From Kim aged 17
“I started listening to this podcast 16 years old, usually right after I’d gone to the bathroom and cut myself with a razor.“
Hi Paul I think I emailed you a year ago, completely depressed and did not reply to your very kind email suggestion of therapy. I did go to therapy but I didn’t know much about my depression and myself in general. I went to therapy for 3 sessions and then stopped it because I thought it wasn’t effective. There was nothing wrong with her I just didn’t know what good therapy was. And I wasn’t ready to be completely honest about who I was.
There’s a very evil and twisted side of me and I just couldn’t admit it. I’m hoping I’d write what I was too afraid to say to my last therapist in this email. As a sort of precursor. I start my therapy when I get back home from holiday. And I hope that this time I’ll get better. Because now I know it’s not gonna be pretty, I’m not going to be the victim all the time and I have to admit that I’m not a good person but well I’m trying. And I know it’ll take a long time and a lot of work.
But listening to your podcast, hearing your guests be so honest and lay their demons out. They let the world hear it, they let strangers hear it because they know that they can lesson their self slavery. It brings me so much hope and joy, it empowers me really. It’s a long email. Sorry about that. But well its 2 am, I’m sharing a hotel room with 5 people and I’m currently hiding out in the closet because I can’t sleep whether from anxiety or a symphony of snores.
Here goes. My biggest thing is that my issues are so lame. I’m sorry for that horrible term but its just the only word I can think of right now. I really fear that no one will ever love me. I constantly run around worrying that the people who do love me will stop suddenly. And I don’t know what will prompt this so I spend so much time running around making sure every conversation is funny, every date is exciting. I am tired, I want to just live and just…be loved and love. But I don’t know how. And sometimes I’ll get so anxious about it that I’ll leave, cut them off or something, just not talk to them or see them in ages.
I am a liar. I lie all the time to get attention, comfort, sympathy. Somethings I lie about: I lie about being able to play the drums. I come from a family of musicians and I just can’t click musically. I am so ashamed of this it’s ridiculous. I lie about having another group of friends. This one is so terrible. My friends would ask me to go out with them and I’d get anxious about being too depressed to be much fun so I’d lie and say I’m hanging out with my ‘other’ friends. There’s this really petty satisfaction and sense of control. They are so popular and beautiful I just feel out of place. And well I made some of them feel like they were second best and not that important you know which is so horrible of me because they were kind enough to love me what the hell is my problem.
I can’t have a relationship with my father, or many boys. I have a boyfriend and two childhood friends, that’s about it for my male relationships. Other than the horny boys in the year above who want to fuck.
I don’t know why my father and I have hit this wall. He’s the funniest, most compassionate and kind person ever. I don’t know why I feel so sad and anxious around him. I kept pushing him away. I think he thinks I don’t forgive him for physically abusing me when I was little. But I do, I don’t even think about it anymore, hell I understand why he did it I even agree that it should have been done to me. I just want us to watch the Olympics together and sing together and just have a relationship. But I don’t know how. I just burn with jealousy seeing him with my siblings. They laugh and play and I just want that you know? I’m so ashamed of being envious of this. They were good kids, I shouldn’t be you know jealous, they deserve it.
I am socially just nervous. I think I have social anxiety. I mean in large groups I’m the life of the party totally confident and cracking all these jokes. But when its just one on one. I don’t know what to do at all. It’s like I’m under a magnifying glass and I’m disappointing the person, there’s no one to compensate for me. I used to not even think about what I was saying which well is not smart but now I over think and keep things to myself to the point where its ridiculous. How are people supposed to know me and hear my stories and jokes if I keep concealing them I’m not pretty enough to just sit there and smile. I wouldn’t want to anyway.
Through your podcast I learned that hey I ain’t that fucking special, people deal with this and it get better but only when you can face it and deal with it. I realized how stupid I was just like going to the doctor and telling him about my bruised toe instead of my fucking lung cancer. The only inspirational stories I’ve heard are about people overcoming poverty, you know, having the drive to accomplish great things. Your podcast has this celebration of the strength it takes to ask for help. I don’t hear that a lot. It’s construed as weak and unattractive where I grew up, you got beaten for asking for help. It’s helped me so much to realize its okay, its more than okay its the smartest thing you can do.
I started listening to this podcast 16 years old, usually right after I’d gone to the bathroom and cut myself with a razor or picked up a hammer and just started smashing my skin. Thinking that I’m am completely fucked, I am wrong, I’m a little shit and there’s nothing I can do except to wait until I graduate and leave and kill myself somewhere other than home so my little sister won’t see my body. Well Now I’m not much better but I am seventeen.
I plan to listen to this podcast on my way to therapy once every week (hour long drive to there so I need it!). I’ve been diagnosed with depression and taking Prozac. I haven’t cut in 2 months, been honest with my friends about my depression and flaws and that is the greatest thing ever. You taught me how to do that on your podcast and just being around people knowing that we all got baggage ,let’s just try to help each other carry the loads. It makes me cry, literally cry tears of joy at the compassion and love people will give you if you just let them oh my gosh this is so long.
I hope therapy can solve these problems I’m having. Sorry about this sudden spam. I just really needed you to know that how you changed my life. Told me those simple things I guess other people knew but I didn’t. I think in some ways the depression that hit me was a good thing. I mean it stripped me bare and made me look at my core. At my flaws which I may have never thought to address if not for this gnawing pain that forced me to.
I really really hope you get a million blessings, and that your life is full of joy and love and peace. What you are doing is so brave you say stuff and show your cards in a way I haven’t seen people do much in my life. And it healed me. Thank you Paul.