I’ll be the first to admit,
That I don’t know how to love me.
I always try to smother others in love,
Give them all of me, my ears, my eyes, my time.
I’ll be the friend to listen to your problems after midnight,
I’ll tell you how to try and cope with your anxiety,
I’ll tell you that you’re worth it,
That on the days your depression hits, that you are still beautiful.
I’ll be there for you in your darkest times,
Help you in the pits of addiction and be the first to
Point the direction to rehab, the first to celebrate
And fanfare on sobriety.
I’ll be there all the time for other people—
Family, lovers, friends, strangers.
I’m guilty of telling others,
“I don’t know how to follow my own advice.”
I’ll tell others to love themselves or to forgive themselves.
I’ll tell others that they are worthy of love and deserve the best.
So why is it I can’t say these things to myself?
I’ve known pain, I’ve known trauma. I’ve known hurt I dare not speak of,
I know the horrors of depression and anxiety.
I’ve seen the carnage left by addiction.
I don’t want other people to feel the pain I’ve felt.
What’s more maddening than not loving myself?
It’s rejecting love from others; it’s hiding when others
Try doing for me what I’ve done for them.
I fill the cups of so many other people, but when they try
Returning the favor, when they try to fill my cup, I turn it over.
I deny their help.
I deny their care.
I say that I don’t deserve to be loved.
I say that I don’t have any worth.
How can it be so? How can it be this way?
Maybe the dark truth is that in order to hide from myself,
I comfort everyone around me and say the things I wish I could tell myself.
At night, I go to bed with me, in the morning I wake up with me.
This fact will never change, even when I find a lover.
I know that I always will have to be with me. But no,
I don’t know how to truly love me. I know that until then,
I’ll never truly be able to accept love from another.
Perhaps, at least, knowing the problem is a step forward.
I don’t know how to love myself,
But I’ll try.