My counselor wanted me to answer this question, so I decided to write about it because it’s probably one of the hardest questions I ever had to answer.
To be honest, I never even thought about it.
Being good enough was never even an option for me. Insecurities have been following me for as long as I can remember and while I’ve focused on how to get and be better to feel good enough for many years now, I never let the thought about what would be if it happened sink in. It was too far away, too unrealistic, too pretty to ever become a part of my world.
Why don’t I just accept myself the way I am? Why don’t I just stop destroying myself by thinking that there is something wrong with me when there really isn’t?
The answer is as easy as it is complicated- I’m scared. I’m scared of what might happen. They say “even hell can get comfy once you’ve settled in” and I never realized how true that is until a very short time ago.
I could live my life in heaven, but I’ve decided to create my own hell and even though I’m harming myself and making everything much more complicated than it should be, there’s something in my head that won’t let me change anything about it because I’ve gotten so used to it that I’m terrified of change.
Do I want to get better? Do I want to recover? Of course I do! But what normal people don’t understand is that distancing yourself from your mental illness can also be scary. It’s not just living with it what’s hard. Abandoning it is too. As much as it hurts, this voice in my head gives me a certain kind of sick comfort because I know it’s always there and I can always rely on it. Does that make sense? In a twisted way, yes. We’re all creatures of habit and although it’s certainly possible to teach an old dog new tricks, it’s exhausting and in need of so much effort and time that nobody wants to do it.
I do want to get out of this endless circle of destruction that consists of making myself feel like crap for stupid reasons, punishing myself for it and feeling like crap again, but I also don’t want to leave my comfort zone and I know that I can’t have both things at the same time. I know how to choose between health and sickness today, but I (sometimes even intentionally) still choose wrong on a regular basis because it gives me a piece in mind that I know won’t last, but creates the illusion that I’m okay for a little while.
I mean, let’s face it: We all live by certain rules. Most of us might not even recognize them, but they’re down there, buried deep in our subconscious, controlling our every move in our lives. Healthy people live by healthy rules, and sick people… Well, we live by rather fucked up rules. We form them throughout our lives due to experiences, surroundings, success, disappointment and emotions. I don’t have a clue why the human mind believes it needs them, but somehow it does. These are mine:
1. Don’t let people get close
That’s probably my most essential rule and perfectly pictures the two-sided sword called my mind:
Why? When you let people get close, you give them the chance to hurt you. You make yourself vulnerable. And yeah, I know that’s a part of life, but whenever I gave people this opportunity, it ended terrible for me. Not letting anyone get to me means protecting myself from the pain they might inflict. That actually even makes sense, but the thing is: nobody wants to be alone forever. And if you don’t let anyone near you, you ultimately end up utterly alone. You’ll have relationships, but only shallow ones, and your friendships will never be more than simple acquaintances. You will never be able to experience a deep connection if you don’t trust anyone. And not letting someone get close means not trusting them. In the end, this rule only makes me hurt myself, and that’s not the goal I have in mind.
2. Don’t show weakness
And yet again there comes the vulnerability: if you show weakness, you make yourself vulnerable once more. When people see your weaknesses, they can use them to hurt you, and because I’ve experienced that before hundreds of times, my head has prohibited admitting it. Yet again, it makes sense at some point because it protects me, but weaknesses are human and every single one of us has them, whether we admit or deny them. They’re a part of us and even though they might hurt, they’re essential because they remind us that nobody is perfect, even if it looks like they are.
We need them. They make us feel alive because they make us realize what’s important. We need fears to conquer them and grow with them. But I have too many of them and I’m not telling anyone.
3. You’re never enough
This is where we come back to the topic. It’s probably my worst rule because it makes it impossible to love or even accept myself. This rule makes me feel like there’s always something missing. No matter what, I’ll never be good, smart, thin or beautiful enough. Never.
Could I change these rules? I think so. Somehow.
But I can’t.
I’m too scared.
I’ve gotten used to living this way and giving it up might be the healthiest thing to do, but it scares the shit out of me. The way I treat myself is horrible, but I’ve gotten used to it. At some point, you don’t even care that you’re destroying yourself anymore. You don’t know anything else. Giving up on habits is scary, no matter how unhealthy they are.
So, to respond the original question, what would happen?
Would I live the life I really want to live? Get the things I always wanted? Make my dreams come true? Love myself?
Everything would change, that’s for sure, and I don’t even think I’d still be the same person because my entire self centers around the problem with never being enough and not knowing who I am and want to be. A part of me wants to be that person, but another is way too scared to even think of it because there are way too many horror scenarios in my head that picture what might (very unlikely) happen if I stopped beating myself up for who I am: That I would lose control and not try anymore at all. That I wouldn’t fight for anything and turn into a lazy piece of shit. A fat, disgusting waste of space.
Yeah, I know it’s stupid, but I can’t help but feel like this. So many things terrify me.
Fear is only in our minds, but it’s taking over all the time