I confess that while reading through my old journals I felt hesitant in sharing some of my self-evaluations here. I did not anticipate how weird or awkwardly hard it would be to read those words years later, it’s like looking at old photographs, but of my psyche. It was nice to see the way my head used to work, and I think some people could relate to it, thus creating a good introduction to how important self-evaluation is. Here it goes:

1/6/18

“It feels like I’m imprisoned, and inside the cell, there is the key to my freedom, but I’m not brave enough to reach out and grab it. I like being locked up, I think. I like feeling bad. It’s the only explanation. I want to feel bad.

I like suffering because it makes me feel alive, I think. Nothing excites me. Everything is fine. 

All I want is attention, sometimes my own. I don’t know… I like suffering because it gives me attention?? It makes no sense. 

Sometimes I’m driven by thoughts of suffering, self-suffering. But at the same time, I feel like another “me” exists, pulling me away from this. I can see him, right in the eyes. 

I always have hope that I won’t suffer, but deep inside I know I will, I want it.

But this feeling of romanticizing depression drives me crazy. It’s ridiculous. I have judged people in the past because of this, but now I see it in myself. Only wants attention, wants to call yourself a hypocrite, wants to be sick, wants to take meds. That’s horrible

I want to write more, sometimes I miss suffering. Sometimes every day. It seems like I’m driven to it, don’t know why I like it, I want a hug, I want to go away. To leave. But do I really want it?

The false feeling of freedom, maturity, I don’t even know if that’s what I want.

I thank my parents, especially my mom. She understands me. Not even I understand me. 

It seems like everything I do is for someone else’s sight. Even more cliches… doesn’t matter.”

Looking at this mash of thoughts and ideas, we can see that I simply wrote my mind. Sigmund Freud used to ask “What is the first thing that pops into your head?” to his patients at the beginning of every session because he knew that these raw impressions were of extreme value to understand what truly happens inside people’s minds. 

When writing about your feelings, you shouldn’t look both ways while crossing your mind (cheers if you got the reference), because you might get hit by something real and valuable, never before realized, that makes a difference in your life. Self-evaluation, contemplation, reflection… all definitions of the same act: to have that inner look, and it is really important to understand what is going on inside first before making decisions. 

If you have been feeling different lately, don’t be afraid to take time to be alone and brainstorm, because you might find something you didn’t expect to.

Remember that the first step to any kind of self-change has to be taken by you, and no one else. 

After brainstorming and recording some thoughts, maybe try talking to someone you trust. It doesn’t have to be a friend or relative, you can jump straight into therapy if you prefer. There is something great about telling personal stuff to someone who doesn’t know you personally, because they don’t have a constructed image of you and won’t judge. Their starting point on getting to know you becomes what troubles you, and that’s a tool for deep conversations and results.  Obviously, you don’t have to show everything you wrote to the person at once, but at least start by trying to share that something is not well inside you. Also, don’t be so sure of what to expect of your sessions, because chances are they will take you on a totally different ride then you anticipated. 

Humble up, expect nothing, trust, share, and let the professionals do the rest. Remember, you just want some help understanding. And don’t worry if you didn’t feel comfortable enough with your first therapist, there is always someone you will be able to relate to and open up. Change if you feel like it. 

Mental health is still a big taboo and most people don’t feel comfortable talking to a therapist. I have felt it myself in the beginning, thinking that I don’t really need therapy and that it won’t work for me. But please, give it some time, and don’t stop recording your thoughts. 

After some experience, I came to the conclusion that the very first therapy session should be with yourself, so I tried to come up with some tips for self-evaluation:

  • Humble yourself;
  • Don’t be afraid to be in touch with yourself;
  • Don’t be afraid of  that “alone time.” Embrace it;
  • Realize that there is no right way of doing it;
  • Keep record. Either write, make a video, audio, whatever makes you feel comfortable, but don’t let those thoughts slip away;
  • No filter. Remember you’re not forced to show it to anyone, so write your brain off;
  • Don’t give importance to volume. Sometimes a single word says a lot, and it’s enough;
  • Don’t stop, dive deeper into your inner self. Trust me, you’ll learn a lot;
  • Accept it. There is absolutely nothing wrong with feeling like this;
  • Ask for help. Strong people are those who realize they can’t handle everything by themselves; 
  • Take it easy on yourself. It takes time and will bring lots of positive change if you let it. 

Quote of the day:

“Depression is the most unpleasant thing I have ever experienced. . . . It is that absence of being able to envisage that you will ever be cheerful again. The absence of hope. That very deadened feeling, which is so very different from feeling sad. Sad hurts but it’s a healthy feeling. It is a necessary thing to feel. Depression is very different.”  ― J.K. Rowling

Songs to relate to:

  • Disorder, by Joy Division
  • Fight the Feeling, by Mac Miller
  • Self Care, by Mac Miller
  • Boredom, by Tyler, The Creator

Make sure to give me feedback! I’d love to hear what you think about my writing, how you feel and the songs you relate to as well. 

Thanks for reading, 

Nick. 

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