I’ve never really thought of myself as a quitter, I like to think, once I go for something, I’m there for the long haul, like a dog with a log, never letting go, all focus channelled into the task at hand.
Thing is, over the last year, I’ve realised this is sort of true, but not always in a good way.

Yeah, I’m tenacious, but often it’s only in relation to hopeless situations.

That no quit attitude? Only there when it comes to putting myself down and chipping away at my own self esteem.

And being overwhelmingly focused on the task at hand? Well, yes, if the task at hand is taking on everything negative that happens to me as being a fault with me.
Yeah, I’m very good at not quitting when it comes to things I hate.

I think, if many of us were honest with ourselves, we’d probably have similar experiences.
If you break up with someone say, it’s hard not to see fault in yourself. In fact, quite often the other person in the relationship will help you with that as well, and by help I obviously mean brutal character assassination.

I know my self esteem can be a fragile thing. It’s like its made of ice, any heat will melt it pretty fast, and god help us all if you go for it with a hammer. I try and build it up as best I can, but after a while it starts to become the norm that it will melt away, and once that happens it becomes much harder to sort it out.
I think that’s because there’s comfort in repetition, even if it’s negative repetition. Doing the same thing, having the same response is safe because it’s familiar. It almost doesn’t matter that it hurts you more, that it’s ultimately incredibly self destructive, because at least you know this feeling. There is security and safety because it’s what you know.
Look at it like a rollercoaster. The first time you go on it its frankly fucking terrifying. You’re all I’m gonna be sick, what’s happening, I CAN NOT DEAL. But then you go on it again, and again, and again, and after a while you know all the twists, you remember the bit where you go upside down where you feel sick, and you get used to it. The more you do it,the easier it becomes to keep on doing it, even if it keeps on making you feel sick.
As with many analogies, if you look too hard it will fall apart, (maybe don’t analyse that last bit about feeling sick and still riding the coaster too hard) but the gist of it is true. The familiarity of thinking negatively about myself is often an easier route to take then stopping and thinking about whether its actually true or not.

I’ve started doing things to change my way of thinking. I don’t want to feel shit about myself every time something bad happens, so now I stop and think about it a little.
I think about if it is really something to do with me, or if it’s actually something to do with someone else, and I’m just being a sponge for their emotions.
Sometimes it is me, but a lot of the time it isn’t.
When I get upset because someone on Tinder can’t deal with me being trans, I try not to take that as a reflection on me anymore. I try not to do that because the truth of it is that it’s not me that has the problem. It’s not for me to take on that, it doesn’t make me a bad person. There is no need to put myself down, because I have done nothing that is deserving of that.
It is of course easier to write this than do it, but remember when I said I never thought of myself as a quitter?
Well apparently that’s true with thinking good things about yourself as well…..

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