When I Am Queen of Everything: The Self-Help Edition

When I Am Queen of Everything: The Self-Help Edition

Adrienne BoettingerTuesday,14 July 2015

I am a grown-ass woman who has been dressing herself now for well over three decades. Yet the mere act of trying to get ready for a singles event and real live dates with actual human males recently reduced me to a self-loathing crazy person. Welcome to the fun of depression and anxiety!

If you’ve seen me outside of my house over the past few weeks, chalk it up to some truly masochistic, anti-pep talks I’ve given myself to force me to socialize with other humans. At one point last week when I was doing the aforementioned dressing of myself, it was like I was being tormented by a broken record of put-downs — only I was the one doing the putting down. To paint the picture, I was flinging clothes on myself then loudly muttering that I looked like an asshole, then freaking at the dwindling amount of time I had to get ready, then berating myself for acting like a complete lunatic, etc. At one point it took me five tries to put a shirt on correctly, all the while chastising myself for my gut and the heinousness of my thighs.

But if you have actually seen me in the real world, odds are you probably didn’t know that I’ve spent a significant portion of my day hating myself for my self-perceived hideousness. I’ve gotten pretty good at the art of “fake it ‘til you make it”; I act as if I am a happy, normal person in the hopes that I will fool not only those around me but myself as well. The trouble is even if I’m fooling those around me, I’m not fooling myself in the slightest.

The great Allie Brosh described my routine perfectly: “When I couldn’t will myself to not be sad, I became frustrated and angry. In a final, desperate attempt to regain power over myself, I turned to shame as a sort of motivational tool.” I couldn’t see a way out of my sadness but I knew that I had to go to work and function like a real person or very bad things would happen. So I belittled myself to make me feel guilty over feeling so sad that I couldn’t move. And it worked for a while. But it has taken a toll.

I’ve become so afraid of upsetting the people around me that I’ve not asked for help when I needed it. I was even afraid to tell my therapist how bad it had gotten and this is someone who I pay to listen to me and make me better. And forget about talking to anyone else; I didn’t think I could bear more advice on how I needed to exercise, just get out there, do something fun, or stay busy. I know all those things are good and would be offered with only the best of intentions. But at the end of the day they just make me feel even worse about myself and my inability to live like a normal person.

This is the part in my Queen-of-Everything posts when I would typically say how things will change and the earth will be made better under my reign. That’s a lot harder to figure out when it’s something so personal but I’ll try. If someone had said to my friends the awfulsauce things I said to myself, I would have punched them in their freaking throats. I’m not saying punching myself in the throat is the answer. But when I’m Queen of Everything, I won’t put up with anyone (even me) telling me how terrible I am. Because we’re all wonderful and terrible and perfect and imperfect in our own fun and dysfunctional ways. And the world would be a little better if we’d all be kinder — not just to our neighbors but to ourselves as well.

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Hyperbole And A Half, Image Credit: Flickr

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