I Loved You More Than I Loved Myself

love you
God & Man

For a while, you were the only thought occupying my mind. I had trouble focusing on classes and chores and paperwork, because you were all I cared about.

I lost sleep to text you. I lost money shopping to look good for you. I lost my mind trying to figure out whether you liked me back.

That is why I sacrificed for you. I went above and beyond your expectations. I did everything within my power to impress you.

I loved you more than I loved myself — and that was the problem.

I spent my free time thinking of ways to make you happy and never asked myself how I felt. I stopped listening to the music I preferred because I wanted to hear your favorite songs. I stopped having an identity of my own because I was trying to become your dream girl.

Even when you treated me poorly, I kept you on a pedestal. I looked straight past your red flags. I saw someone perfect. Someone completely out of my league.

Meanwhile, I hated myself. I criticized every pimple. I cried in front of the mirror. I felt ugly and unwanted.

Instead of learning to love myself, I became obsessed with convincing you to love me. I thought your attention was the key to happiness. I thought a relationship with you would solve my insecurity problems. I thought the reason I was so miserable was because I was alone.

It turns out, the real reason for my misery was because I had neglected myself. I had stopped taking care of myself for myself. I did it for you. I worked out to lose weight, because I thought it would impress you. I bought new clothes to impress you. I wore makeup to impress you. It was all about you.

I became a background character in my own story. I stopped having an opinion. I made decisions based off what I thought would make you like me. I didn’t care about myself anymore. I decided your happiness mattered more than my own.

You looked at me like I was worthless, so I started to do the same.

I told myself I wasn’t enough, because you were the measure of my worth. It didn’t matter how many texts I had unread on my phone, because I only wanted to hear from you. It didn’t matter if my Instagram photo received hundreds of likes, because I would feel ugly unless your name was on the screen. I needed validation from you. I needed your approval.

Thankfully, I have stopped relying on others to bring me happiness. I have realized how unhealthy it is to base my mood off their opinion of me. I have realized I cannot force someone to like me.

I am allowed to love with all of my heart, but I am not allowed to lower my standards. I am allowed to care about someone else as much as myself, but I am not allowed to care about them more than myself.  TC mark

The truth is that you can be struggling and still be loved.

You don’t have to solve your whole life tonight. You just have to show up and try. Focus on the most immediate thing in front of you. You’ll figure out the rest along the way.

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