I’m so sorry to hear that you’re struggling right now :[
I know it’s really scary, but I promise that there is nothing shameful about asking for help. No one is perfectly equipped to deal with life. Everyone struggles. And at some point, we all need help. And that’s so okay. It’s okay for you to ask for help too.
Based on your message, it sounds like a lot of what is making it difficult for you to ask for help are the negative beliefs you have about yourself that you feel make you undeserving of support.
I know they feel so true right now, but they aren’t. They’re beliefs you’ve internalized from outside people and experiences, and they aren’t yours to carry. I know it’s so hard to see past those thoughts though, so I’m going to try to help you challenge them.
1. The fact that you can cope on your own for short periods of time doesn’t mean that you don’t need support.
Your message to me is evidence that trying to heal on your own isn’t working. And that’s okay. It isn’t some fundamental failing on your part. It just means that you’ve ran out of personal resources to take care of yourself. But denying yourself extra support isn’t going to help that. It may feel safer, but it just keeps you stuck.
The self-hatred you feel isn’t something most people can overcome on their own. Because when you’re already in the depths of that darkness and the negative thoughts playing on repeat in your head feel so true, it’s almost impossible to challenge them on your own and find your way out of that labyrinth of self-loathing. So give yourself permission to get support. It isn’t selfish — it’s self-care. And you have every right to take care of yourself by reaching out.
2. Support isn’t something you have to earn.
It doesn’t matter that you can cope on your own some of the time. It doesn’t matter if other people have it worse. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve struggled in comparison to other people. It doesn’t matter what your family or your friends think...the bottom line is that if you’re hurting and struggling, you have every right to ask for help. You’re important and you matter. You’re feelings matter. You’re happiness matters. And your healing matters. It is more than okay to make your wellbeing a priority.
3. The fact that you’re struggling doesn’t make you a burden.
It makes you human. Everyone struggles. Everyone has a difficult time coping. And at some point, we all feel horrible and trapped and hopeless. The fact that you’re having a hard time may make you a little bit more difficult to be around in the sense that people feel helpless or sad or even frustrated that they can’t convince you how wonderful you are, but those struggles aren’t all of who you are. And more importantly, they won’t push away the people who are meant to be in your life. The truth is that you can be struggling and still be loved. You can be difficult and still be cared for. You can be less than perfect, and still be deserving of compassion and kindness.
4. The people who love you wouldn’t want you to suffer alone.
I agree that it would probably break your family’s heart to know that you’re struggling so much, but their sadness wouldn’t be stemming from any sort of disappointment in you. It would be coming from a place of, “It’s so hard to know that someone I love and care about so much thinks so little of themselves.” They wouldn’t be angry with you. They probably won’t understand how you could hate yourself so much, and maybe even blame themselves. But their reaction wouldn’t discount their love for you in any way.
That said, I think that your family would much rather you be honest with them about what you’re going through so that they can help you and get you support, rather than have you struggle silently and alone. If it helps, try to imagine that you had your own child, or even a sibling, who was feeling the same way as you. I doubt that you would think they didn’t deserve to seek out support if they were struggling. You would want them to do whatever it takes to heal and you would encourage them to get help. You deserve the same kindness and compassion that you would give someone you love.
5. The first step to making peace with yourself is talking about it.
Our silence keeps us stuck. In order to heal, you have to talk about what’s going on. You have to figure out where the self-hatred started and who or what perpetuates it. You have to identify the negative thoughts and beliefs you have about yourself and challenge them. Even when it feels silly. Even when you don’t believe the things you’re saying to counter them. You have to talk back to that voice. You have to surround yourself with people who make you feel loved and seen and heard. You have to share your feelings and be honest about your struggles. You have to figure out what you need in order to heal, and you have to identify the underlying issues preventing you from getting to a better place.
You have to recognize that you weren’t born feeling this way. At some point in your journey, someone or some experience sent you the message that there is something wrong with who you are, and you internalized those messages. But that hate isn’t yours. And those judgments aren’t about you. And in the same way that you learned to think badly of yourself, you can learn to think new, self-loving and accepting thoughts.
My advice is to make an appointment with a therapist to talk about all of this, because like I said before, it’s really hard to do this kind of work on your own. Again, I know that asking for help is so scary. But it really is the key to healing.
There is so much more to life than this pain and self-hatred you’re feeling.
And you deserve to experience it.
Sending so much love your way,
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About The Movement:
My name is Daniell, and I am the creator of the Internal Acceptance Movement (I. A.M.)
Need support? Have a question?
The Internal Acceptance Movement is an online space that advocates self-acceptance, healthy body image, recovery from self-destructive behaviors and addictions, and the acceptance of all people, regardless of what they look like, who they identify as, what they have been through, and where they come from. I. A.M. is a space that offers support to those battling their inner demons and strength to continue fighting when all hope seems to be gone.
I. A.M. represents the idea that as human beings, we aren't defined by anything external, such as our weight, appearance, body shape, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, clothing choices, income, occupation, or background. But that instead, it's our internal qualities--our character and attitude, our passions and dreams, our soul and spirit, our heart and capacity to love, our goals and morals, and the way in which we treat others--that are truly self defining.
Whether you're battling an eating disorder, self-harm, alcoholism, drug addiction, depression, PTSD, low self-esteem, anxiety, self-hating thoughts, poor body image, or any other mental health condition or self-destructive behavior, I. A.M. exists to remind you that you are NOT alone in how you feel or what you're going through; that it's okay to not be okay, and that you don't have to face this pain alone; that things can and will get better; that healing and recovery are possible; that there is nothing wrong with who you are; the who you are is enough; and that you are deserving of happiness, love, and acceptance, always.
I'm here if you need me: whether it's support, someone to vent to, a question, or you just want to say hi--know that this is a safe place and that you aren't alone. If I don't respond immediately, know that I'm not ignoring you. I will message you back at my earliest convenience. If you have an emergency or feel that you want to hurt yourself, please, please call 911. I'm not a therapist or a mental health professional of any kind. If you're in danger, you need to ask for help from people who can adequately support you. Sending you love: Daniell