When faced with my demons I clothe them and feed them…

How To Love Yourself

It’s the relationship with oneself that is paramount. You have to have one, and it has to be in decent shape. Otherwise it’s damn hard to relate to anyone else.

Today I have made a trifle, or at least I am in the process of making one. I have also bathed and washed my hair and got dressed in clean clothes. I had a text therapy session. I made breakfast, which was home made spelt bread with smashed avocado.  Later on I had some leftover takeaway Thai noodles with tofu and veggies. I spoke briefly with my housemate. I brushed my teeth.

So well done for all of that Louise. Well done for all of that. Well done for recovering your appetite and well done for making the bread the other day when your carer was here. Well done for all the times you have done laundry and hung it up to dry while wanting to die.

Well done for trying to make plans with people for the weekend while wanting to die. It doesn’t matter that none of them wanted to meet you. The point is, at least you tried.

And well done, Louise, for attempting to do voluntary work while wanting to die. Well done for putting yourself in a safe place (the Recovery College) and just sitting there for many hours to assuage the gnawing fear of solitude. Well done for all the small things you did for yourself while feeling subterranean.

I love you Louise. You are at heart a good person who does her best. You get out to give yourself sunlight, fresh air and exercise despite the anxiety of seeing people together and being alone and despite wanting to die. The fact that you’ve been indoors for three days straight doesn’t matter, you have your reasons for that (to see what it’s like and because the weather is lousy).

The wrong things you have done in your life, which are many, were largely done while you were out of your mind, and even though you are accountable for them you are not fully responsible for them unless you are also responsible for having bipolar disorder, which is doubtful. A lot of the transgressions were ones of neglect rather than flat-out abuse. Your son is paying the price not just for your deficiencies but because of society’s, your mother’s, the Children and Families Social Service and the haphazard way the cards of Life fell. And most importantly of all, his own. Only he can decide to change and start shaping up or getting himself the help he needs. The only way is up, for J.

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