Disclaimer: Yes I do begin this post by talking about Love Island but for those not fans of the show, please bear with me, I am going somewhere, honest!
Last year my flatmate introduced me to Love Island. I usually don’t watch reality TV and was somewhat skeptical to begin with. However here we are a year later, coming to end of the second series I’ve watched and I think it’s fair to say I’ve become a bit obsessed with the show. Now if you had told me a year ago that not only would I love Love Island but I would be sitting here now writing a blog post inspired by the show for my Mental Health blog, I wouldn’t have believed you but hey, life can surprise you.
On Tuesday 18th July the episode centered around lie detector tests in which the guys asked their partners various questions to find out how they really feel.This can be hilarious, heartwarming and also shocking but on this occasion I ended up blubbing! The reason – Camilla Thurlows’ answer to ‘Do you think you and Jamie are compatible?’. She said yes, however the results came back as a lie. We then saw a clip of her talking privately in the ‘hut’ explaining why it came back as a lie – because as much as she thinks they are on paper, deep down she doesn’t think that she is good enough for him! Now don’t get me wrong, Jamie is a very attractive Calvin Klein model who is also intelligent and caring to boot, pretty damn amazing as guys go if you ask me. But so is Camilla! She is basically the female version of Jamie, intelligent, caring and stunningly beautiful but rather than a model she works in Explosive Ordnance Disposal (basically she travels to countries where there are wars happening and safely detonates bombs that have been left in zones of conflict, I know!) The main difference, her lack of self confidence and this really hit a nerve for me. The fact that women like Camilla can feel this way when so many people think she’s great, shows how bad we can be at believing in ourselves and having self-compassion.
Recently through CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) I’ve come to the conclusion that my depression and anxiety are rooted in low self esteem and self confidence. I am my own worst enemy. I can have constant self critical and judgmental thoughts whirring through my brain like; I’m not good enough; What’s wrong with me?; I’m boring; I’m going to end up alone because who would want to be with me? The worst thing is that I am aware of these thoughts and they drive me crazy because I do have moments where I don’t give a s**t what anyone thinks, I mean, hell I can be pretty damn amazing!
Last weeks #TalkMH was hosted by Liv on the subject of self acceptance and compassion. This is something I can really struggle with but when it’s good can really boost my self esteem and Mental Health. She asked 4 questions and here are my answers as a bit of advice for myself and others that may feel the same:
Q: Do you feel it is important to have a good relationship with yourself? How could you make it better?
A: Yes, as others have said, you’re the one person that’s always there! For me the hardest thing is believing others will love me. I love this article I read recently on The Mighty Site because it describes my worries perfectly.
Q: How easy or difficult do you find it to accept who you are, and how is this affected by your mental health issues?
A: When I’m good I’m great at accepting who I am! But so often this isn’t the case especially when my depression +/or anxiety rear their heads, this goes down the drain 🚽
A: Just give myself time. Time to feel it and wallow because it’s important to feel the emotions and not just push them away so but not for too long, and also to rest to look after myself and so I’ll have the energy to then work through it.
Q: What does self acceptance and compassion mean to you?
A: I feel like this from Blurt describes it best and is a great handy reminder.
Being confident isn’t always easy but if you’re kind to yourself and show yourself some self compassion and acceptance, you’ll get there. As always remember, it’s okay!