Learning to like myself

For most of my life, I’ve not much liked myself. I mistrust my judgement and my motives. I feel I have to justify my choices. I never feel like I’m doing enough, giving enough and that alongside this I am a mostly inconvenient nuisance. Worrying about what I cost financially goes back a long way. Aged eleven I started keeping a diary because it helped me ascertain whether I could justify my existence on a day to day basis. I worry about being fake and fraudulent and making too much fuss and not being stoical enough and not working hard enough. I don’t like my face or my body shape either and there are lots of ways in which my body is a difficult place to be.

(And I wonder, when I share things like this if anyone is going to have a go at me for being attention seeking, or feeling sorry for myself, or not trying harder to be positive… because that all happens.)

Just in this last year or so, I’ve started having small windows of something entirely different. Usually it’s prompted by something I’ve done that has demonstrably gone well. I get bursts of time when I think I’m a decent person and that it is possible to enjoy being me. It is surprising, and the impact in terms of my feelings of wellbeing is dramatic. It also gives me some sense of what it might be like to go round feeling like a good person who is entitled to exist and be happy.

Depression has been with me for a long time. It may be with me for the rest of my life. But, these windows of getting to feel ok are dramatic and remarkable things. I really had no idea that was available. Prior to experiencing it, I did not imagine it existed, and I did not know that I was not even seeing that could be a thing. If I can do it for a few hours here and there, perhaps I can do more of it. Perhaps I can get to a place of not mostly feeling bad about who and how I am. Perhaps I can do enough things I can feel that good about that the impact continues for longer. I don’t know, but it feels worth trying.

About Nimue Brown

Druid, author, dreamer, folk enthusiast, parent, wife to the most amazing artist -Tom Brown. Drinker of coffee, maker of puddings. Exploring life as a Pagan, seeking good and meaningful ways to be, struggling with mental health issues and worried about many things. View all posts by Nimue Brown

12 responses to “Learning to like myself

  • helgaleena

    Thank you for sharing something that I feel as well, nearly word for word! The major difference being that it happened to me a few years ago, and practising a focus upon those moments has completely changed my internal weather for the better. Unaware of the extent of the cloud until it began to lift. YES it is worth doing. ❤

  • Christopher Blackwell

    These are hard things for anyone to write about, because it is deeply personal. Yet it is also a problem that many people have to deal with. Bringing it out in the open may help others going through it.

  • ingvenning

    Thank you for your willingness to share your feelings! I have also struggled with similar issues. I found the following books to be super helpful: There Is Nothing Wrong with You by Cheri Huber and Letting Go of Shame by the Potter-Efrons

  • emberbear

    Of course you are a decent person. Don’t waste another second of your life believing anything else. The people who taught you to question your value are voices that you should no longer listen to. Of course, we all need to assess the value of our actions but as an avid reader of your blog it is clear to me that you are a very good person. You are kind and caring. The world benefits from your presence. Have no doubt about this. I am glad you are getting inklings of this. If you continue to believe in yourself, I will be so happy for you.

    • Nimue Brown

      It’s taken some unpicking, but the shift in perspective has been interesting to say the least. There’s a lot of things I’ve become able to see differently of late.

      • emberbear

        Absolutely. Age brings perspective in conjunction with self examination. Now that I am 55 and I can honestly say that I have looked at my interior self from every angle, I am finally happy with who I am. It’s been a long, hard road though and has involved a lot of work and extreme internal discomfort at points. You talked about keeping a diary as a child in an attempt to justify your existence. I know from my own childhood experience how painful and wrong that is and how much struggle it takes to overcome. But both you and I can congratulate ourselves on endowing our respective children with a sense of worth and value. Not entitlement, but the feeling that they are welcome in the world and loved simply for being who they are.

  • eberis

    another reply about heroics . when a hero begins Identity he or she forms an opinion on defeating the villians with a boasting consensus of what they have as an option to create miscreancy . it’s a shtick of real life danger . heroes are insecure until they finally form bravado to defeat the problem nagging them each day on the equivalent of a government program .

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