Things I like about myself that other people dislike

AKA: Things I am not longer willing to apologize for (at least not in a general sense): A Working List

  • My capacity for emotions: I have a deep intellectual and spiritual understanding of many emotions. Therefore, my capacity to feel them is immense. This sometimes leads me to feel very deeply on behalf of myself and others. This ability to feel is an immense gift for which I am not sorry.
  • My perception of the world: The way I see the world gives the world a new perception through which to see itself–meaning my perspective alone has the power to expand the world.
  • My expression: Sometimes I express the immensity of my being through artistic means, other time through intense emotional outbursts or breakdowns. All means of expression are stunningly beautiful and unique in this world.
  • My darkest moments: often accompanied by my darkest thoughts, these moments are the ashes from which I rise–from which I have always risen–from which I always will rise.
  • My fiercely aggressive independence: I have fought for it and I continue to fight for it daily. It’s incredible and I’m not sorry that I don’t need you.
  • My ability to menstruate, to grow and birth children: If I so choose, my body creates LIFE! If I don’t choose, it doesn’t. That’s rad as hell.
  • My cyclical nature: Like the moon, I have dark times and I have illuminated times! One always leads to the other, and that makes me feel secure. My happiness may not stick around forever, but neither will my sadness!
  • Ability to agree to disagree: I recognize that we may not all agree. It’s OK, diversity makes the world progress. It makes the world a more beautiful place.
  • My boundaries: I put emotional and physical boundaries in place as protection for myself. I establish these boundaries as best as I can. Although others may not see them as good, I know they are what is best for me.

This is a working list which I plan to update when I see fit.

Flowing into Self

I sometimes go through my Facebook memories in hopes of getting some glimpse of a joyous memory.

Recently, a rather painful Facebook memory has reminded me of something very important. I have been reminded of who I was 3 years ago, how I have struggled since then, and who I have become today.

Clinically, I was depressed.
Like most things “clinical,” this diagnosis was an excuse for a deeper issue. The truth is that I was, and still am sometimes, a deeply tormented soul seeking attention, comfort, love and acceptance. I am realizing that these things can only truly be had for myself by myself.

However it brings up an interesting thought…

Why do we criticize, ostracize, and otherwise put down depressed and suicidal people by saying things like, “They’re just doing it for attention”?

If all they need is attention, why can’t we accept that fact and give it to them. To each other.

If all we want is love, why can’t we just accept that’s what a person needs and give them love?

Often, depressed and anxious people can find the root of their problems if given a non-judgemental ear to listen while they sort their own head out. Unfortunately, their own head is the most judgemental place for them to be so it is most helpful when this listening ear is not their own. Not to mention, most of the time when we’re in our darkest place, we can’t reach out for a hand, let alone an ear.

Remember, if a person is treating you horribly, that’s how they are treating themselves in their own head–constantly. They’re suffering.
Rather than understand, we tell them what an awful thing it is, how hard it is on everyone else that they can’t stand living in their own body–in their own head.
Have you lived in their head though?

We send them little articles about things they can do different in their everyday life to be happier. We compare their actions to those of happy people and say, “see, you just have to [enter formula for the status quo]”.

We are not the status quo.

Depression, for me, was a response to having been shut down for years. Being told I wasn’t good enough and believing it. Doing the things, taking the actions of a happy person has not brought me any solace or comfort. Rather, accepting myself has given me the motivation to want to do those things which happy people do.

Rejecting the dark parts of me just made me deny who I was. I am not all light and love–and I don’t have to be. The moon is still whole when it is New– even if we can’t see it. In accepting myself, dark and light moments alike, I bring love to the darkest, most scared, childish part of my soul. Those parts of me seek nurturing and acceptance. Acceptance is love. Love is light. By accepting my darkness, it will eventually be light.

I am perfect. I always have been. I’ve never been in a place I didn’t need to be. I love and accept myself just as I am. That is helping me more than any Pharma drugs, elite daily articles, or any other bullshit, though likely well-intended, suggestion by those who are not living in my head.

