Hello, my name is Emma and I am an emotional self harmer. My life is not fullfilled because I will not allow it to be. I rarely allow myself to accept praise or congratulate myself on something done well and I am constantly looking for ways to better myself. I will never be fully happy unless I learn to relax my ideals and accept myself for what I am.
I emotionally self harm on a daily basis and I leave no stone unturned, I will metophorically beat myself up about most things, I’m not picky! These are all genuine thoughts that I have in an average week:
“I’ve been at work all day and missed out on my daughter and I now I’m rely on the TV to entertain us both while dinner cooks. I should be running around with her or playing with her or something but I can’t quite summon the energy. I’m a bad mum”
“I forgot to text my friend back until the next day, I’m a terrible friend, I don’t know why people bother with me”
“I just had my second handful of dried fruit and nut today, I’ve ruined my clean eating for the day now, Im probably going to gain loads of weight now”
“I’ve woken up too late to work out this morning, I’m probably going to gain loads of weight now”
“I haven’t spent any quality time with my husband in ages, I’m a terrible wife”
“The house is an absolute tip, I’m rubbish at looking after myself and my family”
“My childs development will slow down unless I stop being lazy and look up some more classes she can attend. Why is this not my priority? I’m a rubbish Mum”
“Why am I still thinking about sugar? I clearly haven’t weaned myself off it at all. I’m obviously still addicted and therefore can’t do anything right”
Some of those may ring true with you, some of them may sound ridicuous but they all seem like a massive weight on my shoulders to me and when combined together they can serve to make me feel pretty damn rubbish about myself.
So, why do I do it? It’s second nature to me. It’s not something that I’ve trained myself to do conciously to try and make myself a better person, although I’m sure somewhere deep down that is the purpose of it. I have tried to relax, be kinder to myself and it works, sometimes, for a while, but then I will (in my eyes), ‘fail’ at something else and it starts again and one thing leads to anoher, so if I feel that I am ‘failing’ in one part of my life, I will start to scrutinise other parts as well.
I hit rock bottom a few years when something (I can’t even remember what now it was THAT stupid!) went too far and I ended up a little bit troubled, extremely paranoid about various things and not finding any joy in anything. It was a daily struggle to stay out of my bed. I was diagnosed with depression, like so many people are, and was offered councilling. Through this I learned that I can’t always be in control of everything, like I felt I should be, and nor does anyone expect me to be. Now I realise that unless I relax and stop constantly trying to be better, better, better then I will miss out on life and all the lovely things that it has to offer me.
Now when I hear that inner criticism, I try to reason with it that it doesn’t matter if I’ve gained a few pounds, or I missed a work out, the house is a mess or I haven’t been able to summon the energy to play with the littlun after a full day at work, because lord knows I’m damn good Mum the rest of the time and she knows that. We’re all under a lot of pressure from various elements of our lives and we should all try to be a bit kinder to ourselves. Would we be that cruel or rude to a friend? Of course not, so why do we do it to ourselves? Because we feel responsible to keep ourselvs on track that’s why. But there’s on track and then there’s demented because you can’t achieve the un-achievable. Of course you can’t…that’s why it’s called un-achievable for goodness sake!