Photo by Austin Chan on Unsplash

Our everyday lives came to a halt the moment COVID-19 reared its ugly head. For months I saw many people around me attempt to cope with the new normal of being stuck at home. People partook in different activities to maintain their sanity; crafts, gardening, working out, cooking, etc. But no matter what I did – none of these things seemed to work for me. The longer I stayed at home, the more my inner demons consumed me.

Being in my room all day with just myself and my thoughts really took a toll on me. Pre-COVID, I didn’t have time to think at all. My life was going 90mph; Suddenly, out of nowhere it hit a major traffic jam. I started realizing the things about me that I loathed. I thought about the things that I refused to bring up again. My behavior was changing and everyone was aware of it. I constantly asked myself, “What’s wrong with you?”. At this point, I felt my sanity gradually slip from my fingertips. So I did one of the hardest things I ever had to do.

The new activity I took up in quarantine? Therapy.

Self-Love is Hard to Attain.

For twenty and a half years, I didn’t value myself. My self-worth? Non-existent. I grew up not loving myself; and it took me all this time to realize that. How can you grow up and not love yourself? Unfortunately, the answer is just not that simple.

Self-love isn’t simply being content with who you are. It’s not only feeling good about yourself. Self-love is a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support our physical, psychological, and spiritual growth. I’ve never experienced that.

Upon relaying this information to my therapist, I spent weeks reevaluating and realizing the different moments in my life where I felt like I deserved better than what I got. A lot of those moments came from my childhood. When I told my therapist this, she had asked me one simple question, “What happened to you as a kid?” And I said, “Where do I even start?”

It was difficult for me to transition from a safe home environment to the one I got in school. Yes, I created many friendships – however looking back at it now, they were anything but that. Years ago, these people groomed me into believing that I had to work extra hard for someone to simply like me as a person. Therefore, being myself wasn’t enough for anyone. That ideal remained engraved inside my head to this day.

I was a living and breathing doormat to them. I was taught that saying “no”, wasn’t an option in our friendship. As if my mental well-being wasn’t enough, my physical appearance took some hits as well. After years of going through this torturous time, I made it clear to myself – I really hated who I was. I remember feeling like I didn’t deserve love or even life at that point. But I was 14, and I recall feeling dramatic for even thinking of such a thing.

Therapy taught me that I wasn’t being dramatic. I had every right to feel the way I did. And I shouldn’t let anyone tell me otherwise. You shouldn’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

When You’re Ready, It’s Ok to Ask for Help.

Trauma rooted in your childhood isn’t rare; what’s rare is finally being able to confidently say that you’ve moved on from it. I discovered that I never did. My way of moving on from it was locking it in the deep dark crevices of my head, and throwing away the key. I couldn’t continue to live my life like that, and my therapist emphasized this greatly.

The hardest part of therapy isn’t reliving the traumatic moments of my life, it was attempting to absorb that I am enough. For the longest time, I never appreciated myself after constantly being put down. I hated every inch of my body and every aspect of my personality, and there was nothing no one could tell me to think otherwise. However, since I began therapy, I’ve learned a couple of things to keep in mind in order to better and love myself.

  • Setting boundaries – It’s ok to say “no“. Know your limits, and don’t be afraid to make it clear about how you’re feeling, especially if it’s harming you in an emotional, psychological, or physical way.
  • Practice beneficial self-care – Come up with a skincare routine, exercise, find some new music, read a thrilling book, talk to some friends that give you good vibes. Do something that will take care of your basic needs and make you happy.
  • Protect yourself – Remove the people in your life who bring nothing but harm and poison to you. You don’t need them. Block, unfollow, and delete. You’ll thank yourself in the long run.
  • Forgive yourself – We are all human, and we are not perfect. Being hard on yourself is common, but don’t punish yourself forever.

We Deserve to Be Happy.

Without my therapist, I wouldn’t be as content as I am now. Unfortunately, I still have those off-days, but who doesn’t? Therapy has taught me that I am not who I was in the past; and I can’t keep bringing that person with me to my future. I have to let her go. I didn’t love that person, but I love the person that I am now. If it weren’t for my therapist and our weekly sessions, I’d be really afraid of who I would’ve grown up to be.

Contrary to popular belief, therapy doesn’t mean you’re crazy. If anything, it means you’re crazy brave. You deserve every ounce of happiness the world has to offer. You are loved despite what you think. I promise that things do get better with time. And, if you’re not ready to seek help, that’s ok. Therapy is ready for you when you are.

Read also:
You’ve Had A Painful Childhood, And That’s Okay
Delete Tinder, Go To Therapy
Have You Talked To Your Inner Child Today?