I think one of my biggest problems was always not valuing myself. I always equated that with selfishness and equated selfishness with being ‘bad’. At home, this created a situation where I was either fully immersed in my own world and berating myself for it or the days after that happened where I put my everything into trying to be better and doing everything I could to ask my family for forgiveness because of what I would say when I was sad, angry, and frustrated with the things life gave us.

It got to the point where I had this all or nothing mindset.. I either was perfect that day or I wasn’t. I either did exactly as I should or I didn’t. I either fought against my thoughts or let them consume me. I didn’t know what balance was. All my life in front of others it was always easy to present myself as a person that had nothing wrong with her. When I look at my yearbook and the things others have said about me it touched my heart, because it showed that at least in public I was the person I wanted to be. That people could tell I tried. That I cared. Even when I thought I wasn’t much noticed at all.

If it always easy to show that other side of me in public why was it that I have always been so reclusive at home? What is it about being in my own mind that made it think that I was doomed to be a person that I hated? An angry person. A jaded person. Someone that could barely stand to look in the mirror.

When I am at work or when I go out and speak to anyone.. I always think to myself that if I could I would be kind. Everyone has something going on beneath the surface and we all deal with it differently. If I could make someone smile or lift some small burden or make them feel good for a moment I would always make sure to do that. Yet.. even if I knew that meant that I wanted to be someone good I couldn’t stop thinking that I wasn’t, but I think I realize now that it’s not something I could or can control, but that it is a lie. You’re own thoughts can lie to you. They can tell you you’re ugly. They can tell you you’re dumb. They can tell you that you lack worth. They can tell you that who you are at a basic level is wrong. Those are all lies. When we believe the lie that we are terrible and unworthy we do things to prove that those things are true till we believe them.

I see that when my sister (the most well dressed person I’ve ever known) looks in the mirror and changes outfit after outfit thinking that she doesn’t look good when she always looks beautiful. It makes me upset. Why do we lie to ourselves? What causes that? How is it that there have been countless times that I had convinced myself that I didn’t belong in my own family when I know that they love me?

It makes me upset because even as I am starting to come out of the lies I’ve told myself.. I want to scream at the girl that wrote the most desperate heartbreaking poetry that it would be okay. That she was going to be okay. That she could handle what was coming and that she wasn’t awful. I want to hug her. To tell her that her sister loves her. That her mom accepts her for who she is. That even as her dad seems like a whole different person that she would always be his little girl.

I always wanted to prove that I wasn’t my birth mother who couldn’t raise me and gave me to my grandmother whom took the little girl I once was and all the love I wanted to give her and crushed it.. crushed it by saying I wasn’t enough, that I didn’t matter, that the person I was raised to be was too much like the family that she sent me to live with and not enough like her, that gave me conditions to her love, that thought that the only way to get what you wanted in this life was by playing dirty. Everything in me that was like her I hated. How sometimes I held a pen between my index and middle finger when I signed my name, or how I would sometimes stand with one of my feet pressed on the inside of my leg, or the competitiveness in me that at times went too far, or that I had to have an explanation for everything.. had to analyze everything, I even came to hate my own smile the way my lips were thin like hers, or that the shapes of our faces were undeniably similar. To feel that way constantly.. it’s no wonder I turned to YouTube and movies and tv shows to drown out the sound of my own thoughts.

These past few days.. these past few months of just trying to be kinder to myself. Of trying to find happiness in my struggles. Of actually being happy. I can see the lies. I am not my grandmother. I will never be like her. Being this happy. I’ve been able to let myself take care of me. I’ve found value in myself. It reminded me that there are things on this blog I’d like to do. Things like actually reading the Bible and sharing what I actually think about each chapter. Things like returning to Beyond the Surface and doing posts on books that discuss mental health and what it feels like to live with the weight of it. Things like poetry. Or talking about music and shows that I’ve watched. Being as spontaneous with my blog as I once was when I first began.

I want to say that I feel like a different person, but that wouldn’t be the truth. I am the same as I always was. My mom always told me that I was too honest. That I trusted people too easily. That I wasn’t careful. Maybe, I have always been honest with others, because all I ever did was lie to myself. “Always be the change you want to see in the world.” I took that to heart. I’ve always wished that people could be more honest and open with each other, more understanding. I do that in public, but the irony was that I didn’t keep that truth for myself. I think that so much of my life I did whatever I could to make myself believe my own lies. I gave into them, but not completely. I was my own worst enemy.

