“I love everything you do for me, but I want you to get help.”
These words were spoken to me by my best friend about five weeks before my life changed forever. I had known her since January 2016, but on March 6th, 2022, she decided that I needed some alone time to figure out who I was.
Since I was 12 years old, I have wanted a girlfriend. Reflecting on that desire, my reasoning was and still is for companionship – someone to talk to, confide in, appreciate, and love unconditionally. I did this all with my best friend and more. She helped me to be 100% comfortable with who I am. Starbucks, lunch dates, and two-hour phone conversations built an undeniable connection and trust between us. I love her more than I have ever loved anyone. She changed my life for the better and I will be forever grateful.
As a child, I was noticeably goofy and cheerful. Consequently, I was confident and fine with expressing myself with mischievous facial expressions and silly behavior. However, my identity began taking hits when I was confronted with the reality of this harsh world. Being told I was weird made me self-conscious. A girl once asked if I was gay because I was reserved around her. Multiple times I was asked, “Why do you look so angry?” Without realizing it, all these small putdowns combined into where I no longer believed in myself. In middle school, I experienced culture shock, and I no longer knew how to connect with my peers. By the time I graduated from high school in 2004, I was a shell of myself who cared too deeply about what others thought about me.
When I turned 18 years old, I desperately wanted to be my own person. But I had no idea where to start, so I went with what was my greatest desire. To have a girlfriend. This was when my identity took its greatest hit. I was obsessed with getting any girl to like me. So much so that I did not care who it was as long as they were petite, short, had a beautiful smile, and long hair. To my own detriment, I overlooked important concepts such as values and character, which are important when looking for a suitable partner. I never successfully got into a relationship during this period because any girl who started having regular conversations with me could sense my desperation, anxiousness, and clinginess. I was stuck in a cycle of 1) seeing a girl I wanted to like me 2) becoming friends 3) praising her to get her validation 4) getting rejected. The problem was that I never healed from the shame and hurt I internalized after each rejection. Therefore, I never gave myself the chance to slow down enough to understand why I behaved in this way.
March 6th, 2022, the day my best friend decided she needed a break from me, is my day of infamy. Because I had formed a true connection with her it was the greatest hurt, I had ever experienced. This too was the wounding I needed to finally experience an identity shift in a positive direction. For the first time in my life, I was able to reflect and process why I behaved the way I did, and I was overcome by what I found.
I genuinely hated myself. I was introverted, quiet, sensitive, romantic, and introspective, and I did not understand how these qualities had ever benefited me. Additionally, I labeled myself as angry and weird because that is what others had called me only confirming the self-fulfilling prophecy. I too was insecure because I was told who I was and what I enjoyed was fundamentally wrong, so I wanted others to tell me what to like to be confident.
Little by little, I began implementing strategies to help overcome the hate I had for myself. It started with admitting that I needed to go to therapy to work out my issues. I placed meaningful quotes around my room that reminded me who I was, was enough. I began to seek out friendships where I was fully accepted. Where I did not need to hide the most vulnerable parts of myself. I began to see what I loved for my own enjoyment. This simple, but brave excursion unearthed dormant parts of myself. For the first time ever, I saw my ability to love others fully, positively. I uncovered my creative side to see that I enjoy poetry, storytelling, and making collages about who I am. I noticed how deeply I am touched by music, love, and genuine connection. I fell in love with myself.
About the Creator
Hey everyone!!! I’m looking forward to being inspired. I have always enjoyed the creative aspect of writing but only recently over the past two years have a seriously started engaging in it. I write short stories & poetry.