On Having a Love Affair with Myself
The last month has been pretty transformative.
I’ve started chipping away at the mountain of Self Work that has been present in my life for much too long now. One of the great blessings of top surgery has been the fact that I now have the time and the energy to devote to this process; before top surgery I was mired in an exhausting and unrelenting cycle of depression, dysphoria, and anxiety.
I still don’t love myself the way I want and need to. That’s okay, though; I know that I will get there. A huge part of this process has been learning how to be more patient and compassionate with myself. I have a long-standing habit of holding myself to impossibly high standards and then loathing myself when I fail to meet them.
Learning how to truly love myself is hard. There is so much to unlearn, so much internalized transphobia and homophobia to dismantle. There are so many deep-seated issues to deal with. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed; how do I know what to tackle first? The internalized transphobia? My dysfunctional relationship with my father? My body image? My other insecurities?
I am committed to this, though. I am committed to myself. I am committed to dismantling this house of old wounds, one brick at a time. I’m committed to building something new and powerful, with my love for myself as the foundation.
As I’ve started this journey, I’ve been surprised to find that my love for others has expanded in step with my love for myself. The more I cherish myself, the more I cherish the friendships in my life. The more I appreciate myself and my abilities, the more I appreciate others and the things they have done for me. I think that I feel more full of love now than I ever have before, and that’s a beautiful feeling.
It’s not all easy, by any means. I’ve had some really rough days in the last month. I’ve had days where my frustration makes me want to throw everything to the ground and walk away. I have days where I just don’t care, days where I don’t want to do the work because I don’t want to do anything, period. I try to just let myself have those days, to value them as part of the process instead of seeing them as a backslide and feeling guilty and angry at myself. It’s on these days that I am able to practice the art of forgiving myself and being compassionate with myself.
It’s on these days that I am reminded of what it means to truly be committed to myself. That I will see myself through the hard times and be a better person for it on the other side. That in my darkest hours, I can trust myself to pull through.
I am committed.