It’s easy to feel like I am unlovable. Like the way that I am takes away some of the value I hold as a human being. That I am ‘less than’ because of reasons ‘x, y, and z.’
My struggle with mental health has falsely defined me for too much of my life. I allowed the stigma that exists in our world to penetrate my being so deeply that I found it impossible to recognize my worth. I would look in the mirror and see someone who was “nice” or “liked to make people laugh,” but who was also depressed.
That last part automatically disqualifying any good trait.
You see, for so long I believed I didn’t deserve love. That I couldn’t be loved. Because even though I had some “positive traits,” depression overruled them. This belief infected friendships and damaged them beyond repair. It led me down a road of hurt and self-sabotage. Isolation. Self-harm. Disordered eating. Substance misuse.
I was depressed, and therefore already broken. Why try to be anything else?
For far too long I believed nobody could love me because of depression, nor could I love myself. What a damaging and heartbreaking thought. One that is sadly far too common. Being unable to see my own worth made it near impossible to believe that anyone else could either. And that is such a lonely place to be. It is also so incredibly untrue.
I wish I could tell you I found the magical remedy that dissolved all these lies, but I haven’t. I have, however, found a few key people who accept and love me through the ups and downs of living with mental illness. Ones who have reminded me of the value I hold even when I cannot see it. I have found a counselor that has helped me work on changing the narrative in my mind. And through this, I have begun to slowly accept the love I need and deserve. Not only from those around me, but from myself.
I am worthy of love. As a human being, I deserve to be loved. As a human being, I hold value and the struggles I face do not negate that. They are a part of being human. If only perfectly put-together people deserved love, I don’t think anyone would qualify—but thank goodness that is not the case.
As often as I felt alone in this—that I was the only one who felt unlovable—I know that I am not. If you find yourself feeling this way, challenge that belief because I promise you it is not true. Make a list of people who are in your corner for when you’re being bombarded by these lies. Find a therapist who can guide you in confronting these thoughts and building strategies for when they arise. Fill your space with positive affirmations or quotes. Create a list of reasons you deserve love, and if that feels like an impossible task right now, start with just one. Even the smallest steps can take us to the biggest places.
Our mental health experiences do not define us. They do not take away from who we are or the value we hold.
We deserve love. Simply because we exist.
Depression has a way of making us feel incredibly isolated. We’re here to remind you of the truth that you are not alone. We encourage you to use TWLOHA’s FIND HELP Tool to locate professional help and to read more stories like this one here. If you reside outside of the US, please browse our growing International Resources database. You can also text TWLOHA to 741741 to be connected for free, 24/7 to a trained Crisis Text Line counselor. If it’s encouragement or a listening ear that you need, email our team at firstname.lastname@example.org.