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  • Writer's pictureClaire Wortley


'Pull yourself together!'
'You just need to get on with it!'
'What have you got to be upset/depressed/anxious about?'
'There are many out there who are far worse off than you and they don’t whinge about it!'
'It doesn’t make any sense, why would you be struggling? I’d give anything to be in your shoes.'
'Man UP!'


During the toughest times in my life, when I had sunk to the lowest point possible, I felt shame. Tons and tons of shame. Questions would run repeatedly through my mind..

Why do I find this so hard? Why can’t I just ‘get on with it’? What am I so afraid of? Why is this my life? Why do I have to struggle so much? Will this mess in my head ever go away? What if this is my life forever?

As much as I tried to apply rational thought to these questions, the only answer that made any sense to me was that I was a substandard human being. I was the faulty button in the batch and as for having a screw loose well I probably had a few missing too. Locked in my pain(from wearing the wrong shoes…see previous blog.)


I remember a time when I was accused of indulging in a permanent pity party. Can you guess what it did? Because I could find no logical reason for being the way I was, I became angry and frustrated. I had tried so many ways to heal, to become ‘normal,' like everybody else, but it hadn’t worked, so I started to hate myself. I hated that I couldn’t ‘pull myself together’. I hated that I couldn’t ‘just get on with it’. I hated that I knew I had no real reason to be this way when other people had it far worse. I hated that I couldn’t deal with the simple things in life, like eating and sleeping. I hated that I was weak. I hated that I was broken. I hated that I was an unsolvable puzzle that was hurting and dragging down the people I loved and who loved me. With this hate surging through me I began to loathe myself. If I caught sight of my own reflection I would sneer and swear. I would hurt myself on the outside and the inside. I didn’t deserve to have a life if this was all I could make of it.

This was my shame. This was when I hid from the world. This was when I believed that this deplorable, despicable monster within me was the true me.

Shame was my name and broken was who I was.


I’m taking a moment now to be with that version of myself because what she really needed was love. Let me take a moment to love her and let the tears flow.



The ‘love’ I am referring too, is self-love.

Much as I would love to say I realised what I needed and woke up the next day full of joy and wonder at life, it didn’t happen like that. Well not in a day, in a moment. I experienced a moment where I realised that part of my healing would indeed come from my own efforts but not in an abusive or insulting way. I was not the beast, torn up with shame and pity. I was a human who was struggling. How can that make me a bad person?

Put it this way, do you look at people who are battling a physical illness and tell them to ‘get up and get on with it?’ Do you see people lost in grief and tell them to ‘pull themselves together?’ I’m betting the answer is no…….so why do we do allow the opinions of others to add pressure when we are struggling? I understand that sometimes these things are said by people we greatly respect but even so, when it comes to our own wellbeing this is where we can stop feeding the beast of self-loathing and start creating an armour of self-love.

You have permission.

Something else that comes to mind is that feeling of needing permission to stop hating yourself. I needed to know that I didn’t have to keep beating myself up. Whether or not the people around me blamed me for all the stress I brought to their lives. This was no longer about the ripple effect, this was about taking control of whatever I could to begin my journey to wellness. Guilt and shame are stowaways that will grab space in your head and send you down every wrong turn imaginable. Ditch the shame, it doesn’t serve you! Drop the guilt of being unwell, it doesn’t aid your recovery. If apologies need to be said, then say them and move on. You deserve love! You deserve wellness and you deserve your own forgiveness.

Much Love


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