A Love Letter to Myself

Dear Stefanie,

It’s about time you prioritized yourself. After 30 years of caretaking and self-sabotating, allow yourself to feel selfish and focus on your own growth. It’s a rewarding journey to establish your own identity–NOT wrapping it around others–and advocate for your needs.

Find joy and security within yourself instead of depending on friends or romantic partners. There’s value in being alone (or with the dogs) and looking forward to those times. You don’t need to develop new hobbies or be constantly productive with work. Invest in curating your mental happy place the way you’d design a dream home.

Appreciate your brain for what it’s capable of.

You’re overanalytical and catastrophic, both of which can be protective qualities but don’t always serve the situation. Remind yourself of what you can control and channel the remaining obsessive thinking for good–what are your instincts trying to tell you? Having OCPD doesn’t need to be a detriment.

You know your brain the best, so stop gaslighting yourself all the time. When you can’t let go of thoughts, listen to them. Take the time to be honest and figure out what’s really bothering you. Every time you question your reality and intuition, you’re breaking trust in yourself.

As an empath, you need stronger boundaries to protect your energy. Strive to acesss inner calm whenever it’s needed because of how easily you’re derailed by chaos and emotional dysregulation. When you become too enmeshed in another person, you start assuming responsibility for their feelings and lose your sense of self.

You don’t need to look like anyone else.

I tell this to my pole students all the time but have a hard time resisting comparison. Our survival instincts are set up this way as humans (to categorize) so be gentler on yourself when rewiring your neurodivergent brain. You’ve literally been divorced for less than a year and immediately started practicing non-monogamy.

Even if you’ve been non-monogamous as a person your whole life (something most people will not understand) it takes years to retrain habits through practice. You’re learning a new lifestyle fast, but it still requires gathering tons of data and experience. You’ve never even been in the dating scene! And it turns out, some of your self-work involves healing unresolved trauma and building self-worth.

Remember that you’re not sexually, emotionally, and intellectually attracted to people the same way most of your friends and partners are, and that’s okay. Don’t worry about what works for them. Focus on fostering the healthy, authentic, and growth-oriented relationships that make you happy.

What makes you attractive to yourself?

You wrote an entire blog post about your selling points, but most of these are reactive to the actions of others instead of proactive about adding to your life. Your value and purpose isn’t measured by your ability to fix problems and help others. Instead, make choices to take up space and have fun things to look forward to.

Lean on friends as a way to recharge and return to your baseline, not to vent or triangulate. Go out and meet new people. Turn on music and pole dance. Be imperfect, spontaneous, and ambitious. Act out of hope instead of fear. Think about what kind of person you want to be and what actions will get you closer to that.

You deserve to experience being human without guilt. You deserve to reap the benefits of the work you put into healing your trauma, getting stronger, and becoming healthier. You deserve to be understood and stand up for what you believe in, especially in moments when you feel alone.

Stop sacrificing your own mental health and lowering your standards to accommodate the discomfort of others. Celebrate the effort you put in to making the world better, knowing it’s not your job to please every single person on the planet. Keep trending positively and be your own safe space.

Because in the end… if you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else?

Love,

Stefanie

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