On Being My Own Bully

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.

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5 thoughts on “On Being My Own Bully

  1. Thanks for writing this. I can definitely relate to this as I’ve learned the hard way that I’m too hard on myself.

    I wouldn’t say I seek reassurance constantly – I guess in a warped way I feel like I don’t deserve even that – or that I walk around always putting myself down, but the tap is never off. It’s a constant drip drip drip.

    My therapist said to me a few weeks ago “do you realise how harsh you sound when you talk about yourself” and honestly, no, I didn’t. These thoughts are just the background noise I’ve always lived with. I didn’t have someone do this to me. I grew up in a loving supportive family. I got complimented on my drawing skills, my writing, my school grades.. but I always found it difficult to believe.

    I might know that I can do things and I have decades worth of evidence to prove it, but believing it is another story entirely. I’m glad that I now realise I do this to myself, but it doesn’t help me figure out how to change it.

    It *is* exhausting😕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw Dan, honestly thanks so much for reading it, and thank you for relating, it’s good to know I’m not alone, it’s just so sad we have to go through it. It’s funny, what your therapist said to you is pretty much exactly what my boyfriend said to me this week. I too had a supportive network and a great childhood – doesn’t always make sense does it? Hopefully one day soon we’ll see the light in ourselves rather than anything negative – we’ll get there my friend 🙂 x

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Watching Steph was heartbreaking! I can relate to this so much. I’m definitely my own bully, and have felt as though people are just lying to me when they tell me I’m not as terrible as I think I am, that they’re just saying that to be nice. It’s awful how much our minds bully us like this and how much we torture ourselves by comparing ourselves to others AND having a mental illness on top, seems rather unfair. I have hope one day we’ll both see our own worth and truly believe it when other people tell us 💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know, it’s actually heartbreaking to know how much we torture ourselves, especially when you consider that you absolutely wouldn’t treat another human in that way, but it’s like second nature to be like it to ourselves. I have that hope too, and I believe we’ll get there girl. We’ve just gotta start turning those awful bullyish thoughts on their heads somehow ❤ xxx

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  3. I loved Steph, and thought she was amazing – it’s just a shame she didn’t know, understand, or have the confidence to realise how bloody good she was.

    I’ve suffered with self doubt for as long as I remember. I have got better – counselling helped – but every so often, I feel it bubbling away. I’ve achieved so many great things this year, and I know I need to remember this everytime that doubt attempts to raise its voice.

    It seems to appear when I’m about to try something new: Can I do this? Will I fail? Is there any point? The answers should be: Yes No. Yes. But the self doubting side of me will sometimes answer Yes, probably, and no.

    My favourite singer-songwriter Howard Jones recently released an album called Transform – in this album is a song called Beating Mr. Neg: this song is about ignoring that negative voice that whispers in your ear and stops you from achieving what your dreams and aspirations. I listen to the album a lot, as each song is about transforming your mindset so you reach your potential.

    But yeah, self doubt is a bitch – but it CAN be beaten…

    Like

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