There are many complexes that work their way into peoples personalities. Usually, the person is unaware of them due to it being born out of the way they feel that they belong in the world. Due to my struggles with poor mental health, I began to develop a Martyr Complex, or as it is more commonly known – a victim complex.
I was unaware that I was living with a complex for a long time. I think the same goes for most people, whether it be thinking you’re above everyone else (Superiority complex) or if you’re of a short stature you begin to exaggerate aspects of your life such as career earnings as a way of compensating.
For me, however, it was The Martyr Complex.
The Martyr Complex.
Throughout my life, I have been on the receiving end of some negative treatment. Whether that be through neglect in Sunday League football, a similar treatment when a problem arose at Secondary School and don’t even get me started on the negative patch of my life called Sixth Form.
This all built up a negative outlook on life, and when the martyr complex made its way into the situation I began to think that it was personal, that every little bit of negativity in my life was happening to me for no other reason than I was me.
I would literally take everything as a personal attack, even down to if people disagreed about a film I really liked.
After having a martyr complex for so long it built up really high levels of lethargy in my life. In all aspects, I wasn’t eating enough, I wasn’t exercising enough, I’d turn up to work dead behind the eyes, do my eight hours and clock off again. All of that plus so much more and I didn’t think anything of it – as far as I was aware, that was what my life would be until the day I died.
It was always something I’d speak about in therapy and we quickly deduced it was because I wasn’t living life anywhere near the levels of what I want it to be. It was as if I was living a life that was rapidly turning into an episode of Peep Show and I didn’t even realise.
Overcoming a Martyr Complex plays alongside the same way that I’ve slowly been building my mental health back to where I want it to be the past five years.
It’s a gradual thing, but once I realised that the world isn’t out to get me then I can really move into things I want in life without any feelings of guilt or that of a victim that things like this can’t happen to people like that. Whether that be my travels in the past, my stint living in London, buying my own place or my next move which starts in a couple of weeks – the career change.
It all boils down to that point in your life when you wake up one day and say to yourself, I’m not doing this anymore, this isn’t me or what I want.
Where I Am Today With It All.
I have to say, it’s not all a smooth trip down the autobahn and I now no longer feel like I’m a victim. There are bumps along the way.
I am a firm believer that we shouldn’t have to do anything that we don’t have to. We have the ability within us to change parts of our lives that we are unhappy about, we just have to be sensible about it.
If we’re unhappy in a relationship, we have to end it, just don’t do it in the form of adultery. If you want that big summer holiday, cut down on the nights out and put some money away and it will happen.
When we begin to make these fixes to our lives, the lethargy erases, and with that, we stop seeing ourselves as a victim and life becomes so much more enjoyable.
Why Is It Still A Working Progress With Me?
The answer to this is a simple one. I’m still fixing those parts of my life where I haven’t previously been happy.
There are setbacks, but those literally happen to everyone. I’ve gone to events in hindsight weren’t good for the state of my mental health, but sometimes these mistakes need to be made so I can make sure it doesn’t happen again. A saying I heard a while back that sums this up quite well is ‘We either win or we learn’ and for every setback I learn and with every positive change I make to my life that has a positive spin on the state of my mental health is a win.
The day I have all those aspects of my life where I want them to be, the martyr complex will be gone and as far as I’m concerned I’ve won the title.