It Doesn't Define Me Anymore

by - 3:00 PM

Hi, my name is Envy, and I'm insane. Okay, the official diagnosis is "inferiority complex as a result of giftedness", but to many people who know nothing about giftedness and inferiority complexes it's the same thing as being insane. I know people who'd go out and educate others on their mental situation, but I couldn't be bothered when I got my diagnosis. From April till now I've had different priorities: kicking the inferiority complex's ass.

It all sounded so nice and easy when I was diagnosed back in April. No chemical imbalances like the ones that cause depression, no traumatic past giving me PTSD, just a very destructive thinking pattern. All I had to do was change the pattern, break out of the cycle of self-hatred.
Inferiority complexes are tricky things though. They're more than "just" a set of thought even if I did say so myself: contrary to mental illnesses such as OCD and depression, an inferiority complex does define you. It knocks reality askew, changes your perception of yourself completely and consequently others' perception of you. It doesn't limit itself to one aspect of your life, it attacks every thought that crosses your mind and turns it into a vile remark about yourself. Now the way you see yourself influences the way you present yourself, which in turn influences how others perceive you and react to you. If an inferiority complex hijacks that first step it starts defining who you are and pushes you into an endless cycle of negativity and hate. It's a cycle I've been stuck in for most of my life.

I can't tell when my inferiority complex got hold of my brain or whose influences made it worse. I do know that even as a toddler I felt like I wasn't good enough; why else would my grandparents always tell me about my amazing cousins every time I came to visit? Giftedness didn't help much either. Most people in school, both classmates and teachers, reacted negatively to the character traits that are typical for gifted children. Those situations were the foundation on which my inferiority complex built itself. Core thought: Envy is not good enough. By the time I was twenty, this core thought had turned into a waterfall of hateful remarks that flooded my brain every single day. I was ugly as hell. Too smart for my own good. I'd never have any real friends and no guy would ever love me. I had no talent, I wasn't as good a writer as I hoped I was, I sucked at blogging. I'd never be successful. I'd never make a dream come true. And did I mention I was ugly as hell?

Think the thoughts I've listed once and you'll feel bad. Think them countless times, sometimes multiple times a day, and you'll believe they're the absolute truth. Especially if you're unlucky enough to get called 'ugly' a lot, which I was until I turned 18. And so I became the talentless ugly girl who was completely unloveable and would never make it in life. The inferiority complex defined me completely. I didn't take risks, as it told me I'd fail anyway. I didn't talk to guys, as it told me they'd find me too ugly to look at anyway. I didn't go out to meet new people,as it told me they wouldn't like me anyway.
Once you think that way you'll keep thinking that way. The inferiority complex will find proof that these thoughts are true. If two girls on the other side of the college cafeteria were laughing, it'd tell me they were laughing at me, because I looked stupid in my clothes. It didn't matter that I loved my Avengers top and that it looked good on me. No, those girls were laughing at me because I looked stupid and ugly in it.

Ever since my diagnosis in April I've been fighting hard to beat the inferiority complex. It hasn't been easy. Most days when I went to therapy were spent crying. I started to realize I've always been too hard on myself. That was the first step to changing the way I think. The second one was harder: I had to become aware of the destructive thought, replace them with more reasonable ones and find out why I had these thoughts. Reason number one: I make assumptions about people's thoughts. Reason number two: I make every negative remark into a critique on me as a person, even if it's a remark about something I don't have any influence on, like the weather. Being confronted with these fatal thinking flaws was by far the most painful thing about therapy. Eventually I became aware of the flaws and thoughts alike, but I wasn't strong enough yet to do anything about it. June was tainted a deep dark black because of the feeling of helplessness this caused.
Then on day in July things clicked. I knew that I was thinking nasty lies, I knew what I could do to stop them. I just needed practice. Now, in late August, I can say my inferiority complex doesn't define me anymore.

Despite conciously knowing that I am not what my inferiority complex tells me I am and despite being officially done with therapy, I still have a long way to go. Therapy changes you and after the shit I've been through this year I'm sometimes not completely sure of who I am and if friends and family still love the person I've become. Because truth be told: I was far from easy while going through therapy. Sometimes I'd lash out at people I loved for no reason other than to get a negative reaction out of them that'd prove the destructive thoughts right, My best friend took some heavy beatings that way, but I'm lucky he stayed by my side through all of it. Some people didn't, as they felt my situation was a danger to their own happiness. I guess those people were never intended to be in my life for long anyway. The people who've stuck around will be there for me when I face my last challenge: seeing giftedness as potential instead of a burden. It's the final lie my inferiority complex is telling me.

It sucks to know the inferiority complex is still there after months of therapy, but it's a stripped-down, weakened version of itself. From time to time I fight an old battle with it once again. Most of the time I focus on debunking it's final lie. Having an inferiority complex sucks, but at least it doesn't define me. Not anymore.

x Envy

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8 Fellow Ramblers

  1. I applaud you for sharing your mental health journey so openly and honestly, Envy! It sounds like you are making real and tangible progress in your recovery, although it may seem slow and faltering, the fact that you pick yourself up every time and keep on battling is testament to your true inner strength! You've got this, I have every faith in you even if you don't yet have that belief in yourself!

    Abbey šŸ˜˜

  2. I've never heard of this diagnosis so thank you for being brave and sharing. Also, what defines you is what you allow to define you. Everyone, at the end of the day, is coping with something someway and that's OKAY. Keep being you and carrying on. :)

    S .x

  3. This post was just so inspiring for me, reading how your complex defined you but I was inspired because you've worked through it and now it doesn't define you anymore. You broke away and became you and that's just inspiring to me. Thank you for sharing your story.

  4. Thank you for being brave enough to share your journey with us šŸ’– Getting past the wall of not being able to let MH define you is one of the hardest walls to get past so I applaud you šŸ’–šŸµ

  5. The progress you've made already is amazing and you are amazing, too <3. This is especially poignant after yesterday's chat -- I'm so sorry you've spent your life feeling this way, and it's awful that the way people have treated you contributed to it. I'm glad therapy is helpin and hope someday you can see yourself clearly: as a luminous, lovely person!


  6. Thankyou for sharing this, it's not often that you read about a diagnosis of this. You've made so progress in such a short amount of time, you should be so proud it's so hard to change how you feel and your mindset x

    Kayleigh Zara šŸŒæ

  7. You got this x
    Cora ❤

  8. Thanks for sharing and opening up, Envy! I have no doubt that someone will come along this post and feel less alone.
    It definitely look like it's been a long road (which hasn't ended yet), but you're tackling it head on!
    You've weakened your enemy! You're stronger.



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