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When Your Internal Monologue Hates You

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I am living a life that, at first glance, is exactly the life I had dreamed of as a child. I live by myself, in a condo in a fantastic location. I have several good friends. I have exactly the job I want. I have an amazing boyfriend. I have a car I love. I have multiple hobbies I enjoy immensely, and I am incredibly happy and loving life.

At the same time, however, there is a secret side to my life, a side most people don’t know about — a dark side. My beautiful condo usually looks like a tornado ripped through it. I don’t see my friends often. My relationships at work are strained because I frequently have trouble focusing and doing what I need to. My relationship with my boyfriend terrifies me. My car takes me places I don’t want to go for fear of them. My hobbies require effort, focus and talent, which I tend to either lack or believe I lack.

You see, inside of me I have two things that desperately hate me: a voice and a dragon. The voice also hates the dragon. The dragon is a terrible scaly, black creature that sleeps on a shelf right above my stomach. I spend most of my time trying to ensure he does not wake up. When the dragon wakes, he brings with him full blown panic attacks. As long as he sleeps, the anxiety will, at worst, mean nausea and heart palpitations. I can still breathe through it and usually, I am fairly good at keeping him asleep.

However, that voice in my head exists. The voice hates me and hates the sleeping dragon. It fights constantly with me in the hopes of waking the dragon. The voice says horrible things, over and over.

You’re fat, and your skin is disgusting. Your eyes are different sizes, and you look atrocious. How can you possibly go out in public like that? You aren’t funny, and anyone who says you are is lying to you. Don’t bother trying to write, draw, embroider or create anything. You’re not any good at it and you’ll fail miserably. No one is ever going to want any of it. You know one day he’s going to wake up and realize what an awful human being you. Then, he’s gonna be gone in a flash, right? No one is ever actually going to want you because you are so repellent.

Living with a voice like this is so incredibly difficult. To have part of your brain constantly telling you how worthless you are, how little value you have and how no one in their right mind would ever care about you is horrible. Fighting against that voice is one of the hardest things to do. To come out and say, “You are wrong, and I am magnificent,” is easier said than done. However, that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. I have spent years trying to master it.

I have worked so hard on ignoring the voice. I have worked on asserting my own belief that I am amazing, I have loads of talent and humor. I am a kind and loving human being and I deserve to be loved and respected by others. On the one hand, I have succeeded. I truly believe those things, and I do not tolerate other people treating me as if those things are not true. I do not tolerate others giving me less than I deserve. I refuse to accept others limiting me.

After all, the voice exists, just as loud as ever. Believing I am amazing, worthy and valuable does not make the voice go away. It does not shut it up. It does not make ignoring it any easier. It does not mean that sometimes I don’t believe the voice nor doubt how amazing, worthy and valuable I am. I do.

The voice still limits me. It prevents me from keeping my beautiful home neat and clean. It prevents me from seeing the people I love. It prevents me from doing things I love. It damages my relationship with my boyfriend. It limits me every day. I still try to ignore it, to assert what I know about myself over it, but it is an ongoing struggle. It will continue to be. The voice tells me I will never get rid of it entirely. To me, that’s just a challenge, and I am more than happy to take it on.

Originally published: August 3, 2016
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