There was a time when if somebody slighted me I would go on the defense and my ego would puff up, I would become arrogant and smug. I would go to war with them in my head. Not to destroy or undermine my attacker, but to prove them wrong on an intellectual level. Bolstering all my reasoning on attacking the opponent’s POV and affirming my own. I’d have arguments in my head. My mind was at war with those who saw me as less than I was willing to see myself.
The cause of this was low self-esteem. I wanted people to see me as I saw myself. There were two problems with this, how I saw myself was not based on reality. And I was looking for external affirmation on who I was, my standing, my values, and what I was about.
As I puffed up I’d become more insular and isolated and in a state of internal and external struggle, until my ego would pop either because I realised my internal narrative was incongruent with reality or the weight of my delusion got too heavy. I’m not 100% sure why my bubble would burst but it always did after weeks or even months of self-righteousness.
The aftermath was that I’d collapse in a heap and spend the next week or so in a rut feeling weak, sorry, silly, wrong, and humbled, not being able to function. I’d slowly get back to normal but before too long something or someone would trigger me and I’d start to puff up again, creating a new cycle.
This was my reality for a long time. Now things are different and while I’m not sure about what part of my recovery changed me. The fact is I am changed.