Self care, me time, quality time, call it what you like or need. Whatever the definition, I can promise you that it is relatively meaningless for me.
I know I shouldn’t say I feel stupid for not being able to look after myself, but I do because I find it unbelievably difficult to do so.
It’s not instinctive. My instinct is at the other end of the spectrum. My instinctive reaction is to punish, to blame, to hurt myself. And yet I’d be devastated at the thought of hurting anyone else.
It feels self indulgent to be kind to myself. It feels wrong. What feels right is to self harm if I’m brutally honest. At the moment that’s taking at least equal priority with my half hearted attempts to look after myself.
Of course it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. You hurt yourself in words and actions, so your self hatred flourishes. It’s a venomous downward spiral.
I’m trying hard to drag myself out of the pit. It’s not easy, I don’t even know what kind of activities one does to be kind to oneself. I admit, I’m envious of people that know how and what to do. I’d like some of that. Of course I would. I don’t want to hate myself. I’d quite like to think of myself as OK.
I’m tired of everything being a battle though. A battle to live, a battle to love. I’m so tired of feeling sad. Kind of hard to like myself when everything feels like hard work, even smiling.
Having just spoken to my therapist I’ve got a little checklist to help me. It might help others too:
It’s OK to look after yourself
Do it even when it feels silly/stupid/odd
You need to take care of yourself
You are helping yourself heal by taking care of yourself
It’s OK to not be OK
You can fall, but each time the fall is just a little less far than it was before
You will get up again