‘It’s ok to be the little fish’

TW: Mental health, anxiety, depression.

I realise it’s been over a week since my last post so I will 100% try and make it more regular – thanks so much for the feedback, taking the time to have a read and message..some of your messages prompted today’s post.

To jump straight in, I think having low to no self esteem and ‘disliking’ yourself is part in parcel with having mental health support needs. You can have low self-esteem without the mental health needs but in my (maybe wrong) opinion – you don’t have mental health difficulties without low confidence, negative perceptions of themselves..in my personal experience, it was genuine, continuous self-loathing. Not limited just to my physical appearance, I mean in most if not everything I did.

‘Why are you even bothering to revise? You’re pathetic if you think you’re actually going to pass or doing anything worthy with this’

‘Do you think they actually want to be here listening to you? All you do is talk about yourself, it’s boring’

‘LOL you think you can wear that? You look disgusting. You’d get laughed at’

This is me trying to ‘dial it down’ a little bit because on the basis of honesty, I can actually get pretty upset (triggered sometimes) when I think about how horrible I’ve been to myself in the past – I am present in the now and I do know each experience was for something, but when I look back to those moments..I’m still at the stage (which over more time and healing I know will go) where I feel like I lost out on something because of all the time I spent not ‘doing stuff’ and being cruel to myself.

(If this happens, I think it’s important to sometimes take a moment and remind yourself that ok, when I think of this I am upset because…but also look at how I felt on that day, to how I am right now?)

You could tell me I was fantastic at something 8357 times and I will thank-you, walk away but know you were lying just to be nice to me. This ultimately would result in me questioning everyone’s motives for complimenting me (on any level).

Did anyone else always get told the fish analogy? You know, the one where you’re a small fish in a huge ocean but then over time you’re part of the bigger fish, then each new thing you do, you start the fish circle again?

I have never really understood this. What I did understand from this is that, in all situations you start of feeling like you’re the nobody, you don’t know anything and it’s pretty rubbish 98% of the time buttttt *this is completely temporary and soon you will not feel like this* *ok but I definitely still feel like this*

For me and maybe others..I have never felt like the ‘big fish’. I have always felt ‘out of place’ Unbelonging. The outside looking in. The smallest of fish around other huge massive actual basically shark fish. What has it got to take for me to be one of those because I am t i r e d of being the small one who isn’t capable, is the least knowledgeable, the ugliest..

I was bored of being ‘dispensable’ WOW I also can not tell you how much I dislike that word. Do you know how many times I have heard other people refer to other people as ‘dispensable’. I truly think it’s a horrible way to describe other living breathing humans…whether it is to do with work, relationships, etc.

So not only am I a shit little fish I am also a disposable little fish? Ok how you stop being a little fish…well, the truth is, really you don’t.

I would like to do a big reveal about how I developed the confidence to lead the murky waters as the big fish but I haven’t, because that would mean I have completely eradicated the very natural emotion of self-doubt. Self-doubt is natural and to say you could go everyday for the rest of your life without it, is setting yourself up for a failure. What I lacked, was reassurance or the ability to know how to reassure myself. What I have learnt however..and if you’re not sitting down, definitely do because the plot twist is. THERE ARE NO BIG FISH AND BIG FISH ARE A SCAM and we are all just little fish trying to do our best in a tough world and some just takes a little while longer to get there, and some need extra love and encouragement (the very things that are absent).

Have you ever walked into a room and used your powers to read the minds of all other people in there? No me neither. But for some reason, I used to believe that everyone knew the stuff, I was the only person drowning and everyone had everything else ‘together’. My biggest difficulty was not overplaying my self doubt, rather it was underplaying everything else in that situation.

Why am I walking into a room and assuming I know the emotions, past and lives of everyone in there? When I say walk into a room I mean for everything – going into work, going to the doctors, going to uni – every social action = room. Telling people that one day they will feel like big fish (I’ll stop with the fish now) also sets that person up to walk into a room and analysing who the big fish are and wonder why you’re the only little one.

A huge part of experiencing certain aspects of mental health, is the need to isolate particular emotions or associations because when you feel isolated, it works as a breeding ground. It’s tactical and manipulative. It wants you to feel that you are 0.0003 mm tall, you are below everybody in all aspects and that belief that you are below other people, gives you the justification you need to say all those horrible things when you look in the mirror everyday. Have you ever tried writing down those thoughts and reading them outloud? Sometimes you become so conditioned to it, it may shock you to really see what you’re actually saying everyday.

You may, like I once was..be tired of hearing ‘you are not alone’ and that is ok – because right now you may not be ready to believe it, but one day you will and that big dark breeding ground gets a little bit lighter (gradually).

I’m going to stop the post here but I hope some of it makes sense – my email is on the contact page if you have anything you’d like to ask/share.

  • Learning to be kind to yourself is very doable, but it is not instant. For me, I had to start unlearning 20+ years of what I thought I thought of myself (I think this deserves a whole separate post though) so please, be patient with yourself.
  • You don’t have to enjoy everyday for it to be a good day – positive affirmations don’t have to be mountains climbed..sometimes you just need to have a ‘day’. Not a good day. Just a day. ‘Today I had a day and maybe I didn’t want to have this day, but I did and here I am about to go to sleep and tomorrow I’m going to have another day and see how that goes’.
  • When you finding yourself scanning your ‘room’ try hard to centre back to yourself – what am I feeling in this moment? instead of ‘ I bet they are feeling..

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