Why Is Self-Kindness So Difficult And Self-Hatred So Easy?

I had something different that I was going to write for today’s post, but given how I have been feeling lately, I thought it better to address the elephant in the room with me, instead of trying to hide from it.

If you’re a regular reader, you will know that I have been having some intense therapy sessions over the last few weeks. Just to be clear, there is no hidden trauma in my life, nothing dramatic has occurred. Like many people, I struggle with self-esteem and self-worth, and this tips over into daily life.

It’s a strange thing because I used to associate self-esteem with how a person perceives their looks, like feeling fat or unattractive, but I have come to learn that it’s so much more than that, it’s so much deeper.

A lot of decisions I make on a daily basis come down to how I feel about myself and sometimes, that decision can have a snowball effect in either direction. I find it so hard to be kind to myself.

I have just come back from a lovely, relaxing weekend in Hereford and if I could have clicked my fingers and got myself straight home without driving, that would no doubt be the state that I would still be in. Unfortunately, this was not the case.

When I got back to my car on Sunday, I had a flat tyre. My stress levels immediately went through the roof, I am 3 hours away from home, what am I going to do? As ridiculous as it may be, I have never in my 20-plus years of driving, put air in my tyres. Bad, I know.

I have no idea about cars and no idea what to do. I have breakdown cover via my bank, but I have never had to use it. WTF do I do? These panicked thoughts were swirling around in my head as soon as I saw the tyre and the tension in my body was mounting.

I called the husband, who being over 100 miles away, could do very little. My car was in a hotel in the middle of nowhere, so even his advice, although good, wasn’t achievable.

Fortunately, my friends who I was at lunch with, knew of a petrol station nearby and came with me and put air in my tyres for me, showing me how to do it, even though I am sure the husband has shown me before also.

I spend that 3-hour drive home in a constant state of panic and so very very angry with myself. Why have I had to rely on others to do this for me? What would happen if something goes wrong on the motorway? I have no idea what to do, I am utterly useless. There is not a single person on this earth who could have been more horrible to me than I was being to myself on that long journey home.

I got home in one piece, thankfully, but the tension in my body remained. The relaxed woman from a weekend in the country was forgotten and in its place was a woman full of fury and disappointment at herself.

I was exhausted, I had messages on my phone but I just put it on do not disturb and tried to shake off the tension, but I couldn’t. I took myself to bed, had a little cry behind my sleep mask and went to sleep.

Despite that being two days ago, I still feel exactly the same and to top it off, I now feel unwell, stress has that effect on my body. I want to shut myself away, turn off my phone and hide under the duvet until the tension disappears. I am so annoyed with myself for overreacting to such a small situation and not being able to handle it.

But, I know that this all goes back to my self-esteem and my inability to be kind to myself.

If one of my friends, or even in fact a stranger told me this had happened to them, I would immediately feel sympathy. I wouldn’t think them pathetic for not knowing how to put air in their tyre or for feeling the panic I felt. If someone else doesn’t deserve the words I have said to myself, why do I? Why does my kindness not stretch to me?

So this week, I am going to spend some time alone and work on this. I am going to treat myself with kindness. I am going to allow myself to rest and feel better, if that means not leaving the house and switching my phone off then so be it.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
2022-11-22 11:44:53

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