It's a process.
You don't wake up with the realization that the only essential person in your life is supposed to be yourself. Instead, you see the blemishes on your skin, the imperfections that can't be scrubbed away. You zoom in on the way your abdomen caves in on itself when you take a deep breath, the extra layers of skin wrinkling up in folds like plastic. Or maybe it's deeper than that, the way you act around your friends and family. You hate the fact that you have abandonment issues from that one time in preschool or that you're scared to tell your partner that your brain can't help but shut down when you have to get vulnerable. It's not a sudden hatred, no, it builds up over time, a slight dislike for yourself, an unacceptance that you can't shake away. So it starts with baby steps, stretches in the mornings, a motivating line in a mirror, and self-help book checkouts. You try, the search never ends.
You don't have to be depressed.
Just because you're not externally suffering, doesn't invalidate the way you feel. It's not the inability to wake up in the mornings or keep up with hygiene. You still enjoy life for what it is, you still smile every day. Your family could be perfect and you know people love and care for you. If it weren't for how much it felt like a burden to tell someone you don't love yourself, it would roll off the tongue. There's no big sign hanging off your neck clearly telling someone there's something wrong with you.
It's not something that can be easily explained, nor solved.
In some cases, all you need is for someone to love you the way you should be. In most, the only person that can do that is you.
In this corroded world with standards and stereotypes, you find yourself fighting against ideals ingrained since you could walk. So no, it's not as simple as 1, 2, 3.
Sometimes you have to start over.
Just when you think you're beginning to improve, there's a relapse. You missed a day of gratitude, your parents got on you for not reaching their expectations, you were suddenly reminded that you weren't enough. It's disheartening, you feel alone, and you feel like giving up. But you don't, because what else can you do?
You'll seek love from others anyways.
A text from a long-forgotten ex lingers on your mind. Your oblivious crush that sucks that responding. Anybody who gives you the slightest bit of attention is now the victim of your anxious attachment disorder. You put all of your eggs in their bowl, wholeheartedly accepting that they will hatch and that this person will give you the pieces of yourself that were once missing. And when they don't- you're a wreck.
Eventually, it happens.
Here's something I heard a while ago, a Japanese legend that the present face you have is the face of someone you loved most in your past life. I'd like to think that's true. It would mean that one point you were loved so dearly that a piece of you moved on to the next life. It'll feel like forever and won't require a whole exercise regimen or someone saying "I love you," eventually you'll reach a point where you will be enough and realize that you always were. Enough.