Just because people have depression and have a tendency towards self-hate doesn’t mean we’re incapable of love. We may be awful at showing it, but that doesn’t change our feelings. “You can’t love others until you love yourself” is just pure bullshit.
sometimes the hindrance of the self makes you kinder and more forgiving towards others.
That is very true, but if someone takes advantage of your kindness, it can be devastating. I have tried that myself, because i felt guilty of everything. And i tried to help everyone around me, be the example noone was for me. All i got out of it, was being bullied by my classmates, as they thought i was “weak”. I thought being helpfull to others might help me feel better, and sometimes it does, if i comfort someone.
I actually did. A stranger who was being physically attacked by her brother, cried out, and noone else cared. I was at a distance and saw at least 10 people just walking by. I talked him down, he left, and she cried she did not know what to do if someone hadn’t helped her. Later her boyfriend came and talked to her, and drove her home. I never felt more frustrated and angry at another person (the brother) yet happy that I (for once) was the right person, in the right place, to make a positive difference.
The downside: It makes me feel selfish. It is a fucking paradox!
Sorry for this “long thought” it just kind of needed to get out…
Why do you feel sorry? You should be happy to be given a chance to save someone. You did what exactly is right. The only thing you did wrong is feeling angry and frustrated with the other person. You didn’t really know the cause of the attack. You really don’t want to know at this point. You helped two people in a verge of uncertainty. That’s all. Thank God for it. I bet she must have asked God for help. And you were the perfect angel that He sent to help. It may sound so weird, but so true. Believe me for now. On the other hand. I would probably feel bad for the other person that he had done such a thing to her sister. I am very sure he loves his sister so much that sometimes it comes to that, to protect her from harm. He must be feeling sorry of what he did the rest of his life. Him leaving the scene when you talk to him is a sign that he did just that.
BTW, please continue to help others. That’s what we are here for to help one another around us. Remember, you can only give what you have. And what you have is one beautiful, tender and loving heart. Don’t let bullies take that away from you. We are always the misunderstood and the taken advantage people but we are the happy and fulfilled ones. I love you my friend and I know God loves you too very much.
That’s the best way to be selfish, really. There’s no greater feeling than knowing someone else’s day is better because of something you did.
Ah, but what if you really can’t feel love? I have empathy, I make friends, and there are people I care about enough to do nice things for them, and for whom I would be willing to make sacrifices, but I do not feel love for them. I remember what love feels like from before I was depressed, and sometimes I’m in a situation where I think, “I should feel something more than this,” but I just don’t. I can be pleased, satisfied, or content, but I can’t feel joy, excitement, or enthusiasm. It’s better than feeling miserable all the time, but something’s missing.
Thank you. I hate that phrase so much.
Here’s the thing. I love people. I don’t love everyone, obviously, but I love people. The reason I love them is because there’s so much I see in them. BUt seeing myself with love? no can do. I don’t see myself as anything.I hate myself, which oddly, increases how much I love the other people in my life.
Brad Grierson says
Thank you. I’ve never understood why someone supposedly couldn’t love others before they loved themselves. It made no sense to me. I care more about others than I do myself.
Paula Sperry says
Thank you for showing this. I have had major depression most of the past 26 years of my life. I always hear you can’t love anyone else until you love yourself, and I know how untrue this is because I love and have loved many, many, people as romantic partners, as a sister, an aunt, as a friend, as a neighbor. I love imperfectly, but don’t we all?
Exactly. I understand the importance of self-care but gatekeeping love is another thing entirely. I still see that phrase about not being able to love others occasionally and it still irritates me. You are worthy of love and your love is worthy.
this is quite literally me