I knew that the day everything fell threw and the relationship with my grandmother ended.. I had already forgiven her, but I hadn’t forgiven myself. In the things in me that were like her I couldn’t forgive myself. But I think now. I think now I have or at least I’ve started to. My grandmother let the things that happened to her turn her into someone that carried her anger like armor, shield, and weapon. I could not touch her, but I can choose to be a different sort of person. Who set anger aside and picked up compassion instead. Someone who could choose love for herself and for others, for the family that raised her. I can choose to be happy. To let myself feel that I deserve it. To watch shows that make me laugh, to learn from video games that tell stories (like Detroit become human), to be present with my family and joke with them, to take time to enjoy every moment.

Living life in anger and hatred and self-depreciation isn’t living.. it’s a life trying to imitate the motions. I want to share who I really am and live in every single moment. I want to love. That’s what these beautiful few days have taught me. To take every good thing as an opportunity for happiness and joy and every bad as a opportunity to respond with kindness.

We all need to value ourselves. To value the heart that never stops beating. The lungs that bring us air. To value our passions and dreams. Our desires for a better world. To remind ourselves that sometimes we are the ones that lie the best to ourselves. That sometimes we need to step back and let ourselves enjoy being alive.

I never expected for this to happen. To feel like the part of me I carried that was damaged and broken would start to heal itself. That it was starting to heal itself not just these past few days, but slowly over these past few months, but accelerated by the past few days.

I want to thank all of you. Every single one of you that likes one of my posts, reads it, comments on it. This community has given me the world. I would have never felt like this without all of you. I would have never felt so much like the real me. You are all so beautiful. The lights of friendship that I will always hold dear.

Thanks for reading! I would love to hear your thoughts as always.

-Till next time!

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18 thoughts on “What I’ve Learned By Taking Time For Myself

  1. Wow, that’s such a personal post. Thank you for taking the time to share with us your personal experiences in life. Also, I’d like you to know your not alone, we’ll always be here for you whenever you feel like writing a post like this. It’s okay to take time for yourself, we all deserve mental health time away from things that stress us, whether its physical things or dealing with mental health issues.

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    1. I really really appreciate this. I cried while writing this, but not really sad tears so much as grateful ones. Freeing ones. I feel so lucky to have the people in my life that I do. Teaching myself to be positive and to stop believing in lies is a difficult thing, but I believe I can do it. I think writing this helped me to see that.

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      1. I can imagine. I felt myself getting emotional when reading it because I’m a very empathetic person. I think part of it is because I can relate to what your talking about too but in a different way. Most of my struggles are with myself, but not with the way I project myself to the world verses how I act at home. My struggles are more self doubt like feeling I’m not good enough even when people tell me otherwise. Or saying negative things about myself in general. So I felt like I could really relate to this post which is why I appreciate it so much.

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        1. I want to say that I am happy that you could relate to this, but that doesn’t sound right. You are one of the people that always comments on here and I have come to think of you as a friend. I get the self-doubt and the not feeling good enough, but it just happens to be in a really specific and easy to hide way. Letting myself be this open about it felt right because I hope that it could help someone. To let others know that if they happen to feel similar that they are not alone and that there is light at the end of the tunnel. You are a good person Raney. I’m glad to know you.

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  2. Thank you for sharing this. I really relate to a lot of it but seeing how you’re overcoming it is just beyond inspirational to me. And you’re not alone! If you ever need anything, I’m here and the book community is here. I’ve been trying to sink more time into my Bible as well especially as life gets crazy and rushed…and it’s been helping.

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  3. Thanks for sharing Tiana, I think many of us do exactly the same, in comparing ourselves to others, who we either admire or do not wish to be like. It’s actually heartwarming to know that others do much the same. I think as I get older I learn to accept many more things about myself, which helps in letting go of “stuff”. Keep writing not only for your own self, but as so many of us enjoy reading it!

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    1. Thanks a lot! It means a lot to me that I can write stuff like this and that it is so accepted by this community. The bookish community has been a major part in finding healing for myself and I don’t think I will ever stop sharing my truths on here.

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  4. “When people hurt you over and over, think of them like sandpaper. They may scratch and hurt you a bit, but in the end, you end up polished, and they end up useless.” – Andy Biersack

    Your grandmother doesn’t deserve you. I’m sad you went through all this but I’m also a little angry that you were treated like that. I guess all that can be said is you are a very strong person. And remember that you have a great family mow and that there are people, myself included, who love you dearly.

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    1. Thank you! I forgot to tell you that I did end up looking at Andy Biersack quotes during my time waiting at the hospital and this one was one of my favorites.

      It’s been over a year since I last spoke to my grandmother and my mental health has been a lot better since. I am very happy right now. With my family. Having you there. With everything. I feel very much loved.

      Liked by 1 person

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