Don’t Hate your Self-Hate

Loving the ADHD devil – DAY 19

I feel like I trapped myself in a new challenge. I am starting to figure out who I was, who I am supposed to be and what mistakes I have made that brought me to my breakdown. I’m starting to understand myself, but I also notice how I’m about to make the same mistake I made almost a decade ago, the mistake of hating myself.

Ten years ago I decided to change myself completely, only to realize now that the girl I was running from was actually pretty great. I wish I could go back in time to convince myself to never make this girl disappear, preventing myself from creating a new fake version of me, but unfortunately I can’t. I made this mistake (or decision) and for 2/3 of my life I lived according to it, it became a real version of me and no matter how painful it is, this part does belong to me now.

Once I discovered the existence of the girl I used to be, it became easy to start hating myself for the previous decade. I started to believe that it was time to hide the performance based me and restart my life as this girl, to use her to create a new me. But if I do this, I will be creating a new monster inside myself, I will again be hiding a part of myself and again I won’t be honest. I made a mistake, but hating myself for it is exactly the mistake I made. If I start hating the performance-me now, I’ll probably find myself writing an other 30 days of loving the ADHD devil, with the same problems, 10 years from now.

The girl I refused to see for too long is not the true me. Yes, she owns all my emotions and a big part of my personality, but I was also partly myself when I focussed on my performance. I am not just this girl anymore, instead, parts of the person I was until just a few months ago also are truly a part of me. The little girl I was always dreamt about becoming an architect, and in the years I lost her, I actually became an architect. Many things I wanted as a child, I succeeded in as an adult, so in a way, it was also good that I changed myself, I just think I went too far in my change.

By completely ignoring the girl I used to be, I got what I wanted, but because the girl stopped existing, I was never able to celebrate my successes and achievements. On the other hand, if I wouldn’t have changed myself, I probably would not have the things I should have celebrated. It is easy to see the good in the girl I used to be, because I have lost her for too many years, but it is unfair to let this vague memory of something good influence what is now. I hate to be honest with myself and recognize that how I choose to live my life based on performance, wasn’t completely bad, no matter how much I hurt the girl I used to be with the choices I have made.

I am now focussed on reconnecting with the emotional part of myself, and it is true that the young-me was much better at this than the performance-me. But this doesn’t mean I used to be better at everything back then, nor is it fair to say that I have ruined everything for myself when I changed. When it comes to emotions and feelings, to happiness, love and joy, yes, it is true that I used to do much better as a child, it is true that the performance me is to blame for loosing this, but this doesn’t mean that the performance we was all bad and worthy of hate, this is unfair.

I have to understand that I had both good and bad qualities in every phase of my life, in every version of me. I used to be very inventive and creative, I turned into being very social and impulsive and then I decided to focus on organizing my life to get me what I always dreamt of and when I got my dream job I tried to figure out what adult life should be like for me, with caring for other people and finding hobbies that could fill the things I was missing in my life. None of these phases was a bad one, none of the things I did deserve my own hate, I was simply trying to find my way.

Yes, I lost the girl I once was in the previous decade, but in this time I also gained many great new things. The fact that I am able to write this right now, in my sunny garden, outside my own house I absolutely love with the most amazing boyfriend on my couch and the sweetest bunny right next to him, is only because of what I did in the past years. In every phase of my life I have made mistakes, but in all those phases I worked on a good part of myself as well. I just forgot to combine, I just forgot to learn.

Although the girl that starts to show up in the mirror is very appealing, she is not the image of what the new me will be like. Instead, she will just be a part of it, together with performance me that made her disappear.

I believe I have never felt good in my life because I never learned how to balance. I do one thing completely or not at all, with hobbies, friends and the way I choose to live my life, while a balance in things is extremely important. I can not become impulsive or emotional again while keeping the job I truly love, neither can I only focus on my performance and find real happiness. My new adulthood needs to be something in between, something in which all the good things of my different phases are merged together. A new and balanced me, with space for all the other things I might learn in the rest of my life. A me that will only grow and never restart or change completely.

How? I am not sure yet. Maybe in a way I’m starting to discover this already. While I’m writing now I am focussed, the way I used to focus on my work. But once I stop writing, I take time to be the girl, to laugh and feel, to be happy. I started painting again as well, to spend some time as the creative me and I try to talk to at least three other people every day, to feel how being social is able to make me feel good. Although this is all far from what I used to do, far from what real life looks like, there is a kind of balance arising in how I spend my days and how I am able to mix playfulness with focus and emotions. A balance that makes me feel good.

The image in my mirror is still not a solid one, I still see or an architect I don’t really feel much for, or the girl that makes me emotional and they never merge. But I’m sure that one day I will be able to see one woman, one me I can be absolutely proud of. Time, practice and therapy will bring me to her.

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