Mirror, mirror on the wall
Who’s the worst person of all?
Is it he who I see
Through this lens of apathy?
We all have opinions of ourselves and have a certain image we see when we gaze upon a mirror. Some people have a fairly high opinion of themselves while others…not so much. Some folks are fairly cognizant of their self-reflection, and others are blissfully ignorant. Some people see what they want to see.
Some folks think the way we talk to ourselves influences our mental health. “Think positive!” is sounds like great advice, but in practice doesn’t make a bit of sense. I’d love to have a head full of positive thoughts and to view the world through rose-tinted glasses, but I can’t control the thoughts that pop into my head. I suppose I have complete control over all following thoughts, and that is where I struggle.
They say self-love is important. They say you must love yourself before you can love others. I’m not sure that is true. Or where “they” got that idea. While I don’t hate myself, I certainly don’t love myself, either. I’m sort of in this weird limbo where sometimes I think I’m an okay guy to be around and other times I feel like I’m just the annoying guy some people tolerate out of necessity. But I’ll be damned if I don’t love others. I love fiercely. Perhaps even unhealthily. I’ve latched on to those I love like a morphin drip, as if they were the only thing keeping pain at bay. Losing my mom destroyed me. If something happened to one of my children I’d shatter like ice in a blender. My second divorce gave me withdrawal symptoms (according to my doctor) and left me decimated. Perhaps some of my love is meant for me, but I’m not sure how to funnel it my way.
There are things about myself I like. I’m pretty smart. I’m a hard worker – at my job, anyhow. I’m hilarious (just ask me, I’ll tell you – wait, I just did). I’m sarcastic. I’m witty. I’m loyal. I’ll always help if I can. Despite those qualities I fail to understand why anyone ever cares about me. What could anyone possibly see in me that would make them love me? I feel unworthy. I’m constantly doubting myself. Am I a good father? A good friend? A good person? I always second-guess myself. If I had done that one thing differently would things have been better? Why did I make that stupid decision? Why did I put myself out there? What is the point of anything ever?
When I finally realize what I’m doing I bombard myself with even more questions. What is wrong with me? Why do I do this to myself? What is broken in my brain? Why do I fuck every…single…thing…up?
It’s been awhile since I’ve gone and fucked things up, just like I always do.Staind
Think positive. That’s hard to do when your imbalanced brain chemicals control your moods. It’s tough to notice the beauty in life when you’re busy walking around trying to go unnoticed. There is no room for positive thoughts when you are perpetually fending off the negative ones.
I don’t even know how to think positive. I’ve never seen the glass as half-empty or half-full. I simply see a glass with some shit in it. I definitely don’t believe I’m a horrible person, but I also don’t see myself as a great person. I’m just a person. With flaws, jokes, and skeletons in the closet.
My immediate reaction to almost every compliment I ever get is to cringe. It’s involuntary, but I defend it still. Unless you’re telling me I’m hilarious (because I totally am). I’ll never believe I possess any qualities that make me worthy of loving.
I wish you could see yourself the way I see you. I’ve said that to a few people. People who hate themselves. People who think they’re unworthy of love. People who think they can do nothing right. For some reason, it’s easy to look past another person’s flaws and see the goodness within, but it’s impossible to do so when gazing into a mirror. At least, it is for me. I’m disgusted by what I see in the mirror. I’m sickened by my physical appearance. I’m appalled by things I’ve done that hurt others, intentionally or not. I’m vexed by how tough it is to break unhealthy habits. I’m outraged by certain life choices I’ve made.
I don’t know how to change my self-reflection from revolting to radiant. I’m no transformer. There’s no switch I can flip to reverse my mental polarity. There’s only me, my self-deprecating thoughts, a complete lack of will-power, and the voices in my head.
Self-image is far too powerful a thing to ignore . If you think too highly or lowly of yourself it can be toxic to both you and those who love you. I know what I see in the mirror isn’t what others see when they look at me. What I have yet to figure out is how to adjust the focus on the lens through which I see myself.
Perhaps my mirror is simply dirty.
I see that you have an intimate knowledge of depression and the frustration of being unable to change. But your struggle shows strength, and you have encouraged me, and so, I can only try to return the favour… You are valued, by family, friends and even strangers like me.
Thank you. I hope you’re doing well.