Lonely I’m so lonely
I have nobody
To call my own
I’m so lonely, I’m Mr. Lonely
I have nobody
To call my own
I’m so lonely (Sung by Akon)
Raise your hand if you ever felt this way before? I have and I’m sure that so many people have felt the same way at some point in our lives. Self-abandonment is something that shouldn’t be taken lightly. We’ve all experienced abandonment in our relationships with family, friends, our significant others, and we may also abandon ourselves. When you’re dealing with mental illness, one of the worst things to do is abandon yourself completely. And trust me, I’ve done this way too many times.
Your health and personal well-being are your own responsibility. Unfortunately, so. I’ve had doctors and other wise people in my life tell me this on a daily basis especially during recovery. It’s not always easy and there are times when I’m too dependent on others. I remember a lot of people closest to me (especially my parents) tell me that they’re not responsible for me. True. I’m all grown up. Abandoning yourself is just like ignoring yourself and not taking care of your well-being.
You may as well book me, file charges and make me plead guilty for all of the times that I’ve done this to myself. One of the things that I’m not proud of is abandoning family and friends. For a long time, I shut out a lot of people after before and after my breakdown. When you’re at your lowest point, don’t isolate yourself away from the people who matter the most. I’ve lost friends because of this and strained relationships with family because of this stupid decision of mine.
I used to feel this way (in the quote above) and sometimes I still do feel this way. Sometimes, I feel like no one cares about us sufferers of mental illness. Aside from close friends and family, other people don’t seem to care at all about us and it causes us to feel unloved, unwanted and lonely.
One of the things that I’m guilty of is judging myself. I judge myself when it comes to my looks, my career, and so forth. FYI, all of these feelings of judgement creates loneliness and emptiness. I will look in the mirror and again, I won’t like the person staring back at me in the mirror. There were times that I would say to myself: “I don’t feel attractive or beautiful like most women my age.” For some rude people, they agree because I don’t look like a model or I’m not attractive at all to them. Sometimes, I can’t recognize my own face especially during very blue periods. I feel unattractive at times because I’m overweight, I don’t wear makeup (because I’m not a make up fan), I judge myself a little too harsh on my fashion choices and sometimes I wished that I looked different. Whether it’s a new hairstyle, a complete makeover of my physical appearance, whatever; I shouldn’t feel this way because I shouldn’t be changing my looks for anyone. I should be happy with who I am and how I look. I can be way too critical of my “Plain Jane” look and my baby face, but everyday is a work in progress.
One of the major things that I judge myself the most is my career. I admit that working in retail sometimes doesn’t feel like a real job to me. Don’t ask me why. It is a real job. I work full time, I get paid, I have great benefits, and I earn vacation time. However, I feel at times where I could’ve amounted to much more. When I was in recovery in 2005, I was in college and working in lower management; and I had dreams of starting my own business or running an existing one. Those dreams got squashed and placed on the back burner because I needed to take care of my mental health and personal well-being. Once I got back to my new normal self, I still felt that I was stuck at the drawing board. I did finish college, got my degree, got promoted up to assistant store manager, but I felt that my achievements were unimportant. I felt inadequate because I wasn’t making good money, I didn’t get to fully run the business that I wanted and it made me even more depressed. I love running a business, but I’ve had too many people in higher management positions such as corporate employees look at me as a child and not as manager or business owner material. How rude. I don’t know what it is about higher-ups and their unfair judgement of me, but it really makes me mad. It’s not that I’m not qualified: Hello, I have a degree in business management & entrepreneurship, and extensive managerial experience in retail. Even when I started at Starbucks over three years, I was hired on as a manager and now I want to go further with my career and maybe in even work for the corporate office. However, every time my district manager (aka my boss) would enter my store, that topic would be shut down. I don’t know why, but most DMs have looked at me and don’t see me fit to run their store let alone a district. This is their opinion, not mine. But the people I’ve worked with especially other managers from other stores have told me that I would be a perfect fit as higher up manager. Maybe one day, my persistent self will prove them all wrong and eventually get the position that I earned and also want.
Ignoring yourself and your feelings is another form of self-abandonment and is also something that I’m guilty of, too. I tend to ignore my health by coping with food. I will completely ignore everything and just eat like there’s no care in the world. Sad to say, that it’s very unhealthy for your own well-being and your weight. I didn’t realize that divulging in food would cause me to throw myself in being overweight, and the possibility of getting serious diseases because of it. But some days, I just don’t care. I need to do what I do to make me feel better and this isn’t always the best way to do so. This type of behavior is very addicting in a way. I can completely relate to how some people can get addicted to drugs and alcohol because they ignore their feelings. Trust me, if that stuff was near me, I would get addicted so fast. I have to train myself with some self-control. Ignoring yourself and your feelings can be done through food, alcohol, drugs, sex, video games, and etc.
Because of self-abandonment, I have been a little too dependent on family and friends. I think sometimes I rely too much on them and can’t seem to function without them. A lot of times I don’t think I’m doing it, when in reality I am doing it. From that point on you are in constant need for attention, love, and feeling wanted. Trust me, I can get a little needy at times. Sometimes, I feel unloved, but I am loved and don’t always see that. It’s like someone putting a veil over your head and you can’t see anything but it’s there.
How you overcome self-abandonment really starts with you. You can talk privately one on one with your therapist, a trusted family or friend, and find ways of taking care of yourself. You can overcome self-sabotage by being positive, setting small goals for yourself, build your self-esteem, become more self-reliant, create some momentum in your life and take care yourself. Make these goals reachable and within a certain time frame. Don’t say “I will start this tomorrow” and then not start it all. I’ve been there. I have to constantly tell myself that I shouldn’t beat myself up over this and we’re all human. If I can overcome this and help make myself a better person, than so can you.