Saturday, April 17, 2010

Love Thy Self

“If you aren't good at loving yourself, you will have a difficult time loving anyone, since you'll resent the time and energy you give another person that you aren't even giving to yourself.”

Barbara De Angelis

I have loved someone very close and dear to me for near on half my life. This person is an incredibly intelligent person who also has a pure heart and is one of the most thoughtful people I have ever know. This dear friend is also an incredible musician with natural God given talent and has a photographic memory that can recall details 15 years old as if they happened yesterday. They have completed a Bachelor of Business externally while working 60 plus hours a week and helping to run the family house and raise their child and in her spare time she both trained in Martial Arts and instructed.

Sounds like an incredible person ? I certainly feel and think so !

Not that what I think matters because having said all of that, my friend hates herself ! Why, no one really knows. Yes she had a terrible childhood but her level of self loathing is incredibly profound.

Her despair and self loathing combined with her non existent self value has driven her to self harm over the last 3 years and attempt suicide twice in the last 12 months.

We all love her, we all want to help her and share this beautiful world with her but she is so convinced that she is worthless and irrelevant that any attempts to help her or share love with her is simply rebuffed and stone walled.

How do you convince someone that they are beautiful and a treasure to the world when every cell in their body screams at them otherwise and tells them that the world lies and that they are a bad person and that they don’t deserve to be happy or healthy.

When someone believes with their very existence a belief, even if it is totally baseless and unsupported by facts .. It is true to them !

Night may as well be Day and Black be White.

I am only 42 years old and to date I have personally known 4 people who have committed suicide. All four differed in many ways, age 19 – 50, Social Status ( Only child to comfortable family – Hard working grandfather ), Religion ( Atheist – Devout Christian ), Education ( Uni – Left at 16 ), Nationality ( Dutch, Australian, Scottish ) the only thing to date that any of them have in common is that they were all males. Depression and Mental health Issues know no boundaries.

Mental health issues are incredibly devastating conditions to deal with as it is not only debilitating to the sufferer but also places incredible pressure on the loved ones and carers of the sufferer.

Because of the profound beliefs that the sufferer holds as truths, there is no rationalising discussions with the sufferer for treatment plans or goals because the person doesn’t want the help due to their belief that they are not worthy of the effort or that they deserve to feel better.

The health care system even with its major advances in both medication and psychiatric practices, still offer very little relief from mental health conditions and due to the fact that each and every patient is different the process of trial and error in the treatment can mean years of hit and miss before limited if any relief can be found for the sufferer.

Mean while the sufferers loved ones and primary care providers are left powerless to protect their loved one and in most cases can do nothing but watch ( with guilt of inadequacy ) the sufferer self harm and hope that they will always be near enough to get help when required.

Mental Health issues reach every corner of society, it is non-prejudicial and non-discrimatory. It destroys both the sufferer and those who care and are associated with the sufferer, it destroys both male and female, young and old, rich and poor, black or white.

For the carer there is a profound sense of isolation and hopelessness. I believe on most occasions primary carers do not speak out about what they are enduring. This I believe is for two reason, the first being that they do not want the person they care for to be judged in any way by others who do not and can not understand the full picture and also because on most occasions if a carer does talk to someone they normally get the response of “ I don’t understand why they do it ” on more then one occasion I have pointed out to people that even the sufferer doesn’t understand and but for the grace of God I hope you never understand because to do so would put you in the same place as the sufferer, and that is something I would not wish on my worst enemy.

So if you know a sufferer or a carer, don’t run away ( it’s not contagious ) talk to them, support them but most of all Don’t Judge Them.


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You may as well try to hold back the king tide or to shift the seasons as easily try to love someone who hates themselves.

Andrew Swansson

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Article also posted on my Blog " The Soap Box Truth "

Thank You for sharing your time with me and reading my post.

5 comments:

Katherine Jenkins said...

Such an important piece to share. We never really how or why people arrive at not loving themselves, but being there, showing support and loving them is really all we can do.

I hope your friend sees all the love and support she has in you, Andrew.

Glen Staples said...

thought provoking stuff, The pressure put on the carers is so often forgotten about.

marci-me said...

so true - do not judge them - thats the last thing they need - love, kindness, care - - - and maybe some good yoga/meditation to get them out of their minds/brains...anything to get them outside of their minds...I know, I have been there.

Lynne Walker said...

Thanks so much for sharing this--very thought-provoking.

Marilyn said...

I have been wondering about the amount of suicide stories I have been seeing in the media this year. A lot of tragedy. My own mother tried to take her life when I was 22 years old. That was 22 years ago. My reaction at her failed attempt was anger. I all of a sudden snapped into a rage. In order to understand that rage you would have to understand the complicated history. I didn't coddle her...she knew what I endured in my life, and mostly because of her I endured much. If I had the courage to turn the pages of my life, she damn well had better, I had thought. It was 13 years later, she ultimately died of ovarian cancer. 13 years she wouldn't have had. My sister had just given birth to her first daughter, and my mother, on her deathbed saw her grand daughter. "So sad to go at this time, at a time like this."

Whatever hell we are going through. Don't rob yourself of the future. A future that could be whatever you make it out to be.

Money...it comes and goes. Things don't breathe. Jobs maybe hard to find, but they are not your identity. Only you determine your self worth.

I appreciate this posting...because yes, you do have to love yourself...flaws and all. Don't love the pain so much that you see the world is better off without you...no...you are wrong.

It isn't a way to die. Realize what a gift life is.

Thank you for posting this piece...in a selfish moment it reminded me of all I had been through...and we all go through much.