In a comment on my last post, one reader said, “I see my past as lessons learned, no regrets bc everything small, big, good, bad that I did or happened to me is a puzzle piece of what makes me a pretty picture today!” I told her it was my favorite thing anyone has said in a long while.
I grew up trying to please my divorced parents and ended up playing the role of “perfect child.” That’s not necessarily a bad thing except that whenever I messed up, I came down really hard on myself. My parents didn’t even put that pressure on me, I just decided that their lives were hard enough, and they shouldn’t have to worry about having a problem child, too. Now, as an adult I still tend to come down on myself really hard.
I drive myself crazy with guilt and play my mistakes on repeat in my mind. Questions bounce around my brain, buzzing with anger.
Why are you so stupid?
Why are you such a slut?
How did that seem like a good idea?
Did you really think he’d like you?
You’re so selfish!
Why are you like this?
Poisonous thinking. Depression brain, as one of my friends calls it. I fall in to this chasm of self-hate, and sometimes it’s hours before I can pull myself out again.
I’ve been working on this, though. Not only is there no use in obsessing over things I can’t change, but judging myself so harshly only ensures a self-fulfilling prophecy and repeated mistakes. Now I have yet another way to re-frame my thinking: I am a beautiful puzzle. Every mistake I’ve made is a piece of me, but so is every good decision, accomplishment, and good quality. Together, all of that made me who I am, and there is no reason for me to hate myself.
I am human. I am still young. I am learning how to live.
And that’s okay.