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The Line From 'The Perks of Being a Wallflower' That Helped Me Face Depression

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“We accept the love we think we deserve.”

The first few times I heard these words I didn’t quite understand the depth they had. I bought the book in high school, and found an odd sense of connection to the words Stephen Chbosky had written. But when I watched the film adaptation of “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” and heard Paul Rudd say these words, I was taken aback. Before I only understood these words one by one. Now, I understand them as a whole.

The difference is now I’m suffering from depression, and when I think about those words I understand them on another level. When dealing with my depression, I sometimes have feelings of hatred towards myself and think I’m unlovable. But the message between these lies is the very words “we accept the love we think we deserve.” Depression made me feel like I didn’t deserve to be loved, so much so that I didn’t even love myself sometimes. No matter how much other people tell me “I love you,” I can’t truly feel that love because I think I’m undeserving of the many amazing things life has to offer.

That’s one of the hardest parts of recovery, one that must be worked on constantly. Your mind tries to trick you into thinking the lies of self-hatred are true.

I hope to find many more stories that shed light onto mental health, and always appreciated “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” for addressing mental health in a different light. It made me realize part of my recovery would be believing I’m deserving of love — both self-love and the love of the people who care about me. It’s not easy, but it’s something worth convincing myself of.

Lead photo: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Originally published: March 25, 2016
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