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

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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.

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Unsplash photo via Priscilla Du Preez

Originally published: June 6, 2017
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