“I hate myself,” was something that I used to say or think to myself constantly. It could be that I dropped a glass and it shattered everywhere, or that I had a failed at another thing that was extremely important to me. The smallest things were huge, and I told myself that I could not handle them. My default setting was self-loathing, even when I was relatively happy. I hated myself so much that I thought self-love was an annoying social media trend not how healthy people truly treated themselves.. My genuine reaction to hearing about self-love on the internet was shrugging, thinking, “Who actually feels that way about themselves. That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.”
What started me on this self-hatred downward spiral?
Before I had no idea. Now I know it was the aftermath of dozens upon dozens of traumas throughout childhood and adulthood that led me it. Bad things kept happening, and I kept blaming them on myself. It was also my parents being hypercritical and swift with punishment over things that weren’t a big deal. The little voice in my head eventually developed this really negative and harsh voice that told me I was the worst day in and day out.
What I understand now is that a lot of the things that happened were not my fault at all. They had nothing to do with me. All of that self-blame I had heaped on my shoulders needed to go. One of the first things I had to make peace with events and actions I had refused to accept. I also acknowledged and forgave myself for the bad things I had done in the past. Another thing I had to embrace was that I was going to make mistakes, in the present and in the future. I’m not perfect, and guess what? It’s totally okay. Chasing perfection was driving me crazy. I’m never going to be perfect..
The hardest part of self-acceptance for me was letting go and moving on with situations I could not control. It took journaling, ugly crying, and talking about things to points of exhaustion. There wasn’t much else to the process, except going over everything thing that came to mind when I thought about pain and trauma. It came to listing every single one and coming to terms with each item. Was it fun? No. Was it necessary? Absolutely.
The amazing thing is I am happy now. It’s this lightness that I can’t explain other than saying being at peace with myself has resulted in calm. I’m finally happy with myself on my own terms. Happiness in the past for me was usually because of another person or copious amounts of alcohol. Now I have it on my own. It’s the weirdest and best thing thing that ever happened to me. I feel free, and in that freedom, I have an absence of fear. I have moved on from the pain of the past and am looking forward to each new day.
I’m choosing myself, happiness, and peace. I’m figuring out what inspires and comforts me. I hope you choose the same for yourself, and clear some clutter out of your mind.