How can I love others when I can’t lo... - Anxiety and Depre...

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How can I love others when I can’t love myself?


I’m new to this getting help thing....growing up I was surrounded by distractions that seemed to help but it was just an escape. A momentary win in the battle for my life. Through research I’ve noticed depression and self-hate having a connection with low self-esteem but I am a very confident person, yet I’ve never cared about myself. My athletic accomplishments are big to some but to me I still yearn for more.....I am not happy with myself and I don’t think I’ve ever loved ME. Why do I hate myself? Why is it so hard to be consistent with my love? I have a desire to do good but when it comes to myself I care not. I want to help make the world a better place but is that possible if I can’t even help myself? Do I give up? Why continue if we all just die in the end?

17 Replies

One of the ways that I can get over that, is to see and help anyone else's problems. It helps me connect with others better. If I help someone out with something, they don't think ,"hey she's isolated girl." They think, "wow, she really cares."

ShadowImpact in reply to Hidden

Thank you! I feel this is my path. To help others especially when it comes to our youth. I will continue this and assume it is the path set for me

Sometime through our childhood various things can happen where we can little self respect towards ourselves and the shell that is our body. I do not know if this is the case here. However you need to be respectful of yourself and any of your life achievements, sports seem to be your life diversion, if this is the case would it be possible for you to train others to be like you. It would be really rewarding to help others and be able to interact with people of the same interests. If we have an interest you will find that more interesting if you are mixing with others with the same interest as you. You will gain confidence and feel better and more confident ?

I am not saying above is that positive way forward however it is one. If you have other hobbies or diversions the result will be the same, meeting others, future friendships with same interests as yourself


Thank you! My childhood definitely is the cause. I try to shake the things that I went through but it had such a great affect on the development of my mindset that I always revert back to those feelings. Football gave me the opportunity to go to college and I made it a career until my injury sidelined me. I now train kids to help them achieve the same but it isn’t at the scale I’s also difficult for me because I still have the abilities and resources to continue playing but for the moment I’m still at home trying to find purpose. Everyone around me congratulate me about “making it this far” but IM NOT DONE! They want me to give up and continue with my life but I KNOW I can still play......I feel no one around me believes in me. It’s hard because of my passion, I can’t just coach because my body and mind tells me to go play. I’m in limbo but your reply reassures that I’m headed in the right place

Agora1 in reply to ShadowImpact

ShadowImpact, I love your passion. Never let go of that dream. :) xx

ShadowImpact in reply to Agora1

Thank you for the encouragement! I will continue as long as my body allows it

I had to understand how all our mind operates. Most of the time its destructive. The constant critiquing others and in most cases ourselves. Observing those thoughts help and realizing its that silly old mind. Books like A New Earth and Power of Now can help you be in a meditative state all the time. Living in the moment, focusing on what we have on hand is a better way to live rather than constantly being the past or future.

Thank you! I have always been the most critical of myself due to my passion in sports and my drive to be the best. I obsess over the little things at times in order for me to be the best athlete I can but it in turn is killing who I am. I will try to read those books and focus on the good in my life

Hello, I can identify with you so well. Thru the negative society I was brought up in, both my parents, and society in general, I hated myself, thought I had little worth. Doing volunteer work helped me feel good about myself, but the self hate continued. When I got into therapy in my early 40's, first one on one, then asked to go into group, I was scared but I did it. One night "Doc" asked us if we loved ourselves, raise our hands if we did not, my hand shot up. Doc then went to work on us, told us we were all special, lovable and worthy people. Group was on Mon. eve. he challenged us to go home look in a mirror and say to ourselves ;"I love You". I went home, to the big mirror in the bathroom, opened my mouth and stuttered I, I, I, then turned out the light and left. Next week he said if we failed it was OK we had an old way of thinking that had to be got rid of. A need to believe in ourselves, like ourselves, so then love ourselves. I continued with the saying, I learnt to love and accept myself for who I am. I can say it any time any where, because I do love myself. It made myself So much better. I gave up being critical and judgmental. I live my life in joy. Oh yes there have been rough and painful times, but I am my own best friend and I find my way through them., So please seek out any help you need, and practice saying "I love You" patient it will come, you deserve to be happy just being who you are, life is to be enjoyed. Do not compare yourself to anyone else, comparisons are deadly, you say you are great at athletics, so that could be a way for you to help teach others. I have done lots of things and learnt all the way down the line, right now I do volunteer work at the local library and I love it.

I hope my story helps you, life is difficult, but we can overcome the obstacles. I send you courage, strength, peace and love of self, I love you and send big hugs....Sprinkle 1......

Wow! Thank you!

I don’t even know how to respond because I’ve never been able to do this. This spoke volumes to me. On the outside everyone sees me as this happy dedicated person who is selfless but in reality I’ve always pursued what I wanted making me selfish. My dad kidnapped me away from my mom as a kid and never even had the desire to teach me about my own culture...a minority culture. I had to find out who I was from the wrong people and in turn use pain and anger to excel in sports.

I use my experience to help others especially when it comes to sport specific training but I still have the abilities and resources to continue my own journey. Stuck in limbo for the moment. I will try and be optimistic about my situation as well as try to help others....thank you for sharing, I will work on loving myself and looking in the mirror instead of shaming myself.


Ideally we are taught to love ourselves by our loving, nurturing parents. As we all know, that too often doesnt occur. You must find a way to value yourself. We are not supposed to have spiritual discussions here but I must say, in my life, I believe I was created by a loving God. So it is easier to connect the dots if we believe we are an important part of a bigger picture. I agree with the other posts here about finding value in volunteering. Providing an act of kindness to someone needier than us, even to an animal, can help our self esteem, generate our endorphins to feel good about ourselves. Life is hard. You need others who can support you in your journey. It is worth it.

Thank you! I grew up in a Christian household and have held those values up until recently. I feel the world has warped my mind regarding God and now I don’t know what’s real and what’s not. I used to think I could connect with God but now looking back i never felt his love. The same love my parents both claimed to have for me and yet still never felt it. I probably associate my faith with my parents and that is probably why I resent both so much, I never got what I needed from either.

I do spend time helping others and I do feel amazing and great about it but that feeling to often disappears to quickly. That is where my heart is but I still want to pursue my own career in sports. I feel stuck and I feel everyone around me is against me, even my wife. She wants a family as do I but she wants me to give up the one thing that helped me become who I am.

Hidden in reply to ShadowImpact

Thats tough re demands of spouse. I will pray that God will reveal his truth and plan for you . Feelings will lie to you so try not to allow the dark clouds dictate your life. Remember the sun is shining behind or above the darkness you see. I am trying not to sound too soapbox here. I am 66, I remember the times in my younger self that I had similar thoughts and doubts. You will find your way if you keep seeking💜

ShadowImpact in reply to Hidden

I understand. I appreciate you taking the time to help me.

Helping kids is really cool. To me that shows you have a big heart. Look at the the good things you are doing and the blessings in your life. You have a wife so obviously someone sees something great in you.

I tend to focus on the bad and not the good I can do for others. Thank you for the encouragement!

I think by helping others you can build your self esteem, confidence and self worth - maybe look at some volunteering? It may help with distraction from your thoughts and keep you busy. X

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