Learning to love myself

Trigger warning: mention of depression, self-hatred and self-harm

This guest feature has been written by the lovely and talented Celeste Moon, creator of @celestemoondraws on Instagram. She has very bravely opened up about her mental health battles as a teenager and journey towards loving herself once again, which she’s achieved by changing her mindset and embracing both her best qualities and flaws.

“I doubted myself and not only that, I belittled myself”

I was 15 and hated myself. Every single thing about me. My voice, the things I said, how I said it, the tone I used. I saw all of my body parts as disgusting, all of my features and characteristics. The way I walked, moved, looked, talked – just the way I was. Everything was wrong. I hated the decisions I made. I doubted myself and not only that, I belittled myself.

It was a really dark place. It got so bad that I started harming myself – I hated myself that much. I didn’t want to be here anymore. I didn’t want to exist. I felt like everything about me is wrong and just wanted to end the suffering. I’m pretty sure I suffered from depression. I didn’t eat much. I didn’t feel excited about things. I withdrawn from friends and family. And the biggest clue: I wanted to die. 

“I’ve learned to accept myself and embrace my qualities”

Now, 7 years later I can honestly say I love myself.

Not much has changed. I put on some weight and I’m much happier than when I was skinnier. The reason is the mindset. I’ve learned to accept myself and embrace my qualities. There is no manual how to do this. I’m still insecure and have times when I doubt myself, but those things are normal. I learned to live with myself. I was always craving affection and love from others and didn’t realize that I should give it to myself. Don’t wait for someone else to fall in love with you, fall in love with yourself. 

I’ve always wanted to be someone else. Now I don’t even know why. Because I’m me and I’m amazing. I have my own qualities and even flaws. I’m unique. It took a lot of inner work to accept who I am. It took a lot of pain to love every inch of my body and soul, but the pain was worth it.

We all deserve to treat ourselves better

When I think back to the days of harming myself, I feel shame and want to cry. I want to hug myself and apologize over and over again. The turning point was when I finally forgave myself for doing such a thing and swore to never do it again. I said to myself “I’m sorry…I’m so sorry I put you through this.” 

Over the years I’ve gained more self-respect and realized I should treat myself much better, because I deserve it. We all deserve to treat ourselves better, to love ourselves. It’s not selfish, it’s necessary.

To go on a journey of loving myself led me to adopt a more positive mindset. The negativity really affected me in a way I couldn’t even imagine. I thought of it as an uninvited host in my head; it got everywhere and fogged my mind. I realized this 2 years ago, when I started shifting my mind from negative to positive. Over time I’ve been able to finally see some changes and I really hope for a bright future now. I can see myself succeed and I’m more resilient, persistent – I don’t give up as easily as I used to.

“…you need to realize when you are thinking negatively and stop it immediately”

Back then, the negative thoughts were telling me that nothing makes sense and that I can’t do anything. I still have my demons that are telling me to quit, but I don’t listen to them. When adopting a more positive mindset, you need to be mindful – you need to realize when you are thinking negatively and stop it immediately. Don’t punish yourself when you think negatively, just recognize the thought and replace it with something positive.

The only thing you can change it is your head. The only thing you need is determination. Then all you need to do is practice. 

If any of you are looking to adopt a more positive mindset, know that it will take time and is hard to do. But I believe in you and know that you can do it – if I can do it (and I was the kind of person who used to give up really quickly and pretty easily) you can do it, too. I wish you the best on your journey!

Image by silviarita from Pixabay

Thank you for sharing your story, Celeste! If you want to connect with her, then you can do so by following her on Instagram.

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