How Your Kind Words Help With My Depression and Self-Criticism

I am my own worst enemy.

I often joke that no one could ever hurt my feelings.

I tell them I’ve said worse things to myself than anyone else ever could… but I believed every word I told myself.

You compliment me. You tell me you are proud of me. You tell me you love me and I could never be a burden.

But, there’s a voice in my head and it screams at me. It tells me you are just trying to be nice. It tells me no one could ever really love me. It tells me I will never be good enough.

This voice is mine. While I grew up in a verbally and emotionally abusive environment, the abuse was never really directed at me. I’m not hearing other people’s voices putting me down. I do this to myself.

It’s a reflex. It’s immediate. My negative screaming and the all-consuming voice tell me why everyone is wrong about me.

But, there is a side of me in there that wants to believe otherwise. It’s the side of me I’ve beaten down throughout my life. It’s a quiet voice. A timid voice. But it believes. It knows you love me. It knows what I do to myself is wrong.

I want that voice to come back. I’m trying so hard to make that the loud voice I hear. On the outside, I may look fine. I look “normal.” On the inside, my mind is waging a war against itself. I’m tearing myself apart.

I hope you know how important your kind words are. They give me the strength and ammunition I need to keep fighting.

I may not respond the way I should. I may look like a lost cause. But, your belief in me helps drive me forward and your kind words have saved my life on more occasions than I’d like to admit.

Thank you for not giving up on me even after I had given up on myself.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or text “START” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Unsplash photo via Priscilla Du Preez

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Depression

different colored medical pills

22 'Secrets' of People Who Take Antidepressants

Editor’s note: Please see a doctor before starting or stopping a medication. When you’re first prescribed antidepressants, the doctor often rattles off a list of both positive and negative side effects. You take all this information in, hoping the positives will outweigh the negatives and your depression symptoms will subside. The tricky part is, you [...]
contributor's cat Lilith looking at mug of tea with message 'crazy cat lady' on it

Doing What Makes You Happy When You Have Depression

When you have depression, doing what makes you feel happy often feels like a chore. On some subconscious level, you want to do it but you’ve lost interest in it. It’s just not the same, not as it once was. Yet you find yourself trying to fight against the current and break free, so you [...]
illustration of girl in red dress with umbrella against orange stormy background

The Storm of Depression Can't Make It Rain Forever

It’s like a storm that begins small. Just a few sprinkles, easy to ignore. Then it grows into bigger drops. Pretty soon it’s a large storm, capable of destroying everything in its path — including me. if(typeof(jQuery)=="function"){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)}; jwplayer('jwplayer_DOUwqcYf_F962XJnx_div').setup( {"playlist":"https:\/\/\/feeds\/DOUwqcYf.json","ph":2} ); This storm is difficult to pass through. The lightning strikes are the monsters of depression [...]
hands holding small green sapling and soil

How Focusing on Small Victories Helped With My Depression

After three missed appointments in a row, I was finally able to bring myself to visit my doctor. “My secretary and I had a pool going on whether or not you were going to show up,” he joked. It hurt a little, but I knew he meant well. School wasn’t going so well for me. [...]