Am I not good enough?: I'm trying to... - Anxiety and Depre...

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Am I not good enough?

MichiganBoy profile image

I'm trying to find the healthy path to recovery after a recent breakup. Problem is, I have absolutely no self-esteem, and so I tend to turn everything into an attack on myself.

We broke up because I had to relocate thousands of miles away to help take care of an elderly family member that's gotten to the point where they need help with everyday things. I secretly hoped I could find some way to make things work, if I could get enough money set aside to hire a caretaker, but in the months we've been apart she's already happily moved on to another relationship. I was pretty crushed, and I don't know how to handle the constant heartache I'm now carrying around with me.

I know this sounds mean, but it's hard not to feel like I was replaceable. I know it's the more mature thing to accept a breakup and move on in a timely fashion, but my mind keeps using the fact that she's doing great with no regrets as fuel to reaffirm all the negative beliefs I had about myself. That I didn't deserve her, that she's be happier with someone else, that eventually she'd get tired of me and discard me.

She'd never do any of those things, of course, and so I'm caught in this weird paradox; I hate myself, and so I want to believe the worst about the situation because it would back up my internal negativity, but to do so would also be to unintentionally slander a person that I still care for a great deal, and someone that certainly has no ill will towards me. As a result I have no real outlet for my grief. I'm sad and angry and I don't know where to direct it, and there's also nothing I can do to make myself feel better.

Am I just not worth being sad over? It's hard to think I had an exaggerated sense of self-worth when I didn't consider myself worth anything to begin with. How long is too long to spend grieving over someone? Is six months a long time? Short? I have no frame of reference for this. Am I a bad person for wishing I had more time to try and make things work? Am I a bad person for not being satisfied with my decision to give up a relationship to take care of my family? What's wrong with me?

14 Replies

In my opinion people especially young people nowadays think that if you don't "move on" from something really quickly then to quote you almost "there is something wrong with you". Not so in my opinion.

I am an older lady (60) and in the UK. From everything I have read that you have written you come across as an incredibly nice and genuine person. Being sensitive (which you obviously are) is an outright virtue in my book.

The only down side of being sensitive or being a deep feeling person is that we can go over all sorts of scenarios and emotions in our mind and analyse something to death and beat ourselves up and all sorts of stuff like that. The beating yourself up is probably not necessary but don't beat yourself up too much for beating yourself up if you know what I mean? You're a human being and some of us need to "work everything through" in our own minds for a very long time.

If I were you I too would be experiencing those feelings of " Well wasn't I good enough to mourn for a time?"" After all I am mourning", you think. "Why won't she mourn?"" Isn't that just decent? "Well yes, it is decent and normal. She probably has been through those emotions herself and has mourned in her own way but unlike you she hasn't dwelt on it in a negative way ; but then there's always the one who moves on and the one who is left. When you are the one who moves on then you are in the "winning seat" so to speak. The one who is left always suffers more, but it doesn't mean she left you because you were not good enough or that you weren't enough or that everything you had was meaningless. I am sure it was very meaningful to her but obviously there was some difficulty in it for her in order for her to want to move on but that doesn't make you a bad person even if it was something about you and maybe the fact that you are a tad insecure? That is not the crime of the century and can be remedied simply by knowing that you ARE a good person, that you ARE worth loving, and that whoever does decide to settle down with you eventually is one lucky gal! Yes I know you wanted it to be her, but there WILL be another, eventually , when the time is right and you have decided to be more confident about the lovely person that you are.

Michiganboy, there is nothing wrong with you my dear except a lack of self belief and a touch of insecurity. I wish there were more people in the world like you.

Gemmalouise x

Thank you. I think it was really helpful to hear that. I feel better already, honestly.

When we were together, liking myself, or at least pretending to, was easier since I didn't actually need to have any faith in myself. All I had to do was have faith in her, and trust her judgement, and believe that when she flattered me or spoke highly of me, she was being genuine. So self-care became an act of kindness towards her and not myself. Now that she's gone, I feel like I'm even worse off than before as I try and rationalize her happiness with every doomsday scenario I'd been holding back for years.

I'll try to remember that people mourn in their own ways, and try not to make it a competition. I don't know when if ever I'll have something resembling self-confidence, but I'll do my best.

II get how you are feeling.

It will work itself through.

Allowing yourself to have those thoughts is your mind processing all that has gone on. I love to hear from you actually as you are a breath of fresh air to me.

Helping out your relative is a lovely act. :)

I am helping my dad at the moment. He is 95 and it's worth it to see him happier and safer and at ease in his old age x

MichiganBoy you are looking after an elderly relative.

Please allow yourself to give yourself credit for being a caring person. That alone makes you a hero in my eyes.

