I was sat watching the final of the Great British Bake Off last night (noooo!) & amidst the genuine joy I felt watching the show, I found myself… sad. I cried like a baby as I watched Steph (if you don’t watch the show, she was a contestant) struggle with her confidence & wrestle with self-belief. Honestly, I found it bloody gut wrenching to see how much she was beating herself up throughout the series.
It was as though someone had turned a tap on, and I just couldn’t stop blubbing. At one point my boyfriend walked in & assured me Bake Off would be back next year, not to worry. (I cry a lot. At everything. He’s a good egg.)
I guess I just felt like I was identifying with her on so many levels, and I realised that perhaps at the heart of it, it was like watching me.
For as a long as I can remember, I have never felt good enough; for anyone, for myself, & certainly at anything. I apologise about 110x a day & I need reassurance like air. “Am I doing this right? Are you sure??” “I can’t do this & even if I do do this, it’ll be shit anyway, because it’s me” “I don’t know why you’re with me, what do you see in me? I literally have nothing to offer anyone” “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry” Pressure pressure pressure. Worry worry worry.
I mean, how freaking depressing can a human being get?! I’m a walking talking barrel of lols, I know. It’s so strange though isn’t it? How we can put ourselves down so easily, so horribly. I actually coined myself my own ‘bully’ yesterday. It’s that whole thing isn’t it- would you put someone else down the way you put yourself down? The answer is likely inexplicably ‘nope’, but here we are, beating ourselves up like it’s gonna win us tonight’s Euromillions.
I realise my having a mental illness likely has a play in this, but what’s crazy is I actually remember being as young as around eight years old & feeling even then like I wasn’t good enough – I’d sit in classes like Maths ‘knowing’ I couldn’t ever be as clever as this person or that, that I probably wouldn’t amount to much. “Just give up” my brain would whisper. I’d put myself down, all the time (not much has changed!). I’d do something right and believe it still wasn’t good enough, that it was a fluke, that I just got lucky – and anyway, it still wasn’t better than that person.
Sigh. Would you believe this ol’ compare & despair game was long played before social media kicked in? Humans.
I’ll wager you’ll be thinking ‘someone must’ve had a hand in this, surely someone or something must’ve made you feel not good enough’. I mean… not really? Not that I can think of. People have largely either been super supportive of me, or just indifferent. In this scenario, I really am my own worst enemy; I’ve been fortunate enough to have people tell me how great they think I am (even writing that feels wrong, because I just don’t believe it) or how proud they are – how wrong I am for not believing in myself. It’s not that I think they’re lying to me. I guess in my head they’re just… being nice?
It’s toxic isn’t it?
Just because someone else isn’t putting you down, just because there’s not another human being on the other end of that poison, it doesn’t mean that you doing it to yourself makes it any less bullyish.
Think on it for a moment.
How many times a day do you tell yourself you’re not worthy? That you’re useless, not good enough, incapable of anything, that you have no purpose, that you’ll never amount to anything, that you can’t do anything, that you’re not as clever/pretty/successful as someone else?
Fucking exhausting, isn’t it?
I wish I had the answers. I wish I could say “stop beating yourself up, I HAVE the solution”. I’m sorry. I haven’t figured it out for myself yet. What I have done though, is acknowledge, after years of being a rotter to myself (for want of a better way of putting it) that I’m not kind to me. Not a bit. I know it’s wrong, I know I need to change it. It’s strange really, because one thing I do try to always be, is kind. No matter what, I try to be kind to other people. & yet I find it so hard to be that person to myself.
Acknowledgement though, is step one.
I hope that if this post has done anything, it’s nudged something in you. Are you your own bully? Your own worst enemy? Could you be kinder to yourself? Offer yourself the same humility you give to other people? I just think if we could try to interrupt those thoughts, that negativity, that belief that we’re not good enough, we might be able to turn it all on it’s head and… wow. The world just won’t be ready.
Big buckets of love.