When someone is in pain and their actions are acing out for love and attention, we should give that person what they need. What is the harm in giving? At the very least, we can listen. Listen without judgement, without comment. Give someone validation of their feelings. All we need, all the time, is to know that we are real and we are here. When someone acts out, seeks an ear, or even ignores you, they are showing you a part of themselves. They’re sharing themselves with us, even if it’s a part of them that makes us uncomfortable (possibly with those parts of ourselves which we are denying). Accepting them means it wouldn’t be so hard for those of us who aren’t the “status quo” to survive in this fucked up world of impossible expectations.

After all, I’ve never really ever met a “normal” person.

Journal: An Attempted Self Analysis

It feels so helpless to be wherever I am currently. I honestly could not say if it is because I am 20-something, or because I actually have some kind of difference in my mental functionality–whether it be the diagnosis I received for major depression and anxiety or some other undiagnosed secret of my genetics.

Part of the reason it is so hard to be here is because it is laced with so much ambiguity. I don’t know why I am feeling this way, if it will last forever, if I am doing enough for myself and my life, if I am responsible for this feeling, or how to move on and leave this feeling behind. These feelings.

I also very much feel the consequences of my actions and constantly fear and fret over doing the “right” thing for myself and others. This leaves me in a horrible state of constantly evaluating and reevaluating my ethics and methods and thoughts.

It’s exhausting to be in my mind.

I sometimes feel so unsupported that my own strong legs shake at the effort of holding me up. I feel at any moment I may crumble to the ground and become a heap of weeping crumbs to be swept under the rug until cleaning day.

Anger boils in my lower abdomen. It sends a raging fire through my torso and my head begins to scream. This makes me uncontrollably need to grit my teeth, but inside I feel like destroying things. I sometimes wonder if I am screaming out loud in the quiet rooms I inhabit.

My stomach turns over the slightest thing. My stomach has always turned over the slightest thing. So much does it turn that I think I might be physically sick. If word vomit does not begin to exit my mouth, surely real vomit will. Only it isn’t words I need to get out, it’s emotions. Instead, nothing comes out at all. The knots continue to tie.

My heart has a spear going through it in multiple places. One of them has been there for a very long time. It enters my chest on the right side and exits through the back of my ribs. I feel the pierce of this wound always. In addition to that, I feel tiny stabs in many other places. What was once a solid, loving, emanating light is now a black mess of insecurities hidden by bandages and protected by massive shields of lies– anything to get stop the pain.

The anger that boils from my lower abdomen boils up to my heart and stops at my throat, unable to escape. My throat is scratchy. My throat has always been something of focus as a singer. I have always been affected by phlegm and allergens and fear of damaging my voice with misuse. It often clutches down on my words, not allowing them to even get passed the base of my throat, let alone form into some sort of verbal expression.

My head is clouded. It is like instead of thoughts, my head is filled with the tangled mess of earbuds and necklaces and coins and dirt someone found in their coat pocket. Endless strings, all connected and confused. All balled up in an impossible mess, with no place to start untangling. Might as well throw it all away and get a new set of ear buds.

My skin sometimes takes a grey appearance– I am grey inside. My hair gets greasy– I feel slimy everywhere.

This is the physical state of my body when I am in a depressed episode.

These feelings are all accompanied by a disjunct symphony of thoughts. Thoughts that cause the physical pains, thoughts about the physical pains, thoughts about the thoughts. I feel like their slave. I cannot stop them, I cannot express them. They are stuck at the base of my throat and in my mess of a head, never making it to a moment or point of releasing.

I cannot figure out why I am like this, how I became this way, when it all began, what motivated it. Mostly, I cannot figure out how to stop it.

I have tried accepting depression as a part of my identity, which led me to expressing the anger I felt. This happened in middle school, when I started wearing black, listening to angrier music, and facing my tormentors with the same evil they threw at me. It was deemed unacceptable by my teachers and parents.

I have tried seeking help from doctors. This makes me feel no better, just gives me a place to wallow and a numbing medication that furthers my self hatred by convincing me I am not interested in anything.

Now I am at a loss and attempting surrendering–accepting this as a part of my identity again, but somehow letting go of the anger. I’m still at a loss.

Currently I am kept motivated by the great friends and positive memories I have. I know this is an episode and it must end. It may come back again, but it must end first. Then I can have more positive memories before trying some other method.

Ps, no worries. I’m still in therapy.