This is a question I have asked myself for many years. To me it seems like everything good I touch falls apart and I have begun to ask myself is this my fault, bad luck or the way my brain works? I think it is processes in my brain that have become so engrained in me I don’t know how to break the cycle. There have been so many times where I have decided I no longer want to be self-destructive but subconsciously I still do this anyway and it takes someone around me to point out that I am self-destructing before I realise it.
This is a defence mechanism I have obviously developed from the different traumas I have faced throughout my life and is a trait so many young people actually have without realising. I have made a list of self-destructive behaviours; do you relate to any?
– Having a self-defeating mind set, again, an unconscious trait but an example being “this is going to be awful, why bother”
– Self-pity, this manifests from the above, feeling sorry for yourself in basic terms and it encourages you to remain inactive and passive. By wallowing in the bad things that stops an individual having a new lease of life and positivity to move forward.
– Hiding from your emotions, whenever you feel an element of change or extreme emotion you withdraw yourself. I know for me, if there is a chance of humiliation or ‘getting mugged off’ I try my very hardest to fail to acknowledge these emotions which is a spiral for self-hatred.
– Refusing to be helped, I reach out for advice a lot in my friends, but if it isn’t what I want to hear I usually reject the advice given to me. By not wanting to be helped or to help myself this is a massive massive sign of self-sabotaging.
– Over compensating, whatever element is missing from your life that is causing you to self-destruct, if you look hard enough you will see in another aspect you are almost certainly over compensating.
– Finally, sabotaging all types of relationships, “When we don’t feel worthy of love, we unconsciously manifest this in our relationships through the way we choose to behave.” You will find faults with yourself, others and behaviours that may not actually be there.
Earlier today I read an article on self-destruction and I found the below quote:
“Some people are in love with their misery because that is all they have known for a large portion of their lives.”
Which may seem rather odd but when an individual suffers a trauma, especially at a young age this manifests thoughts and feelings into the deepest parts of their mind which they then use control of. If all you have known for years and years is large proportions of sadness, it’s hard to break the cycle. Though it is possible.
Building on this, if you have had a negative romantic relationship in the past which deeply affected you this builds a basis for self-pity, lack of confidence in yourself and thus self-destruction. So it may seem odd to some but this quote hit home a little for me, so I thought it was important to include it within this post.
Now, because I am self-destructive, am I broken? You may have identified to some of the above traits and feel totally shit about yourself, but does it mean you are broken?
You may be a little harder to love, but all the best people are, in all aspects of relationships. Your past does not define your future. Humans are the most complex species ever but I think that it is kind of beautiful.
Going back to this clearly influential article I found (I would link it if I knew how haha) please see below extract:
“Why is it normal to possess a large majority of self-destructive signs? The answer is that they’ve either been programmed into you from your family or society, or they were unconsciously adopted by you as a defence mechanism to protect against mental and emotional pain.”
No one actively wakes up and decides they are going to be destructive to all good things in their lives. It is subconscious, but it doesn’t mean that it is forever.
To move forward you need to accept your past, for me this is my loss, grief and past relationships that all are heavily influential on my defence mechanisms. As one of my very close friends has said to me “you’re not going to gain anything special just by putting your guard up.”
Though I do find it hard to advise on something I actively do myself I do think it’s important to speak about this taboo as I know so many people have these traits without acknowledging what it is and why.
Finally, this Wednesday I will be on BBC Essex Radio talking all things mental health, blogging and more at 7pm.