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  • Writer's pictureCheyanne Dunn

How Do You Love Yourself When You Don’t Know Who You Are?

I’m going to start this out with complete honesty, I have been watching a TON of RuPaul’s Drag Race and at the end of every episode, RuPaul says, “If you can’t love yourself, how the hell you gonna love somebody else,” and lately, this has spoken to me. I’ve felt lost many times in my life, but I’ve never felt that I didn’t love who I was as person. I’ve always been confident in myself and my thoughts but now that I’m not sure who I am as a person, how can I be sure that I love myself.

In the last year, I’ve completely lost who I was to depression and anxiety over the chaotic events of my life. I changed into a person who I’ve never met before and I haven’t quite figured out how to become myself again. I’ve lost friendships with people who I trusted with my life, and family members who were a huge part of who I was. I lost my job which I had felt so secure in and lost that feeling of knowing where my life was going. It feels like every time I start to feel better, something happens to pull me right back down into the deep hole of depression I’ve dug in the last year. At some point during all this heartbreak, I lost my sense of self and confidence in who that person was and I haven’t been able to find that again.

People always tell you to write what you know, but what happens when you don’t know what you’re feeling about anything. What do you do when everything you’ve ever believed in has come into question and you feel lost. In life, obstacles are thrown in your way to hopefully teach you something as you overcome them. It makes sense. Something bad happens, you do whatever it takes to get past it and then if that bad thing happens again, you know how to handle it, but when your emotions are compromised, what do you really know. You may think you know what to do in whatever situation you’re in, but without feelings how can you be sure? Knowledge is only one of the ways you can comprehend and evaluate various situations, but emotion also plays a part in your decision making. When your head and your heart aren’t attached properly, it can seem like everything you do is hopeless, but alas it is not. You can recover and probably make yourself an even better human.

People say the best kind of love is the love you have for yourself, but when you aren’t sure who you are, it’s impossible to love that person. I’ve felt lost before but it never was about who I was as a person, only about what I wanted to do with my life. The loss of my sense of self has completely thrown me for a loop and it feels like the ride will never end. That what are you doing feeling I am used to having, but this who are you feeling I don’t know what to do with. On paper, I am a 27-year-old female who lives in Los Angeles and is a writer, but that doesn’t describe who I really am, that’s just who the outside world sees.

Having all my beliefs come into question was truly devastating and made my mind race with thoughts of past mistakes I’ve made. Even the little things will seem extremely difficult to decipher. This makes figuring out who I am as a person much harder than it should be. Once I can figure out what it was I loved about myself before, I can start working on who I want to be in the future and hopefully find a way to love myself again.

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