I keep wondering how it is possible that I treat myself so different than I treat the people around me. How is it possible that I accept everything from my friends, colleagues and family but not from myself? Why I use standards that are so much higher when it come to me, why do I have to be better and stronger than everyone else, at everything?
At work I have a lot of colleagues that make mistakes, some little some big, but mistakes are made, and that is fine, that’s part of the job, and there is always a way to fix them, there is always a solution. But do I let myself make mistakes? No. Definitely not. If I draw a line that is even 1 mm off, I can beat myself up for this, I call myself stupid tell myself to pay attention, tell myself I’m not good enough while for others I sometimes spend hours correcting there mistakes without any hate or frustration.
I have a friend that is diagnosed with borderline and depression and is going in and out of rehab, trying to control his alcohol addiction, life is hard for him. Almost everyday he calls me to talk about how difficult everything is, how he can not do the life, how he can not even get out of bed and take care of himself. And what do I do? I listen and I understand him, I feel sorry for him and try to help. I tell him to take things easy, don’t be too hard for himself and try to do little things every day. I bring him food sometimes and help him clean his house. He has not been able to work for over 2 years now, and I tell him that it’s fine, he needs to focus on himself, start loving himself once again, and when he does, a job will come. But when I have a high fever or a broken wrist, I will force myself to go to the office, because I can not stay home and do nothing, I have to keep moving.
When all the shit of last year happened I understood my mom and sister, I understood how hard everything had been for them, I understood that they were not able to do everything, I understood they needed some time to deal with their feelings, their loss, their grieve. Off course this was also mine, I experienced the same emotions as them, but I just could not allow myself to accept them, I had to stay strong, take care of them, help them with what they could not do themselves, support them. For some reason I always accept other people’s weakness, I tell them to give in and I will support them where I can. But never before last week I have accepted my own defects, my own boundaries (and I’m still struggling with this acceptance).
How is it possible that I do understand sickness and mental problems but only when they are experienced by other people? It is not that I don’t get the concept, I clearly do, otherwise I wouldn’t have been as social as I am. The problem is not the understanding of feelings, it’s the expectations I have when it comes to myself. In the years before my ADHD diagnosis I have been hurt so much, my self-esteem was so low, I was so extremely insecure, so broken, and then I decided to get better and be better.
Walls of hardness are now protecting me, not only from the outside but also on the inside. I have built walls that are so strong, so thick and so high that I created a boundary between the person I pretend to be and the person I am, the feeling-me. I have created an image of a person that can do everything, can not be stopped by anything, and whatever does not fit this image is not able to pass my walls, is not allowed to exist inside me. But off course life doesn’t work like this, I might have hidden my feelings behind this huge walls, but they were never gone, they were always inside me, until they became too big, big enough to make this extremely strong wall burst into little pieces, big enough to take over my entire mind. I am no longer able to ignore them, and now I realize what I have been hiding from myself, I wish I would have never built any walls, I wish I would have just dealt with them, one by one, whenever they would have appeared.
I should allow myself to experience anger and sadness, but also happiness and joy. I am human and because of this I need emotions to feel alive, to be alive. I should start allowing myself to feel, I don’t have to be perfect. And if I manage to do this, so many of the negative feelings about myself will disappear. I don’t have to blame myself for crying at my grandpa’s funeral, I don’t have to blame myself for not being at my parent’s house when my dad got a heart attack, I don’t have to blame myself for the little mistakes I’ve made in the office, I don’t have to blame myself for skipping one visit to my grandma, I don’t have to blame myself for whatever happened to me when I was a kid. It is all not my fault, it is all human, and it is all allowed. I don’t have to be better than everyone, I just have to be me and be ok with that. I just have to listen to myself and accept it, because I should know what is best for me, I do know.