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Surviving survival

Community Member

I know how to survive as a victim, however, I do not know how to survive survival. To exist is easy. To live is unknown territory for me. It’s confusing to know how to live once surviving and to no longer be a victim. I feel lost and unimportant. How to find self-love when I despise the reflection in the mirror. To believe in my own self worth, when I don’t feel worthy or have reason to keep looking for my worth. To understand my purpose. To see a light. To trust love when I have no love for myself.
It is exhausting. 
When I open my eyes every morning, I hope it’s the day I finally feel even a fraction better than the day before. Then I go to bed, feeling less hopeful. I don’t know how to quieten my own self hatred. Waiting for the end to come, is like I’m living in the waiting room to death or to live life. No longer do I want to be in limbo. Drugs were the bandaid fix and now without the bandaid, I can still feel that the wounds have not healed, but I don’t want the bandaid fix any more yet I cannot heal my wounds. How do I start to find love and respect for myself? Words are just words. Action and a form of positivity is what I seek, yet I have no idea where to find it within myself.

Everyone has a backstory, now I need my future story that I cannot see happening as another day comes and goes. To even like myself is as important as having food daily. To keep strong and have faith that when the new day starts, I’m strong enough to keep going. But my internal pantry is empty. 

3 Replies 3

Community Champion
Community Champion

Hello HeartSmile,

Welcome and thank you for having the courage to tell us how you are feeling. I think you have described what many of us have felt or are still feeling and you are right, it is exhausting. Finding love or even like for oneself can be a struggle when life has been harsh or brutal. I hope you are talking this through with a counsellor to assist with your healing. My personal opinion is that we are born a blank slate, we don't hate ourselves, we have self-worth, we are not depressed, anxious or frightened by what life has in store. But how we turn out depends on the experiences and programming we have in our early childhood and into adulthood, which can either be positive or negative. I would imagine most people who seek support here have had the negative version. I think it becomes important at some point to start questioning everything. "Why do I feel worthless" is it because someone told me I was, so I just believed it, and have now taken over that role telling myself the same thing? You are not worthless to anyone who will read your post today or in the future because they will see that they are not alone in how they feel. You have decided you no longer want the band aid of drugs, that in itself is an extremely courageous thing as most people who are hurting will just continue to try to escape any way possible. Question every thought, every action, every feeling for it's "truth factor", this is the way to find out who you truly are, how you truly feel and how you truly think. That is how you begin to like yourself again and, in time, love yourself again without all the brainwashing programs that have been holding you back. I hope this has been some help to you and please, if you are not already doing so, reach out for help from your GP to get some counselling, because you are worth it. Come back and talk any time, you will always be supported, you are not alone.


Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi HeartSmile


While I'm a gal who's big on researching so much in the ways of greater self understanding and managing mental health, I came across a book that gave me a unique perspective on self. 'Insanely Gifted' by Jamie Catto is quite an insightful take on how we tick in a number ways. With the idea that there are so many different facets that come to make up who we are, it's about working with the facets. So, while the victim in us may be a facet we know incredibly well (how it sounds, it's inner dialogue, how it came to life in the first place, why it pops in every now and then etc), the question becomes 'How do I come to channel the other facets of myself that I really need at times?'.


Personally, I've come to see this as being a little like an old style wagon wheel, with that hub in the centre and all the spokes stemming from it. If the hub is my sense of self, then the spokes represent every unique facet of my self. There may be the victim, the sage, the adventurer, the skeptic, the analyst, the seer etc. So, it becomes a matter of 'How do I tap into the sage' or 'How do I channel the seer in me?' etc etc. Chances are that different facets have popped in on occasion without us even realising. The seer may lead us to see the way ahead as depressing, if we keep going in that direction. The sage may suddenly come to life with 'You can't keep heading in this direction. You have got to make changes'.


The more a particular aspect of self is brought to life or the more we practice bringing it to life, the stronger it gets over time and the more we can come to trust and rely upon it. For example, we may never have adventured much by plane before and we get to the airport rather fearful when it comes to what to do and where to go to get on that plane. Bring the adventurer to life a few times a year and with practice over the years, it'll begin to dictate 'Simply read the ticket, read the signs around the airport, ask directions if you need to and LET'S GO! Stop stressing'. Or maybe that's the director in us chatting away with encouraging dialogue and directions.


So, if you were to imagine you have 100 spokes or 100 facets to you that you are free to come to know, which one or which ones would you like to bring to life more?

Community Member

Thank you for sharing your story. I worked hard since age 12 to be useful to others, to keep the sense of depression and worthlessness at bay. It worked some of the time, so I tried harder. I was sometimes ridiculed for being polite, helpful etc. (and often bullied at work, on top of the 50+ years of abuse courtesy of most of my family and past friends). Upon retirement I became a nobody, professionally, but the family abuse continued until I shut it down recently. I'm happy to become worthwhile to me only now. I no longer need a purpose, or to be relevant etc. I still love people and will smile and say hello, from a safe distance. Deep down I know most people are wonderful and consider me, you and all living beings as worthy.

You are fully worthy. Your story resonated with me. I did loads of drugs too, but that finished ages ago; although it was fun for long time and helped me in other ways. Now, drugs are poison to me. I am very slowly crawling towards a place that is more than just survival. I wish you the best, always.