I came back to this “blog,” because a few moments ago I started thinking about my identity. These thoughts quickly spiraled into me furiously typing out all my thoughts on my own identity and realizing my self-image is shit. I didn’t realize exactly how poorly I thought of myself until I was about halfway through my long winded paragraph. So yes, this is an impulsive moment of me needing to get out exactly how I’m feeling. I know the majority of you won’t continue on reading past here. I don’t really care. In fact, I understand where you’re coming from.
I’ve come to hate people who complain, especially when they complain about their own mental health or their self-image outside of a therapeutic setting. This is exactly what I plan on doing right now (free therapy?). I could pin exactly what in my life makes me feel such strong annoyance towards complainers, and maybe I will in another post, but not now. This is about me, not me and… him. Here I am complaining to you. I guess if I write it all out here, it feels like someone is listening, even if no one is. When I really think about it, the idea of someone actually reading this is terrifying. I could write a post on that as well. Now, the idea of someone actually listening isn’t a good one, but at the same time I want to post this. I guess thats the internet. You type shit and don’t think much about who’s gonna read it before hitting send, right?
There was a time in my life, not too long ago, when I had no regrets. I thought all that I had done, the good and the bad, had made me the person I was and I was happy with that person. Well, happy enough. It was more that I couldn’t imagine being anyone else, that I didn’t want to be anyone else. Now, that is not the case. When I think about things I regret, too many moments come to mind. It’s as if the past 18 years of my life consisted entirely of subtle and not so subtle mistakes and avoidance of growth that has shaped me into a person who I cannot possible imagine accomplishing anything of significance. Being insignificant in the end is something I fear greatly, but I guess it’s unavoidable. I mean everything is pretty insignificant if you think on a large enough scale. But I guess I’d be happy to be significant on our human level.
As a college student, I’m thinking of my future and career constantly. I find myself lowering my expectations for my own future constantly. I bounce between dreams of careers that I would like, and always end up dismissing them as unattainable fantasies and something I’d grow bored of when I’m not as successful as I want to be. A writer, a movie director, an animator, an artist: it seems that all the jobs I want to pursue deep down rely on the opinion of others. In my mind, these “dream jobs” require a specific type of person, with specific qualities I do not not have, nor can I imagine myself obtaining. My character is pretty well formed and while I can change myself in many ways, there are somethings that are just in my nature that will never be resolved.
To be more specific, I see a common thread between all successful people as confident and persevering. These are two qualities I do not posses, at least not to the extent I need them. I’m not confident at all. I’m rarely proud of the work I do. I find most of my pride in the fact I get any task done rather than the quality of the product. At my core, this has to do with my how I’ve learned to cope with my perfectionism and fear of failure, which have been consistent themes throughout my entire life and are deeply intertwined with my anxiety. In some ways, I see myself as a fighter. I fight myself everyday. A major coping mechanism which I have found never works, but I often used is avoidance. As I mentioned before, I am proud of myself for getting anything done and this is because of my pattern of avoidance and how I must constantly fight against it in order to not crash and burn completely. I’m proud of myself for simply doing things because for the longest time (and still now) I have had to fight to do just that. My issue then is, fighting further than that. I do not think myself equipped to do that. The second anyone discourages or criticizes me, I immediately take it to heart and am completely crushed. It is at that point, I know I will give up…
But maybe I won’t. It’s just dawned upon me that I’ve never really gotten to that point. Maybe in little ways: saying or doing something wrong. But when I think of the poor grades I’ve received or the little failures Ive had, they are all the result of me not putting effort in (typically a result of avoidance). Perhaps, if I get past that and my fear of failure, I will not be so negative, when I actually fail. Deep down, I know this will not be the case, as I tear up when I do anything wrong, but it’s a nugget of hope.
But back to my current issues. I am afraid to the point where I cannot put myself in a position to fail. I will never get where I want to go with this mindset. Anyone successful (depending on how you define success) will tell you you have to fail eventually and that the important part is that you get back up and persevere. I fear failure in every aspect of my life. I often don’t share my thoughts around people, because I’m scared they will judge me. If I say something and it isn’t quite received the way I thought, I immediately blame myself and it will be on my mind for weeks. My romantic life is non-existent because I refuse to put myself out there. I wouldn’t even know where to start when it comes to flirting. I find myself very physically unattractive with no good qualities as I am extremely shy and too agreeable. Anyone I find attractive, I immediately dismiss as being “out of my league” and even as I write this I know this to be the truth.
My self-image is probably the worst its been in my life. Its odd because I don’t think I feel the most depressed I ever have been. In fact, I’m proud of how I’m managing to stay afloat in college. And yet, I cannot find a single quality in myself that I and proud of other than that. Even when I’m proud of that, I’m ashamed that just getting things done is what I consider being a great accomplishment because that’s how inept I am.
I’m kind, extremely empathetic, and very understanding of every perspective. But even as I write this, I know that all of these traits have their weaknesses that counteract the good. I’m kind, but doesn’t everyone think themselves kind? It not very special. Plus, when I put weight on this trait as a defining characteristic I become even more passive than I already am. I’m extremely empathetic, but thats a hard trait to showcase without being annoying, and other than allowing me to understand a lot of different perspectives, has no other benefit I can think of. One would argue that it helps me create deeper bonds, but I’m so awkward and don’t open up so these “bonds” only go one way most of the time and amount to nothing. I guess I have the ability to see an argument from both sides and consider myself very understanding and while this can be beneficial, most of the time I think I come across and extremely passive or fake, with no real opinions of my own.
I guess my image of myself is so bad because I base my entire opinion of myself on what I think others think of me. I’m now realizing that maybe the current friend group I’m barely a part of is unhealthy and upsetting to me. I’m always quiet with them, and this feeds all my negative thoughts about myself. This is my fault, not theirs, but maybe I need a different group that I feel more accepted by.
I have a few groups and people in mind that would be good for this, but with them I have doubts. I need to work out and get in shape to bond with them because they are outdoorsy and in-shape people. I would like to be that kind of person, but I’m not there physically. That group is happy and they don’t smoke weed as often as my current group. It’s not that I’m against it. In fact, I know how fun it can be, but it makes me anxious and it’s such a constant in my other group.
Wow I need to go to therapy. I didn’t realize how much of a mess I am. I haven’t taken the time to figure my identity out in years. I was extremely opposed to it for a while. I thought “I am where I am and I don’t need to label it” a large part of this was because of my sibling and all their labels separating them from the family in a negative way. But that’s another story for another time.
I make no promises of posting regularly. We all know that doesn’t work out. But, I have quite a few post ideas, so hopefully I’ll get them out there.