Fish Aren’t Cuddly

I admit that this isn’t one of my drawings. I drew pictures of these fish but didn’t make a photo of the artwork. Thanks to Goole Images.

Loneliness is buried in the black hole of depression. It may be wrapped in a ball of titanium, but it is there. Wherever you may be on your journey and how many supportive people there are in your life only self-love will take that loneliness away. It’s like hugging a fish. Until that fish is replaced with warmth, appreciation, self-respect, and personal understanding it won’t give you love and comfort.

I have fought and fallen several times as I felt that deep loneliness. The loneliness is from me. Through all of the work and treatment, I never touched the self-loathing. I stuffed it down again and again because I didn’t see any purpose in my life. I am doing well in my recovery now, but I have to find the will and substance inside of me, so I won’t be trying to hug that fish.

Therapist #6 flushed the fish. It takes time to find a therapist that you feel safe and comfortable enough with to be completely raw and honest. The rapport between therapist and client is essential. I have had to admit to telling her what I thought I should have accomplished but haven’t. I am tempted to say to her what I would like to be true. I have also gone into a session pretending things were great knowing that was far from the truth. I want to be well so badly that I try to convince myself that I’m over it and 100% cured. Therapist, #6, however, can call me on the carpet if I will just stop talking about how great things are and how I have resolved an existential crisis. She knows me well enough to see through my self-deception. She knew the fish was not going to love me.

I found a book by a Psychotherapist who coined the phrase Self-Love Deficiency Disorder. That sounds like someone who wants a new addition to the DSM when the concentration need not be a name to a “new” disorder but a focus on the deepest levels of depression and anxiety. Therapist #6 saw that I needed to face my self-esteem issues and handed me a new tool for improving self-esteem. I have discussed parts of this program without giving its name. The discussion has helped me cement the concepts of the workbook in myself as I shared it with you.

Years of self-loathing covered up any positives in myself and I saw negatives and neutrals. I felt that I totally messed things up (which I found were not always true) or that the things I am and do have no positives associated with it…it is neutral. That thinking led me to see that I see my role as a peacemaker, a problem solver, a  voice of logic and guidance to my family, my jobs, and difficulties that arose in life but those things don’t carry a personal positive. That ball of loneliness thrived when I solved problems, made order out of chaos, and stood in the gap to protect the vulnerable and ill. I felt no sense of accomplishment but bore a sense of duty. I didn’t feel proud of myself for undertaking severe problems that others knew nowhere to start and with my abilities resolve them. I didn’t know how to accept the praise and appreciation. I don’t love myself so praise is confusing.


I am working on self-esteem, codependency, self-love, and relief of anxiety. I sincerely hope I can drag you along with me. I want to share what I learn, and I will promise to admit when I am wrong. I care deeply for others. I wish the best for you as I now want the best for myself. Peace be with you.

Published by: Beverly Hughes

My journey through depression and anxiety has been a long fought battle. I have a Masters Degree in Counseling, but that only helped me to understand clinical language. I needed help and have learned so much about what I could do to help myself.

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2 thoughts on “Fish Aren’t Cuddly”

  1. I appreciate you sharing your struggles with this post. It’s good to know I am not the only one wrestling with the negative thoughts surrounding depression. You are so right about finding a good therapist. Mine is the voice of reason who helps me focus on self care. I wish you the best in your journey.

    Liked by 1 person

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