The Decision to Get Better(ish)

Worth Living Ambassador Jenna Fournier

Hello I’m Jenna, a psychology student at Carleton University. I like music, coffee shops, art, poetry, and I do weightlifting. I have been diagnosed with many things, most notably Borderline Personality Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Social Phobia.

The Decision to Get Better(ish)

No motivation. Or the lack of it. The reason it has taken me months to write my fourth article. I’ve had plenty of ideas on what to write. I just couldn’t bring myself to actually do any of the writing. I would often go to my keyboard and type a few words only to press delete delete delete. But here I am, finally able to write something that makes some sort of sense. Here I am, again, letting you in.

I don’t know when I first started to hate myself. I can’t think of a specific event. I don’t think it was any one particular thing that made me decide I was the enemy. Maybe it was the repeated bad treatment from others. Maybe it was something else. I think that maybe I was predisposed to this line of thinking. In fact, I think we all are. I don’t know many people who love themselves, at least not completely. As humans we are flawed. We find it easy to critique ourselves much more easily and harsher than we do each other.

Although we may not love who we are completely, we find a way to sit with it. As we grow older and begin to establish who we are, we start to understand ourselves more. We find a deeper acceptance. At least, this is what I’m hoping. This is what I am hoping it will begin to feel like. The journey to self- love is often long. And contrary to popular belief, it isn’t a journey you have to take alone. No, people can’t fix you with love, and yes the majority of the work you do is self- driven, however it is almost impossible to learn to love yourself alone. The people you surround yourself with, who continue to stand by you and support you, often add fuel to your fire. Help grow, the flame you are becoming.

Some people have more trouble than others learning to love themselves. Maybe this is influenced by their past or their present circumstances or maybe they deal with mental illness. I am one of these people. I don’t like myself. There I said it. And it’s true. It’s not to gain pity from others or even from myself. It’s the bitter ugly truth. I feel like I fail at life. I fail at being a human being. When I feel this hatred so strongly I self-destruct. I feel that I am unloveable. That there is no way another human being could love someone like me and I must be worthless. I’ll hurt myself, I’ll stop attending classes, I’ll stop going to therapy. Why bother trying to get better? Some days I feel my illness is bigger than I am. More alive too. It has enfolded itself around me. At times, it has drained all life out of me. I often feel I belong to my illness, and that it won’t stop until it has destroyed all of me. I feel trapped by this thing that will not back down and sometimes it feels like every moment of just being alive hurts.

Sometimes I wonder, that maybe I actually can get better. It’s just that I don’t want to. I fear the  unfamiliar. But don’t we all? Fear the unknown? I’ve been sick my entire life. I don’t know how not to be sick. I want to keep my bad habits, my crooked way of thinking. As twisted as it may sound, I find some sort of comfort in my illness. But it gets tiring. It gets tiring of having a love affair with my misery. And it’s not that I necessarily do it on purpose. It’s just so easy, so familiar to take refuge in the suffering. And I really honestly hate being this way. I don’t want to waste away my life being so sad and angry with myself all the time. And of course I’m not saying it’s simple either. I am not saying I can just snap out of my madness and be alright. It will take hard work and dedication. It will mean being uncomfortable. Facing parts of myself that I always turn my back from.

I don’t know if I can ever fully heal to the point of not suffering from mental illness. But I do hope that in time, the emotional pain lessens. I want to find effective ways of dealing with difficult emotions and being able to cope in healthier ways. I want to strengthen my relationships with others and most importantly with myself. I often feel captive in the dreary day to day life unable to find any sort of reason to keep on going.

But the thud thud thud of my heartbeat reminds me that I’m alive. I am reminded that I am still here, still reaching out into the ever expanding world around me. I search for meaning. I want to be able to find my purpose just like everyone else. So here’s to me and the beginning of my journey to getting better(ish).

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