You’re not doing anything or feeling anything wrong. It certainly does suck when you’re feeling unwanted. You’re not alone in that - think of how very many songs there are about breakups and unrequited love (hint: there are a LOT).

I’m not old but i’m certainly not young. In all the couples I’ve met in my life don’t think anyone is with their first love or even their second or third. That means they have all been through breakups. They will all have felt heartache to some extent and in dealt with it in their own way as StillTrying says - and they came out the other side. (My point is to give you hope that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, not to chide you for heading towards it at your own speed ).

Please keep being you, you sound like a lovely caring human.

You are enough x

There's nothing wrong with just have a heart of gold...that's all..

I am sad to read of your self-criticism. What you chose for the sake of your relative is admirable. Since you are seeking a healthy path to recovery, would you consider investing in counseling?

Hi Michigan boy!

( i used to be a Michigan girl 🙂)

I don’t know ANYONE who easily “accepts” a breakup and then moves on in a timely manner! Myself included!! It doesn’t exist! And who’s to say how long it takes to heal from losing a relationship you were very invested in!? Let yourself be sad. Let yourself grieve. Give yourself a break. You need time to breathe and space to do it in. Sounds to me like you’re a very caring, giving person. Jacking your life up to care for someone is something to be proud of.

Losing a relationship is hard. Only every other song on the radio reveals that pain. You are not alone. Move on when you’re ready. There are many ways to help along that road to recovery, tho! Be yourself and try to surround yourself with new people who are a positive force in your life. Get outside.... walk, breathe, feel free to explore other things in your life that u could enjoy. Laugh when things are funny. Slowly bring back the joy in your heart. ( u know it’s still there!) Give yourself all the time you need to recover. In time the pain will lessen! I promise. You have support here. Vent here, where you’re safe to say what you really feel. Sometimes just talking about things can make u feel better.

I wish for your heart to heal. It will. 😎

MichiganBoy profile image
MichiganBoy in reply to

Thank you so much. I'm doing better now, it still hurts but I'm definitely a few solid steps away from the rock bottom I hit when I wrote this post. I'm glad I found this community right when I needed it. It's a big relief just to be able to be honest about how I'm feeling.

First off you need time to heal & not be so hard on yourself, that won't do you any good. Try to think of the things that make you a good person. You are special there is only one you! I'm here for you if you need me. Please be kind & gentle to yourself, you deserve that. Dump trucks of love, peace, light, joy & hugs for you!

MichiganBoy profile image
MichiganBoy in reply to

I've made a habit of being hard on myself for years now, since high school, when my depression first started to manifest (as far as I can remember, before then I was a pretty upbeat kid). I was used to beating myself up and being overly-critical of my self-worth. I have a hard time being kind to myself, but when I was with her, it was easier because she liked me, and instead of respecting myself, I could just respect her wishes for me to be happy. With that work-around for my self-loathing gone, I doubled down. I'm still a long way from figuring out how to treat myself well, but I'm out of the deepest part of the swamp of misery now. Thanks for the support.

in reply to MichiganBoy

Ya know I'm the same way. I say it all the time...nobody needs to beat me up....I do a good enough job my own self. We have to remember , as hard as it is, no one really can makes us happy, we have to find that within us, it's there, feed positive into your mind, it will breed more positive, I know it's a challenge but you can put your energy into it. I wish you all the best. Dump trucks of love, peace, light, joy & hugs for you!

You should make a list of the things you LIKE about yourself. Start out simple... perhaps u think u have nice eyes... whatever it is that you’re proud of. You’re a kind caregiver, etc. But it has to be what YOU like, or think are admirable qualities ( not what others tell you). Or what you’re good at. Write it down. ( seriously...). Read it every day. Add to it. However slow u need to go is ok. After awhile you’ll be remembering what u DO like about yourself! Read and reread it. I hope it will be a beginning to ridding yourself of self-loathing. Why not try?? Thoughts??

MichiganBoy profile image
MichiganBoy in reply to

I'm very bad at flattering myself but I'll give it a try!

in reply to MichiganBoy

Not flattering yourself.... just think of things that you think are cool about yourself. Start small....can be any little thing. ( you like being tall, or short, or whatever).... you’re great at playing video games, you like your TEETH... (😬😬).. ANYTHING! ( even if u think its a bit silly/stupid). Build on it slowly. Only one rule.... it has to be your thought and it has to be positive! Read it. A lot.

I’m glad you’ll try it! I read this exercise in a psych journal..... it had great results for helping people ( like us) who don’t like themselves. I’ll do it too! Lets check back to see our progress! ( it’s gotta be better than doing nothing about our self-esteem issues)! Right??

Goodnight! M GO BLUE ( my alma mater!) 😎

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