I’m not very kind to myself. I like to wear myself thin, spread myself wide, wring myself out until all that’s left of me is see-through, uncentered and twisted.
I’m my harshest critic, always finding faults in my performance, expecting myself to do better, always pushing the bar further and further away from my reach and then chastising myself for not stretching high enough.
I never give myself more than 7 out of 10 and at any given time can name you at least five people that I would prefer to hang out with.
I don’t know when this happened. When I decided that I wasn’t going to be my own best friend. When I decided the limits of what I could and couldn’t do and forced myself between those strict lines. It’s limiting and it’s tiring always being at war with yourself. I’m here, all the time. I am the person who I will spend my entire life with. But sometimes, I can’t stand to be around me.
Whilst I may not be very kind to myself, there are parts of me that I do like. I like how I write. I like how I treat other people. I like how I react when I’m in a club or bar and my favourite song of that moment is played. I like how I learn and how I’ve grown.
But, even with all these things that I like, I still find it impossible to give myself a break, and let myself be. Instead, I burn at both ends and forget to stop the fire from going out. I get up and go even when I leave part of myself on the floor. I’m the loudest voice in the corridor but lose my nerve when it matters. I’m a mess of contradictions and alternatives that I don’t seem to want to reconcile.
At the end of the day, I am the only person left. The only person who opens up the door and takes me into the bedroom to remove my shoes from my aching feet, who asks if I need anything. Who checks in on how I’m doing, who lets me lie in bed a few more minutes to clear my head, who knows what works and what doesn’t. It’s only me who understands how it feels when my mind is running at a hundred miles per hour and I’m not sure I can keep up, only me who can offer a hand and remind myself of how we dealt with it last time.
I can be kind. I know I can. So why do I find it so hard to be kind to me?