“I want to want different things from the ones I actually want”. This is a core experience for me, and yet it seems very hard to relate to for other people. I’m unsure why; while I wish I didn’t feel it, I can’t help but see it as a good reaction to a bad situation.

In trying to imagine examples of when this would apply to others, I keep thinking about addicts, addicts of any kind who want to drop their addiction. You want, say, drugs, and you don’t want to want drugs, and then you give in and you enjoy them and you feel awful that you gave in and you wish you didn’t enjoy them. It seems simple enough when explained this way.

Most importantly, the reason you don’t want to want what you’re addicted to is usually some variation of “It’s holding me back from realizing my potential”. It’s never that “it’s not enjoyable anymore”, because if it wasn’t enjoyable on some level, you wouldn’t be addicted to it in the first place.

But, from what I can tell, many of those who surround me fail to see my situation in the same way. They reject the equation. I think the piece of advice I have heard the most has been “Try to do the things you want to do and enjoy doing, without judging yourself or feeling guilty”. In terms of addiction, that would mean “Enjoy what you’re addicted to without thinking about why it’s ruining your life, why you want to get rid of your addiction in the first place”. That doesn’t sound like good advice anymore, does it?

I wonder if it all boils down to the fact that I’m “too hard on myself” – which, from my point of view, means that others generally aren’t hard enough on themselves, they don’t expect enough from themselves. And yet, while I can’t say that I’m in fact any better than the mass (I’m possibly worse, and I could spend days describing all that is wrong with me), my being hard on myself, my trying to change for the better is my only (minuscule) source of pride.

Why should I change the only thing that I like about myself?