Recently I received a message from an old aquaintance who said that he had previously looked up to me, but had lost all respect for me lately. He felt that I had changed completely and that he wanted to be the opposite of what I had become, despite the fact that he used to want to be just like me. Now when I first got this message I was a mess. At first I got mad and sent my usual catty text back to make myself feel powerful, but then I felt incredibly guilty and wanted nothing more than to figure out what I could have done to make this person hate me so much, and how I could change and apolgize. Unfortunately I had just come down from a four day manic period that day, so getting that message triggered a fairly severe few days of depression and self loathing. It wasn't until I saw my therapist the following week that I figured out something amazing!
I told my therapist that little story and how it had affected me and he asked me "does this person know you very well?" and I told him no. He then proceeded to make me feel better by telling me that I shouldn't be hurt by ignorant people who don't know me. Then I started talking about why I don't deserve to be looked down on.. and I realized something almost profound... the people that I admire most ARE NOT perfect. The most AMAZING people I know are completely messed up. I'm talking metnal disorders, familiy problems, physical disabilities, deaths in the family, drug addicts, etc. They have PROBLEMS! Worse than mine by far! They make mistakes, sometimes they even say bad words (GASP) but the thing that makes me want to be like them is their ability to work through the shit in their lives. They still function despite all their problems, and not just FUNCTION but ENJOY LIFE. They are people who despite their problems, still have time to care for other people, and still love themselves despite their setbacks. Forget about talent, good looks, charm, perfect grades, perfect church attendance blah blah blah. I would rather be like the man who openly admits that he was a heroin addict and is trying to not go back to prison becuase he LOVES his life partner too much to leave him, than a man who lives his life trying to keep up a facade of perfection.
I look up to people that can admit that their wrong when they're wrong, but stand up for themselves when it is nessisary. So this time i'm not going to follow my usual rout of apologizing and putting blame on myself to make everyone like me better, I'm defending the fact that I am, for the first time in my life, beginning to like myself. I've learned a lot about who I am and what I want over the past few months, so yes, a few things about me are different. But here's what isn't different : I still love people, i love helping people, I'm a good friend, I work hard at what I love, and I work through my problems and don't throw them on other people. So the people that throw all those traits aside and still think I'm a bad person becuase I don't go to church every sunday and say bad words sometimes aren't worth getting depressed over. I love me. And THAT is the most admirable trait a person can have.