself, and even though they were such small tasks, I commended myself for doing them.
I kicked the toxic people I had in my life out of it, and set standards for the people I kept around me. I didn’t want anyone or anything in my life that didn’t provide some level of happiness.
It was the worst year of my entire life, and even thinking about it now has me wiping tears from my keyboard. It was hard to talk about it then, and it’s just as hard now.
In life I had been told that in order to love, I had to love myself first. It’s a popular saying, but one that holds no value in my life. If I would have never loved, I wouldn’t have received love, and I wouldn’t have learned to love myself.
So in return, my advice to anyone who feels the way that I did, is to let people love you, because you deserve to be loved even if you don’t love yourself. Only surround yourself with amazing people, and get rid of anyone who hurts you. Let the amazing people you have in your life, love you, and believe them when they tell you how great you are, and then start telling yourself the same exact things, and then you’ll be able to come up with even more things that make you beautiful.
People often say that love isn’t enough, but for me, it was everything. And I don’t love myself now because other people loved me. I was to stress that as much as possible. I’m not naive to the fact that I will lose people along the way, and maybe some of the people that love me now, won’t some day. But I’ll be okay, because I love myself now, and nobody can take that from me.
The people who loved me reminded me to love myself, but I, will never let myself forget it, ever again. Because, I’m amazing, and I’m beautiful. I’m hilarious, smart, and caring. I’m genuine, independent, and most of all, I’m worth it, and so are you.