I made a mistake, but that does not mean I am a mistake.
I made mistakes this week, but so does everybody.
Someone hurt me, but that does not mean I have to hurt myself.
I see my peers' accomplishments, but that does not mean I have to compare myself to them.
I feel lonely, but I am not inferior because I am alone.
People don't flock to me, but that doesn't mean I am worthless.
My messages to friends may go unanswered, but that's not a reflection on me.
Many have hurt me, but that does not mean I have to hurt myself.
I may be overlooked by others, but I am allowed to look at myself and admire what I see.
I may be overshadowed, but that doesn't mean I should let my light stop burning.
Others may seem like they have it all, but I don't know whether their heart is heavy.
Even if someone is "better" at something than me, doesn't mean I don't have talent.
Just because a lot of people aren't paying attention to my work, doesn't mean I'm not making a contribution.
Today may look bleak, but I don't know what tomorrow will bring.
Tonight may hurt, but I need to be the one to give myself a second chance for tomorrow.
I may feel hurt, but that does not mean I have to hurt myself.
This hurt may come back again and again and again, but slowly I will work through it, and one day I will be happier, healthier, freer.
It may seem like nobody wants me to be the person I am, but I think, deep down, I believe in who I am.
I want to learn to believe in myself and advocate for myself. When friends have abandoned my side after I stood up for them, I want to be the person who stays and stands up for me.
I may be hurt tonight, but that doesn't mean I have to stay hurt tomorrow.
Others may hurt me, but I can heal.
Just give it time, patience, and grace. Extend yourself love and patience, and give yourself space.
You don't have to hurt yourself - emotionally, physically, mentally - because of any mistake you have made or any abandonment you have faced or any abuse or neglect you have suffered. You don't have to suffer silently at the hands of those who have hurt you in the past and don't even give a damn about you today, replaying the conversation, revisiting the old places, remembering the sense of inferiority, retelling the lies that have permeated your mind.
Consider this your permission, your encouragement, to be free, to let go, to forgive, to scream, to write that letter and burn it, to delete that phone number and never answer it, to drop that subject and never pick it up, to go to a therapist and finally open up - whatever you need to do to heal and move on, please do. Just don't let go of yourself. Stop taking it out on yourself. Because you don't deserve it. You've been through enough and you are enough and you are beautiful just as you are.
Consider this permission to love yourself finally, even if it just starts with one tiny little part of yourself that you admit isn't so bad. Or one pat on the back for something you checked off your to-do list. Recovery is in your grasp - and if it seems out of reach right now, then it's okay to just strive for survival; one foot in front of the other is progress too.
Consider this permission to go at your own pace, admire your own face, and give yourself some grace. Look around and see the faces who can't live without you. Write down the things you have accomplished, no matter how small.
Consider this permission to move on and start healing. Start by saying this: "I am not a problem."