A very important note about this post: This is basically a list of really nasty things I have said to or thought about myself in the past (hence the “bad stuff”). You may find it uncomfortable, especially if you relate to any of them. If you are going through a particularly bad time, or feeling vulnerable at the moment, please proceed with caution.
I’ve talked before about how I can be my biggest critic and my biggest bully.
I think I’ve done much better since my diagnosis, because now I feel that I have an explanation for my lifetime of struggle to achieve and accomplish.
But the diagnosis didn’t magically make all the bad stuff go away. I still think rude things about myself occasionally; I struggle with Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria (RSD); and I often think I should be doing so much more with my time.
I’ve listed below some of the bad things I’ve said to myself. They aren’t very nice. And I have never told another soul that I have thought all these things.
Again, I’ll say that if you’re mentally or emotionally in a bad place right now, please proceed with caution.
The List of Bad Stuff
You’re not really that smart; if you were so smart, you’d be able to organize better and you wouldn’t be so forgetful.
Why can’t you just be more disciplined? Why is it so hard to maintain any kind of routine? And why can’t you control your behavior?
Why do you say everything that comes to mind? Why can’t you learn to keep your mouth shut?
Your friends don’t like you that much; they’re going to replace you with someone else. Someone better.
Your family only likes you because they’re obligated to; they would prefer a different daughter or sister. Someone better.
Why is your house such a mess? Why can’t you keep it neat? Everyone else has such a neat house. You’re a slob and it’s pathetic.
Everyone around you quit smoking. Why can’t you quit smoking? You’re the only one who does it. It means you’re weak.
Everyone around you slowed down their drinking after college. Why are you still drinking so much? You’re the only one who does it. It means you’re weak.
You’re not that interesting; people feel bad for you so they pretend to like you. You’re actually really lame.
You’re not funny. People laugh at your jokes because they pity you.
Stop being so weird.
Why are you so behind? Everyone you went to college with is so successful. They all have glamorous jobs doing positive work. Why aren’t you doing something more interesting? Why aren’t you helping people with your job? You’re not exceling.
Why can’t you remember anything? It’s a joke at this point that you’re so forgetful. It hurts the people you care about. It makes them hate you.
You’re a bad friend because you never listen when your friends tell you important things. Why do they have to repeat the same stories over and over? Why can’t you just listen and remember?
Stop crying so much, it makes you look like a baby. You’re too sensitive. You need to learn to toughen up and get over it. No one else cries as much as you do. Stop crying!
Why Bother With This?
That was a lot of emotional energy for me to write. So, what was the point of this list of bad stuff and rude thoughts?
Well, if you have these thoughts, now you know that I have them too. And I don’t think it’s just us. I think there are a lot of people out there with ADHD, autism, RSD, depression, anxiety, and other conditions that have these thoughts, or other ones like them. It’s just really hard to talk about it.
They aren’t true. They aren’t valid. And they aren’t helpful.
But it’s often the burden we bear, to think like this, because we don’t know anything different. It’s all I knew for over 20 years.
I want to end this with a note of hope, because I think it’s possible to change your self-image. I think it’s possible to mostly be able to see the good and interesting and unique and wonderful things about you. And I think it’s possible to be able to have negative thoughts, recognize them and move past them.
At least for this moment, I want you to know that if you’re struggling with yourself, I’m walking beside you – holding your hand, knowing your shame, and rooting for the positive change you so deeply deserve to experience.