A Realization of My Broken Self

Ever since I started therapy, I’ve been reading a lot of psychotherapy related articles. There were so many articles that have helped me come to terms with the things I’m feeling as well as how to cope – I have learned a lot more from the former, than I have of the latter.

I realized that I am not searching for coping articles as much as I am searching for articles identifying what I’m feeling or what I’m struggling with. I think the reason is because I am still addicted to being depressed – I still can’t come to terms with the fact that I’m recovering and so unconsciously, I’m trying my best to keep my life at the status quo. Keep myself feeling depressed because if I learn to cope, then I’ll recover.

“That’s crazy”, might be what some of you are thinking right now as you read this. I believe you. I agree with you. It is crazy. It is crazy for me to want to keep my life at a constant pain and suffering. It is crazy for me to keep myself depressed. At the same time, I can’t help it. I can’t really explain it but I’m struggling more with myself than I am with anything else. I can’t help this madness that I’m keeping myself in.

That said, I wonder now if I’m keeping myself at this state and at the same time analyzing, reading and researching what I’m feeling because I need to feel the depression in its entirety. I have been dissociated and numb for so long that for once, I am actually feeling something genuinely. Don’t get me wrong, I do laugh, smile, cry, yell and I do feel emotions. However, I don’t think I’ve ever really felt anything more than the surface level. I think for years, I’ve worked hard to keep all my emotions at a surface level. After all, if I delve any deeper, I’ll end up making myself vulnerable and I could get hurt, right?

For the first time in a very very long time, since I slipped into this depressive episode in September, I have been feeling real feelings. I’ve isolated myself from people and I would rather not speak to anyone unless I have to because it was getting too painful to relate to others. I also felt like I couldn’t handle other people’s emotions at this point. It is far too painful to handle my own as it is. I think my husband can attest to how much more distant I’ve been since September – unless, I’m just projecting my own feelings on him. I do imagine people feeling a certain way or saying things about me even if that’s not the truth. I think that’s why I often misunderstand my husband and think that he must feel a certain negative way about me even if he doesn’t

Anyway, I just read an article (Self-Loathing) about “self loathing” and “self hatred” being a fundamental feeling that a person like me feels. I learned that instead of admitting that I am broken and have limitations, my feeling manifests as self hatred and internal anger. Instead of saying that I can’t do something, everything I do is met with a vicious third party voice that tells me I’m a failure. According to the psychologist, Dr Burgo, who wrote the article, at the core of this feeling is a deep feeling of shame and despair and because I can’t come to terms with that, the feeling becomes an unconscious contempt, arrogance and self hatred. As I read that, it felt like a hit in the head because everything I read describes me perfectly. I do feel contemptuous over imperfections; especially those I see in others. I do hate myself and I do come across as arrogant especially in school when my progress exceeds others’.

Dr Burgo goes on to explain that for a client who feels the way I do, it often takes a long time for them to come to terms and to own that feeling. To step into the anger, so to speak. My only hope then is to know that there is hope. That there is a way to overcome this. Reading that, I realize that I can be better. The first step is probably for me to accept that I’m recovering and to let go of this fear of losing the depression. To accept that I’m self sabotaging and allowing my depression to conquer me through my fears and doubts.

Writing this is an exercise in recognition. I’m trying to recognize my fears and issues. In doing so, I’ve opened myself up to potential criticism from those who read my blog. I don’t exactly know why I write the things I do sometimes but I ask that those who do read this, be at least kind in your comments (if any).

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6 thoughts on “A Realization of My Broken Self

  1. alexmoriah86 says:

    Writing is one of the best ways to get to know yourself better. It can be transformative and so can sharing it, so I’m glad that you did. You know yourself really well and that’s a really important part of recovery. Not everyone has your self-awareness. I like when you say “My only hope now is to know that there is hope.” That idea has been my anchor a lot lately too. Things will change and get better and those good changes will slowly get integrated into your self-image. So, just hold onto that. I can understand some of your fears about recovering from depression. So much of my identity has been tied to mental illness. For me, losing that is scary. It feels like possibly losing myself. That’s one reason why I’m so afraid to take mood stabilizers. Will I not be chaotic, sensitive, passionate Alexandra anymore? But, I think that we have to believe that the best qualities in us will still be there in recovery and probably be able to shine through even more. Anyway, good post. No criticisms necessary. I learn a lot from your posts.

    Liked by 2 people

    • JL says:

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting. Oh, I didn’t think I’d get criticism but when you lay yourself bare, it’s hard not to plead for people to be kind…

      But I’m glad you were able to learn something from this. I’m still taking one day at a time. After this post though, I shared it with my husband and inadvertantly caused him to think that I was upset with him and we had gotten into an argument. Sigh. I wish I was a better communicator in person as I am in writing.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. If keeping yourself in pain and suffering helped you to survive than the process is one of learning that you are safe and it is OK to have all of your feelings.

    If expressions of joy or spontaneity made you a target for abuse then it isn’t crazy that you would find a way to adapt. This is the thrust of psychotherapy: You are not crazy; the system that abused you was crazy, you simply did your best to adapt.

    Sometimes we keep ourselves in the kind of pain that we can bear in order to avoid the pain we think we can’t bear.

    That’s not crazy either.

    I hope this helps; these are just my thoughts based on my own recovery.

    Liked by 1 person

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