2STRONG4BULLIES: Surviving self-bullying and learning to believe in yourself

2STRONG4BULLIES: Surviving self-bullying and learning to believe in yourself

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Self-criticism is a universal struggle.

Many of us are much harder on ourselves than we ever are on others.

Constant negative self-talk and thoughts can lead to self-bullying, which can also lead to depression, isolation and in some cases suicide.

"I was an overweight kid," says  Tyler McCray." I was always pretty much big growing up my whole life."

As far back as elementary school, McCray says he remembers being picked on for his weight.

But instead of letting their comments roll off his back, he held on to them, letting them fester and build up.

"Go home feeling the same way feeling bad about myself sometimes. Sometimes feeling bad about how much I would eat and I started to develop a low opinion about myself."

McCray developed a tunnel vision of depression, narrowing his focus so much that he found himself over-personalizing every outside event and actions of others. 

The self-abusive talk lead to even darker thoughts.

"You know, I even contemplated suicide."

He credits the love and support of his mother for never giving up on him.

"I've always had a good mom, my mom has always been there for me and I've always been able to talk to her about things, so I really think God for her."

Eventually, McCray says he realized he was not alone.and learned how to start appreciating himself as an individual.

"You have to love yourself how God made you. He didn't make everyone skinny he didn't make everyone big, you know, but he made you the way you are, Tyler, so enjoy that. Enjoy the good parts about yourself. Don't magnify the bad parts. Magnify the good parts."

Now in his early twenties, McCray says he's still on his path to self-discovery, finding confidence in ways he never knew existed.
He's now hoping his story will help to inspire others.

"For somebody who might be struggling, I want you to know that you're never alone. There are always people there that are going to be there to support you.  They may baby you but they're gonna be able to support you and give you what you need to grow as a person and what you need to grow and to be."

Copyright 2017 KSLA. All rights reserved.