I love self-deprecating humor, and as a result, I am really good at giving myself backhanded compliments. Here is a list of my favorites:

  1. I’m not ugly.
  2. I’m smarter than most 5th graders.
  3. I have a respectable memory.
  4. I write goodly.
  5. I’m talented at pissing people off.
  6. When compared to people who don’t know how to drive, I am a decent driver.
  7. I have a respectable memory.
  8. I am an overachiever when it comes to mood swings.

A few months ago, I was texting one of my best friends, and I said I have the emotional maturity of a three-year-old. She said that was too harsh and ordered me to say three nice things about myself.

I didn’t like the assignment, so I sent her a few backhanded compliments about myself.

She didn’t appreciate that. I said her assignment was dumb, and she said that’s because I have a really hard time saying genuinely nice things about myself.

This is true. I prefer self-deprecation. I don’t think very highly of myself most of the time. I have a lot of shame, and it’s easier for me to be funny than for me to be kind to myself.

I shared my backhanded compliments with my therapist at the beginning of one of our sessions. She laughed but said they actually weren’t funny and she agreed with my friend that I needed to be kinder to myself.

This was back in February, and at that appointment, I told my therapist I’d been struggling with suicidal ideations.

She was concerned, and I had to promise her I wouldn’t do anything.

She went on to ask me what I could tell myself when the thoughts came up to help me feel better. I was close to tears, and I couldn’t tell her what I wanted to say.

She let me borrow a pen, and I found a piece of paper in my journal. I wrote three words:

“I am enough.”

I only came up with it because I’ve read books by Brené Brown, and she writes about being enough and not believing the lies shame tells people.

Despite my shame, I desperately want that statement to be true.

But I have a hard time believing I am enough.

Not just good enough.

Not just fill-in-the-adjective enough.

I am simply not enough. I often have very little self-worth, obviously, which makes suicidal thoughts somewhat comforting.

I am not enough, so no one would miss me. Right?

I am not enough, so I add zero value to anyone else’s life. Right?

When I’m in the midst of suicidal thoughts, these things seem absolutely true. However, when I’m not trekking through the wilderness of suicidal ideation, I question the validity of these thoughts.

They just simply are not true.

I have value.

I have experiences that have made me empathetic to people who have lived through hell.

I have accepted my illness, and I am preparing myself to be an advocate for others with mental illnesses, particularly those with bipolar.

I have discovered my voice, and it is powerful and influential.

I am enough.

Even when there is only darkness in front of me.

Even when I feel like I cannot go on.

Even when death seems like the only option.

Even then.

Maybe even especially then.

I am strong.

And I am enough.

One Reply to “Enough”

  1. When we go into the depths of despair, into a hole that doesn’t provide us a way out, we search for the Truth. The Truth (capital T) is sometimes called God, or the universe, are the God of my understanding. There are some that have no name for the Truth and that’s OK. However, it is our way out. The Truth tells us who we are before our caretakers and society dictated how we were suppose to act, think and feel. Others need us to be a certain way, and when we aren’t, we feel like we are not enough. It is not done maliciously or even consciously by others. When we are made to be something we’re not, it feels like failure. So we all have a lot of unlearning, uncovering to do. What you said to yourself about being enough IS the truth.
    Thank you for showing us all what your Truth is, even if you don’t always believe it.

    Liked by 1 person

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