The Art of Self-Destruction

“Having a low opinion of yourself is not ‘modesty.’ It’s self-destruction. Holding your uniqueness in high regard is not ‘egotism.’ It’s a necessary precondition to happiness and success.” ― Bobbe Sommer


The Art of Self-Destruction

They say to write about what you know, don’t they?

Well, welcome to my Master Class.

What is self-destruction?

Self-destruction is when you metaphorically light yourself on fire. Perhaps you hold some low self-esteem, perhaps you’ve stopped caring about your well-being as much as you should or maybe you’ve just experienced self-loathing for one reason or another. The urge to whip yourself can be overwhelming at times, at least, I know it can be for me.

Is it healthy though?

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“Ummm, no…”

I’ve been told time and time again, “You’re too hard on yourself”. Well, yeah. I am. I hold myself to a high standard and when I’m unable to reach my own standard I give myself the proverbial beat down.

Not only am I hard on myself, but I can be hard on others too. My high standards don’t apply exclusively to me. I’m just not immune to it either. I mean, I could probably do with learning how to dial that shit back a little! Yet, here I am.

There is no one right answer for how to properly destroy yourself. Self-destruction can take on many forms and I assume most of us are guilty of at least one or two of these acts on occasion.

Here are some examples of self-destructive habits: 

  • Binge Drinking
  • Smoking Cigarettes
  • Drugs
  • Undertaking Risky Adventures
  • Subjecting Yourself to Pain
  • Promiscuous and Unsafe Sexual Behavior
  • Binge Eating
  • Starving Yourself
  • Getting Into Fights
  • Taking Anything Past An Unhealthy Level Of Commitment (Like Work)

Well, I don’t smoke cigarettes, get into fights or starve myself. So, wahoo! Three out of ten ain’t bad. Right?

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*Crickets chirp*

To be fair, the only drug I do touch is a puff of sweet Mary Jane. Many of my bad habits come and go. I’m usually working on it daily. Though, I digress, bad habit traps are easy to fall into when you’re more focused on the bad in your life than the good. If you feel nothing but disappointment, anger or sorrow, that’s when self-destructive behaviors become most powerful. Sometimes, it can feel good to experience pain or some artificial rush of endorphins, over nothing at all.

I think that makes me a masochist?

I had even managed to find a way to make exercise self-destructive. That’s kind of impressive, right? Most people have to push themselves just to get to the gym three times a week, and I managed to push that so hard that in two years I had herniated a disc in my cervical spine at 30 years old. My obsessive compulsive impulses can be very strong. Perhaps, I was just using that recreation to hide from some ugly truth about my reality which I wasn’t addressing. It’s very likely as my demons have only recently been in remission, as I approach a stage of my life that I had only dreamed of in earlier years.

For that, I am grateful.

Sometimes rather than killing ourselves, we need to take a step back and reassess our lives. Why are we doing this?

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Life is always going to be hard. Making changes can be hard. Staying in a situation that might be comfortable or secure but unhappy, is even harder. And I know for a fact that the second scenario tends to lead towards more self-destruction, or at least it had in my lifetime.

No one wants to be unhappy, and if we refuse to take steps to make our reality a happier place for ourselves, then we’re going to attempt to forget about it in some other way.

So, what’s the point of this post?

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I don’t know really. Be kind to yourself. Be critical of your self-destructive behaviors and ask yourself if it’s really what’s best for your life in the big picture. Is there something else that you could change about your life to alter that desire for self-destruction? We’re complicated creatures. No one else is going to be able to figure that out for us and solving one bad habit doesn’t mean we’re fixed forever either. A watchful eye will always be necessary when observing our own natural tendencies.

As Russel Brand once said, “Be led by your talent, not by your self-loathing; those other things you just have to manage.”

Live from your heart. Treat yourself with respect. Be encouraging and even forgiving with yourself. It’s okay to make mistakes and it’s okay if changes happen slowly. Loving life has to start with loving ourselves first and treating ourselves with the care and respect that we would hope to show others.


How do you manage your self-destructive habits? What’s your secret or do they still pervade your life?

10 thoughts on “The Art of Self-Destruction

  1. Great post here Mathew. I understand your perspective, and I am glad that you are working to improve yourself. You see dear Friend, life throws curveballs all the time, however, it is how we react to it that matters. Sometimes we let ourselves fall into a dark place and that place is no comfort. Self-destructive behaviors hurt us and sometimes the people around us. It is a dark place, but we all need to learn to reach out for help and work on ourselves, in order to get away from this dark place. I would advise that you do not face this alone, you probably should seek the counsel of a therapist. There has to be a root cause to all of these behaviors, and sometimes, seeking to change the symptoms without first attacking the condition is not a good strategy. If you can afford the services of a therapist, please do look into one. Secondly, there are forums online where people who formerly used to deal with these conditions are. Look those forums up and check to see how those people defeated the condition, maybe you could benefit from a few tips and tricks. Thirdly, do not forget to pray. God is real and prayers work. Self destruction is not God’s plan for us, and he is not happy when we do this. He wants us to love ourselves and he wants to help us. I would advise that you pray to God. Tell the Lord how you feel and ask for his help. He who gave up the life of his son (Jesus) for us, can do anything for us. A relationship with God begins with faith in the Lord, prayers to God, obedience to the Bible, and a passion for Christ. God is ready, the question is, are you?

    God says in Jeremiah 29:11
    “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope”.

    If you do not yet have a relationship with the Lord, I would strongly suggest that you begin one. There are a lot of blessings that comes from knowing the Lord, and being in fellowship with him. If you already have a relationship with the Lord, that is good, keep believing and working to deepen your relationship with him, and I am sure that he would come through for you somehow.

    If you want to know about God in more detail, you can find further information here https://christcenteredruminations.wordpress.com/2018/10/23/a-few-things-that-i-have-learned-about-god/ And Here https://christcenteredruminations.wordpress.com/2018/08/29/how-to-build-a-relationship-with-god/

    May God’s blessings be with you, Amen. ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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