Self-destructive is a word with many meanings, followed by several different types of damaging behaviors. As a metaphor, self-destruction is like walking around open wounds, ready to get burned, intentionally. It’s purposely inflicting pain upon yourself. And, the idea of inflicting pain can be interpreted in so many ways because everyone has their own vice and different sabotaging behaviors.
But, self-destruction is more than a word. It becomes a place of comfort, because to you, damaging yourself almost feels normal. Sometimes, you’re engaging in destructive behaviors consciously and intentionally, or subconsciously and unintentionally, and that’s the scary part. You may become immune to certain toxic behaviors, always finding yourself in a vicious repetitive cycle.
Your perceptions of what normalized behaviors and pain-inflicted ones become intertwined, leaving your perception of a stabilized reality extremely distorted. You might start to identify with the word self-destruction or convince yourself that it’s just who you are when deep down you know that it’s not your true identity. Maybe right now you just feel lost, you’re trying to numb out the pain, or you’re just trying to feel something.
Regardless, of what the environment or situation is, if you are comfortable with being self-destructive and damaging yourself, you will always find a way to engage in these behaviors. The hurtful part is that you have been so accustomed to these damaging cycles, you might feel that the only person that you’re hurting is yourself, but it’s not. You get trapped in your own world, that you forget about the pain that you are causing to the people around due to your self-sabotaging behaviors. And I know you don’t mean to, but most of the time, you do it without realizing it. Your closest relationships might feel the furthest away from you because when you’re in this state, feeling a sense of closeness and warmth almost feels abnormal to you because you’ve been swimming in pain for a long time. But it’s time to swim to the top and take a breath of fresh air and break this vicious cycle because you are capable. You have the internal strength, it’s just been buried for a while. This state of being isn’t a place of permanency, because you can leave, and never look back.
If you are currently comfortable with being self-destructive, just understand that you don’t have to rely on these damaging behaviors forever. Right now, or at times you might feel hopeless and find yourself in these cycles, but I’m writing this to you, to remind you that you deserve to feel like yourself again. You deserve to be understood. You deserve to feel something other than pain. You are loved. You don’t always have to act strong when you feel weak. It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to ask for help. And it’s okay to express that you’re not doing well, instead of saying that you’re fine. You don’t have to suffer in silence anymore, because you deserve to be heard.
You cannot control what happens in your life, or the pain you are faced with, but you can control how you react to it. Whenever you feel hurt or lost, just consciously remind yourself that you do not need to rely on damaging inflicting behaviors on yourself. You have all the power and strength to break through these self-destructive cycles, even if you feel like you can’t.
Start with being more patient and understanding with yourself. Work with yourself at your own pace. Turn inwards and reflect on your deep wounds, but don’t pity yourself for them, just softly acknowledge them. Be compassionate and loving towards yourself. Accept yourself and the pain you’ve battled with in the past, and any current dark emotions or difficult situations that you might be currently facing in your life. Remind yourself that you are strong, because you are here, existing.
At the end of the day, we’re all humans just trying to survive, but there is lightness on the other side of darkness, and it truly is a beautiful place.