What I’m about to share is pretty damn embarrassing, but I hope by embarrassing myself, someone else who needs to hear this can feel comfort and hope.
For about the last six months my self esteem has steadily become worse and worse. Although I have learned how to “fake” it a little better then I use to; it hasn’t changed the fact that I feel like garbage about myself. I literally can’t stand to look in the mirror. The person starring back at me, her soul, makes me sick! I don’t even recognize her anymore. I could feel the effects of this on my everyday life. How I felt about myself combined with the stress of some major life changes and dramatically life altering things happening to my family; I started to become a shell of my former healing self.
It’s probably no surprise I take great pride in the strides I have made over the last 3 years. I have dug myself out of one of the deepest darkest places; surfacing a happier, healthier, better version of my former self. So to have this major set back has been devastating.
I cried myself to sleep last night, it wasn’t an ugly cry, it really wasn’t that big of a cry; it was however a very emotional cry. I was extremely exhausted mentally, emotionally drained and ready to seriously throw in the towel on a lot of important things in my life. I have been feeling more alone, unwanted and unworthy then I have in a very long time. I was so angry when I went to sleep finally. Angry that I had allowed myself to feel again. Angry that I had taken down my shield and let my true self seep through the cracks of my armor. I had been so willing to work through the things I had to overcome, so willing to let my true self shine through, I felt like I had just exposed myself to the world too much, and couldn’t control the way I was feeling. I was far to vulnerable and I wasn’t ok with it anymore.
I had pulled far away from almost everyone, only really maintaining a consistent relationship with a few select people; for everyone else I preferred to look like I had basically drop off the planet.
I took a short break from social media; removed the apps from my phone and merely checked in on messages on my computer from time to time. I had to do this because I felt myself comparing my life and the way I was feeling to everyone around me. So many people were living the life I could only dream of and seeing that brought even more pain. Pain because I no longer could see myself ever having those things and even greater pain because I felt like a horrible person for feeling jealous rather then joy for my friends who did have these things in their life. The break helped recenter my focus.
As the roller coaster goes, I felt slightly better but still finding great struggle in climbing back to the surface again. One weekend I felt terrible…physically terrible. So a few days later I messaged my friend who happens to be the nurse at my drs office and told her I felt like I needed to make an appointment. It’s a good thing she must care about me,because she scheduled me for a few days later. I was a little shocked as I had just expected a little pep talk and a yes you should call and schedule something soon. I wouldn’t have though. I know that, she probably does too.
My dr walked in and asked all the normal questions, and I had previously filled out the mental health survey. As he started to reach for it I said, “about that, let me explain.” I then launched into a short recap of what was happening in my life and the fact that no I didn’t feel like ending my life; but yes I felt down and overwhelmed. His jaw dropped a little at the items on my list of “why my life is a shitty mess right now.” revelation. His response, “why didn’t you say something sooner?” I had been in his office several times with the kids the past few months. Of course I didn’t say a word because I was there for them not me.
Because I had the experience of PPD and another short bout of depression when I had finally reached my breaking point in my marriage; I knew I needed to act now before things got out of control.
I’m a single mom and I pride myself of being able to do a lot on my own. I absolutely hate asking for help and will only do so as an absolute last resort. Even before I was single, I tried to do it on my own. Somehow it made me feel like the fact that I was still actually alone even though I was married, that life was somehow balanced. It is,by the way, not something that shows capability or pride. In fact it is the dumbest thing I could do. Life is not meant to be handled alone. If that were the case we wouldn’t live in neighborhoods, towns, states, countries. We wouldn’t have programs to help those in our communities. We wouldn’t form relationships with other humans; we’d just be selfish and think of ourselves and life would be nothing like it is today. So sitting there in his office openly asking for help; that is something I know I should be proud of. That is ultimately a show of how much I have grown.
It’s been a month now, and although it will still take a few more weeks to fully feel the effect, I am starting to feel better. My self esteem is still at an all time low (ok maybe not all time but it’s pretty fucking bad right now). But I am regaining the control I need to deal with the issues causing this shitty feeling.
The lesson learned in all of this is that I will never be able to do this alone. It’s not some bull shit badge of honor to think I can either. In fact every time I try to do it all something ends up falling apart. Yes I can but that doesn’t mean I want to. Talk to someone, ask for help, be willing to focus on the lessons learned when you are hurting. Be willing to feel the hurt so you can get to the growth.