Learning to Love Myself Again

By Maria Nias

The stigma around mental health means there are not many words that people feel they can use when it comes to expressing how they feel. The English language is the hardest to learn, but ‘depressed’ doesn’t cut it for describing some feelings, in my opinion.

I suffer from PTSD (new), depression and anxiety (for as long as I have known). When I look in the mirror I see an average woman, with a spark in her eyes that proves passion in a lot of areas. Music, honesty, equality, and education, being a few. Because, in the past, I believed I was not worth anything, I was grateful for anything.

When I fell for the wrong person, it meant I suffered, more now than I believe I deserved. But I do not hate those that have shown me cruelty, ignorance or control over me. It has taught me more than money can buy, to trust myself, to trust my instincts, to love me, with all of my flaws! I am not at all cured. I know I will live with this for the rest of my life. But I can be happy. I am stronger for everything I have been through.

I wish to one day be a lighthouse, the light in the dark, for others. Someone you can vent or rant to, or get advice from, at any point. I wish saying “No, I’m a bit foggy today.” would be as easy as saying “Im fine.”

I went for a walk last week, after months of never leaving the house, unless I really needed to. I neglect myself still. Some days it takes everything I have to get up, to refill my glass of water, or clean my teeth, or shower. Some days, I just want to disappear. However, these dark days teach me to enjoy the good days, the good people I meet, the amazing places I see, all the wonderful memories I have.

What is so very important, is knowing that tomorrow you may feel different, it is a new day, a new chance, a new start. Stigma starts at home. If you continue to believe you cannot talk about it, it will never be talked about. We, who suffer and survive, must open up, so that our neighbour, who doesn’t suffer, can understand and accept it. I am no different from anyone else.

I have quirks and idiosyncrasies that some people may hate and others may love. I will learn to love me, before I can allow another to love me. Otherwise, I will accept anything, and below what I am worth. I am mentally ill, and I am proud of myself. I am brave. I am a warrior. I am a queen.

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