You’re Not Damaged Just Because You’ve Been Through Hell — Give Yourself A Break

We’ve all been hurt before, but what defines us is how we get back up after we’ve been knocked down. It’s easy to sit there and let your troubles define you, but by doing that, you’re only going to screw yourself over in the worst way possible. Before you call yourself damaged, keep in mind all the terrible ways it can affect your life:

  1. You’ll Start To Believe It. Maybe it’s a defense mechanism at first, but eventually you’ll start to believe that you really are damaged. You’ll stop seeing just how amazing you are and start to define your life based on past experiences. You need to stay focused on the positive so you remember what an awesome person you really are.
  2. You’ll Encourage Others To Call You Damaged. I know firsthand how hard it is to walk into a new relationship after facing the backlash of emotional abuse. But by calling yourself damaged, you open the door for your next partner to think of you the same way instead of seeing what a kickass woman you are.
  3. You’ll Treat Yourself Like Your Own Worst Enemy. Would you ever look at a sibling or best friend and refer to them as damaged goods? I sure hope not. Looking in the mirror and seeing a broken person is a destructive habit. You should always make yourself a priority, and that starts with treating yourself the same way you’d treat your loved ones.
  4. You’ll Convince Yourself That You Need To Be Fixed. Saying that you’re damaged implies that you think there’s something wrong with you. It’s perfectly okay to be guarded, but it’s another to put yourself down. If you’ve been hurt before, there’s nothing wrong with admitting that, but just because you’ve changed doesn’t mean you’re broken.
  5. You’ll Forget How Strong You’ve Become. If you call yourself damaged, then you believe you’re less of a person than you were before. But let me put it this way: if you were a competitive athlete, broke your leg, went through physical therapy, and jumped back into your sport the next season, no one would claim you were weak. You might have a scar, but eventually that leg could very well be even stronger than it was before. You’ve survived something incredibly difficult, and by only focusing on the negative, you’re not acknowledging how powerful you are for moving on from it.
  6. It’ll Make You Lose Patience. Maybe it’ll take you a long time to pick yourself up and dust yourself off, but eventually, you’ll get there. The light at the end of the tunnel can look awfully dim while you’re recovering from a twisted past. It takes a lot of love from yourself, others, and time, but if you keep your head up, you’ll get there. Putting yourself down will only make you forget how far you’ve come on your journey.
  7. You’ll Start To Feel Alone. Even though you’ve been through hell and back, just remember that you’re never actually alone. Every single person in your life has faced serious setbacks. Maybe they were cheated on, abused in some way, or screwed over by someone they trusted. We’re all human, but there’s always a way to relate to one another. We all have our struggles, so don’t make yourself feel singled out by implying that you’re a defective human being.
  8. You’ll Drown In Self-Pity. It’s fine to throw yourself a small pity party after you’ve been through some rough stuff, but never letting it end is only going to keep you from moving on. When you think of yourself as damaged, it makes it that much easier to believe that you’ll never get out of this rut. If you instead tell yourself that you’re a strong woman, you’ll have a much easier time picking yourself up and finding happiness again.
  9. You’ll Forget What You’re Capable Of. When you allow yourself to feel worthless, you forget how incredible you are. You can’t allow this life experience dictate what happens in your future. If you convince yourself that you’re broken, you’ll be creating an excuse for yourself to give up on the things that you want to accomplish. You were a badass woman before all this crap happened, and you still are — you just have to let yourself believe it.
  10. You’ll Give Up On The Future. In time, you’ll be happy again if you allow yourself to be. But when you think of yourself as being a broken version of your former self, it can be hard to remember that this pain won’t last forever. It’s fine to recognize that you’re a little banged up, but you’ll be sabotaging your future if you refuse to let go of your past.
Tori is a recent college graduate trying to find her place in this world. She loves to travel (way too much), play volleyball, and practice her broken German when she isn't working as a safari specialist.