Coping Mechanisms

bfmh14-copy2Hey guys,

Well I’m deep in the clutches of insomnia so I figured I’d kill some time by writing something. It started with some poetry, mostly about someone special, and turned into this blog.

Today I’m going to discuss coping mechanisms I’ve used over the years and I’ll elaborate on how they’ve affected me. I hope this proves both insightful and interesting.

I’ve always felt that there was something wrong with me. Even since I was a kid, I just felt different. But really it was the onset of puberty that really opened my eyes to what I was to discover later on was Mental Illness. I’ve always felt things in a very strong manner, even when I try to convince myself that I don’t feel a thing. Scratch that, ESPECIALLY so when I try to convince myself otherwise. Emotions remind me I’m alive. That I am human and that life will always be like this. That’s not a bad thing by the way.

Well the first time I ever felt “feelings” for a girl, I was young. It was high school and she didn’t like me like that. I was shattered. This was when I started to see the negative sides to having a personality disorder. My self-worth was destroyed. This was the first time I remember cutting. It was a strange feeling. All that hate I had for myself went swirling down the drain in the shower. I think that’s when I started the unhealthy pattern of finding my self-worth in the eyes of others.

But it was once I started partying and going to the clubs that I was truly able to find the things that distracted me the most from the things that made me sad. I discovered drugs and alcohol. After delving deep into those I also discovered the joys and agonies of sex. I loved getting fucked up. In a way I still do, but I choose not to now. But when I was in my early twenties, I had no idea how to handle the loneliness I felt. The distance I felt from everyone in my life. Booze allowed me to be confident and chatty. And I was even a little charming before I got too drunk anyway. But I also lied a lot. But that was par from the course back then. Any story was better than the truth in my eyes. And I could never fathom anyone liking me for who I was.

Drugs were different. I’ve dabbled in a lot of different drugs over the years but marijuana was mostly my thing. It slowed me down. It calmed me. It allowed me to slow down and THINK. And it also numbed things to such an extent that I couldn’t think about all those things rushing around in my head. I think that’s why anyone becomes an addict just to escape their lives. I wasted so much of my life being wasted. I try not to regret anything I’ve done in my life because it made me who I am today… but I wish I’d done things a little smarter.

Sex was the best and worst of the coping mechanisms I discovered. I could have a great night and go home with someone and have what I deemed as some intimacy. But there was one thing that was always missing. Feeling. I’ve never been fortunate enough to be with someone I’ve been in love with. I’ve been with people who I’ve liked, I’ve even slept with girls who I couldn’t stand… but for all the pleasure and release it granted me, I always felt empty afterwards. I’ve tried to convince myself that I felt something “real” but I simply wasn’t there.

The epiphany for me was when I discovered my self-worth. How could I expect someone to love and respect me if I didn’t love and respect myself? I’ve made a lot of mistakes and the first step for me was being able to genuinely forgive myself for them. Everyone fucks up so why be so hard on myself? Besides you can’t change what happens in the past, you can only learn from it. The drinking slowed and eventually stopped, and with that a lot of the stupid decisions went away too. And so did the inevitable shame that always came afterwards.

It’s amazing how much things change when you stop trying to drown away your sorrows. No substance or experience can match with confronting and accepting what has happened. What you have done or what has been up to you does not have to define you. But that decision can only be made by you. Learning to love yourself is a great place to start. I don’t think I’m better than anyone. I don’t think I’m more deserving or love and respect… but I believe I deserve it.

I am me and that’s perfectly fine. Face it head on. Accept things and don’t obsess about what you cannot change. Be your own cheerleader and kick some ass! You deserve it!

 

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