The enemy is within: Be your best friend and fight negativity

I hated myself. Every day I woke up I gazed in the mirror and wanted to be someone else – anyone but me. I came to despise that person whose face was utterly inhuman, frightening and so not what I wanted to be.

I fantasised about a miracle operation that would change me when I reached 21. That was the only thing that made my life as a teenager – a very torturous period, full of self doubt, self-loathing, negativity and hopelessness – somehow bearable.

So when I reached 21 and I met the consultant my expectation was high, my self-esteem so low that hope was crushed when he said there was little he could do to improve my face.

In the years that followed I sank so low I often wonder how I came out the other side. I cried so many times, my mental anguish reached such depths I considered – but quickly discarded – the notion of taking my life. There seemed nothing to live for, no reason to carry on in a world I felt had rejected me.

It took me a long time to realise the problem wasn’t the world outside, but my perception of it. I simply wasn’t giving people a chance, not letting them know that here was a guy who may look different to others, but who was reasonably witty and could, once he relaxed enough and trusted his own personality, be good company. Whether there was a girl out there for me was another matter. But not socialising to any meaningful extent certainly wasn’t helping me.

So I began to work on my confidence gradually. I started to believe a little more in myself and say goodbye to the old me. it didn’t happen overnight – there would be many slips before that day arrived – but the journey had begun. I don’t know if many people were aware of the changes in me, but I was. There was a lot less negativity. I built on whatever I had that people liked, so I laughed more, cracked a few more jokes, became better company even if it was among people I knew or worked with. I believed in me. I cared about me. And most of all I began to trust in myself a little more.

Looking on the positive side, I had survived a serious burning accident, overcome some early disabilities, and was in decent physical shape. I had a good job with fine colleagues, good money. Life could be worse. Positivity. Play to your strengths. Easy to say, harder to do. But I did it one step at a time, occasionally blundering, but moving forward. I dared to dream. Positivity. It took me too long, but the fault was not in others though I had blamed them.

And then I met my first girlfriend. I was 29. Yeah, you read that right. My first proper kiss, lips on lips at 29. Positivity. I may have been late to the party, but that first kiss was magical. Positivity. Always look on the bright side of life; every second, every minute, every hour, every day. Take courage in your hands and believe in yourself. It comes from within. Take that step. Believe.

More to come in a few days.


5 thoughts on “The enemy is within: Be your best friend and fight negativity

  1. Love your post Hickey – Your are so right, sometime its not easy being positive and looking at the bright side of life; on the other hand, if you give it a good try, you may be amazed at the results!

  2. Enjoying reading your blog and delighted it is going so well. I look at Freddie who is 23 months old and I can’t imagine what it what it was like for mother and child to experience an accident like yours. I have known you all my life and so have seen you for only yourself. All of my memories of you are filled with feeling of kindness and great patience towards me as a young child. who else would buy a new “brother” typewriter and let two young kids play on it for hours? So thanks for those goodtimes!
    It is fair to say the greatest strength is strength of mind and like a muscle it can be built over time. Keeping positive is a skill we all need. I can relate to what you said, small steps can make a such a difference over time, it’s a new dawn when we start to try it!
    Anyway best of luck with the blog, lots of love, Gillx

    1. Thanks for the compliments Gill. I tried very hard to be as normal in my thinking as everyone else, but found it so difficult at times. I guess we all have difficult moments and mine probably took much longer than others. Finding that inner strength to carry on when you believe your life is hardly worth living was so painful. Yet there must have been some lingering hope within me that I could get through the other side – and I did. Maybe I should have trusted myself a lot more, but you fear failure in life, and that was what held me back. On balance I have been lucky because so many others struggle to find meaning and happiness in their lives and I’m loving life. Thanks for your comments Gill, and your love.

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