Man, I am so in love. It is amazing how someone can be right before your very eyes, yet you don’t notice them.
This kind of love is new to me. It is uncompromising but kind. It is strict and demanding but encouraging. It holds me to a higher standard of accountability and acceptance. It is protective, comforting, and unyielding.
It was so hard to accept. I turned away from it many times, ignoring it for the love of another. Sadly, I could not accept and give love when I didn’t have it for myself.
Loving myself led me back to school. Loving myself got me out of a toxic friendship and living situation. Loving myself finally let me accept I needed more help to be healthy; therefore, the gastric sleeve. It is this love, which has me walking around my apartment because it is cold outside.
This love also doesn’t allow me excuses when I fall into bad eating habits. This love doesn’t care how many times I have to start over. This love pushes me to take care of myself first and foremost.
It is true; I have neglected my friends. I was too busy exploring this love. This care. This new state of being. I’ve never felt love like this before.
My Love Today
A year ago today, I wrote this letter and posted it on Facebook. For the first time, I could see the love I had for myself. My love wasn’t this abstract concept I was trying to force myself to believe. I was truly smitten with myself. There was no shame or conceit in this self-admiration. Today, I still feel the same.
Never feel ashamed to love yourself out loud. Love yourself, how you want someone else to love you. Count the flaws, imperfections, and quirks, then add them to the list of items that make you unique. Acknowledge areas of improvement and change while realizing there is enough self-love inside of you to make progress in those areas. Love your humanity because, as a human, you will make mistakes. Hone your patience because it takes time to grow. Keep pressing forward, and you will get there.
Self-Love Despite Struggles
2020 has been an unforgettable year for a variety of reasons. For many of us worldwide, this has been a time of confusion, stress, and unprecedented uncertainty. Globally, we feel the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic as it continues to rage on for over nine months. Personally, this time has taken a toll on my mental health as both my college and my work went virtual.
In my life, segmentation plays a significant role. I function better when I have separate places for schooling, working, and home life. Having all three of these combined for such a long time took an unexpected toll on my life. I continue to be grateful to have a job still. Working from home allowed me to do my job in a compacity, which I feel benefited the students. However, the move to online-only schooling posed some difficulties that I was unable to overcome. Sadly, as spring, summer, and fall semesters ticked by, I saw my GPA drop. In fact, I had to take an incomplete in most of my fall classes.
All this stress, combined with uncertainty, threw my mental health for a loop. I had more manic episodes than I ever had in my life. While mania feels good, I could not sit down and concentrate enough to do my homework. Hours would be wasted on repeatedly reading the same page because I could not comprehend what I was reading. My level of frustration grew to the point of wanting to quit school. Luckily, the staff at my school was able to work with me as I went through two medication changes and two tweaks to the time I took my medicine.
I am very confident that self-love got me through these challenges. It was that love that sought out care to fix my crumbling mental state. It was the desire to better myself, born from self-love, which pushed me to try to work out some type of agreement with my professors. If I was not so smitten with myself, I could have easily given up out of shame or embarrassment. Please realize, I understand how hard it can be to admit to others that you are struggling with mental health issues. However, I am worth the effort to get myself closer to the place I want to be.
Now that I am more stable, I will be spending my break catching up on about four weeks of assignments. I feel confident I can get this done before the start of the spring semester. Consequently, that means my posting schedule may become even more erratic during that time. I want to thank you in advance for having patience with me. I look forward to coming back soon!
Personal Experiences are posts that speak directly to my journey with mental health. My goal with sharing these experiences is to show how the concepts I write about look in practice.