On Hating Yourself Less


Child punishmentIn her informative yet entertaining book, “Unworthy: How to Stop Hating Yourself,” Anneli Rufus tells this story:

Accepting his third annual Teacher of the Year award, Jeremy gazed out at an auditorium packed with wildly applauding children, parents, and colleagues. Silently he mourned. I was supposed to get my doctorate. I should be famous by now, not teaching fourth grade. I was supposed to have made earthshaking discoveries. It was expected of me. And I failed.

I laughed when I read this because not even 24 hours earlier my inner dialog was essentially the same. I had accomplished something—swam 4.4 miles from Annapolis, Maryland to Kent Island–that should have given me enough warm fuzzies to fill my quota for a week. This was huge for me not only because there exists no tiki bar between the two pieces of land where you can hang out for awhile if you need to catch your breath or are feeling particularly parched. It was profound because shortly after the swim last year, I had a physical and mental breakdown from which I’m still recovering. With lingering symptoms and aberrant sleep cycles, I gave my participating in this year’s race a 50/50 shot.

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Therese Borchard
I am a writer and chaplain trying to live a simple life in Annapolis, Maryland.

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6 Responses
  1. B

    You are truly remarkable and wonderful. I love your honest approach about life. I admire the mammoth step you taken forward by being open about your struggle with depression. You are a joy. I always wish you happiness.

    Our daughter choses to abuses & accuse falsely. We know it’s her depression or what ever talking. We are distraught and disturbed by her new behavior. She needs help.

    How does any parent help a 40 year old adult?

    1. I can only reply as a 40 year old adult who has put her family through the wringer more than once and then on a spin cycle, particularly my mother. I was hospitalised at 43. I’m 45 now and have learnt so many things. I realise there is fault on both sides and some pretty ordinary decisions made. I was encouraged by my mother & sister to get the treatment I needed. Because they cared and loved me unconditionally I trusted them and went. Things aren’t perfect but they’re markedly better. Sometimes you just get exhausted by fighting and surrender. When I checked in to hospital I had truly given up and just surrendered (to God mostly) but keeping the core of who I am and trusting my instincts.

  2. Todd

    Thanks Therese. I hope to get where you are. I can relate to every struggle you have. The biggest challenge for me is the stigma and the next step that I can’t do this on my own. 46 years of pride talking there. Why can’t people like me accept that it is an illness, just like any other illness. Thank You for being so open. It gives people hope. Even when they can’t feel any. Todd