I wanted to write something vulnerable today, and channel my mess of emotions into creating a piece of impactful writing. I have no idea if I’ve done this, but this post discusses self-love and self-hate, with mentions of suicidal ideation because a lot of my worst depression comes from a place of being disgusted with who I am. It’s also sort of a love letter, to someone I hope one day meets the person I’m working to become.
Content note for suicidal ideation. This post also includes affiliate links.
I want you to meet the person I’m going to become. No, I can’t wait for you to meet the person I’m going to become. Sometimes I hate who I am right now so much that said self-hatred threatens to overwhelm me. Sometimes I don’t think I will ever forgive myself for the stupid, hurtful things I have done. Sometimes I want to die from the shame of having fucked up.
And honestly? I fuck up a lot. I hurt the people I love. I make stupid, selfish mistakes.
I feel like I let you down all the time; I feel like I let everyone down. I do not feel worthy of your friendship, which is something beautiful that makes me stronger. I want to be a clever, confident, caring and kind woman who can change the world, and you make me feel like I can be. And sometimes you make me feel like I actually am all of those things already. You make me feel powerful – you make me feel like I can become a less self-absorbed mess of a human.
I am working so hard to become a better person. I’m taking proactive steps to deal with my mental illness and trying to find a sex-positive therapist to deal with some of my trauma. When I feel suicidal ideation nowadays, I know how to take care of myself: I try very hard not to put the burned of my depression on my friends, though I am grateful for their support. I don’t need them to help me, I need them to hold my hand/send me cat gifs/talk to me about feminist literature while I sort my own shit out. I still worry that my mental health is too much for people, but I’m working on it.
I’m also getting better at articulating my needs. Ask me “how can I support you right now?” and I will be able to tell you what would help me. I’m also becoming braver in asking for what I want from others, hoping that they can help me while knowing I have to be ok if they say no. I’m still working on supporting others when their needs are so different to what my own would be in that situation that they feel almost alien. I struggle to give someone space, because I know if it was me I would want someone to remind me that I am loved. That doesn’t mean I shouldn’t give them space though – it means I should take a deep breath and trust that the person I care about is being honest with me about what they need.
In my meet-and-greet post before Eroticon 2018, I put into words something that I often think about. When asked what I want, I wrote: I want to be a better person today than I was yesterday, and to keep growing and learning and exploring. That sentence is still true today: I am not satisfied with who I am. Even when I’m not struggling with self-hatred, I know I could be a better person. I’m arrogant and impulsive and stubborn as fuck. I’m messy and flawed and prone to thinking (even if not saying) mean and spiteful things. I’m jealous and resentful and demanding.
But I’m also pretty self-aware and extremely determined. I want to become a better person, and even though I’m trying to set less ridiculously high expectations for myself, I’m also working on being someone who I can be proud of.
People tell me that I shouldn’t be disgusted by who I am. I am a human who is messy and flawed, so it’s ok to regret and want to apologise for the things I’ve done, but bad actions do not inherently make me a bad person. I do stupid things, but that doesn’t make me stupid. I do bad things sometimes, but that doesn’t make me a bad person. It doesn’t make me a good person though – I am a long way from being a good person. However, I’ve finally reached a point where I’m ok with that.
I am learning to forgive myself when I screw up. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever tried to do, to not hate myself for . I try to no longer beat myself up for making mistakes, but to learn from them and grow. It’s important to note that I’m not doing it for you. I’m doing this self-improvement for me, but I do want you to know how much being your friend inspires me to work on myself. Your support gives me hope that I can become a better person, and that maybe I’m not as terrible as I think I am.
It scares me how different I am today to the person I was two or three years ago. I’m young, and I know in another two or three years I know I might not recognise the person I am today. That scares me too. Even in the next five years I’m going to change in ways that right now I can’t imagine – any more than I could predict five years ago that I was going to become a sex-positive feminist and ethical slut. It’s terrifying that I have no idea who I’m going to become.
You seem to like me now, though. It feels like you see something in me that I can’t see yet. You think that I’m an awesome person right now – or at least an ok person who you want to be friends with. And if you really think I’m amazing just now? I can’t wait for you to meet the person I’m going to become, because she’s going to be fucking incredible.
This post was brought to you by my favourite lubes, because while lube doesn’t solve depression it does a) mitigate the effects of SSRIs on my sex life, and b) it makes everything move a little more smoothly in at least one part of my life. You can get a 250ml bottle of Liquid Silk, a water-based lube I use almost every time I wank for £12.99 in the UK, and a 8.5 fl oz bottle of Sliquid Sassy, also a wonderful water-based lube, for $19.99 in the US.
Quinn Rhodes (he/him) is a queer, trans, disabled sex writer with vaginismus. He’s a slut and a sex nerd who writes about his adventures in trying to fuck without fucking up. Quinn can usually be found wearing stomp-on-the-patriarchy boots while falling in love every time he fucks.