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When Hating Yourself Is All You Can Think About

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Today I am not a fan of myself. Dare I say, I hate myself. Self-loathing is quite an awful thing to have because you are around yourself all the time. When you don’t like other people, you can at least escape. You can choose to not be around them. But when you don’t like yourself, it gets difficult.

I try to love myself on most days, but I’m not always successful, but I do try. There’s a quote that explains it pretty well: “I forget to love myself most days. But I keep trying. I keep trying. And that alone is a victory.” If you’ve never struggled with the art of loving yourself, you may not get it, but for others, it’s a real struggle.

So many mental illnesses can tell you how unworthy you are. They say to you that you are always less-than. That people will always leave. That you are not worthy of love and belonging. Your mind tells you that you are alone. That people want to leave you behind. That no one really cares. Those voices can be a constant. It can be in everything you do. Even the most menial tasks. I can just walk into a room with others in it and think to myself “God Sylvia, why did you walk into the room like that? You better apologize. No one really wants you here.” Even with the most trivial of things, you can find how easy it is to criticize yourself.

Sometimes I can quiet these voices or at least ignore them. Sometimes it’s by logic. I rationalize my way out of them to prove they are lying. Other times, I’m doing something that has me concentrate on the moment, so they are not present for a little bit. But I don’t always get a break from them. So I learn to live with them. I roll my eyes and try to continue on in my life and not “act out.” But if I’m tired or stressed about other happenings in my life, I tend to fold myself into those thoughts more.

When I become immersed in those thoughts for lack of protection, I become drowned by them. It’s like all I can breathe are those thoughts. The negative. People around me can be telling me otherwise, but most times it doesn’t really work. So either I apologize profusely and make myself smaller, or I lash out. Both of these actions are a form of protection. Neither of them works. They are never fair for me or the other person involved. I often become more hurt because of it. But sometimes that’s all my mind really allows me to do. It allows me to be consumed and practice fight-or-flight. It brings me back to my survival instinct when I don’t need it.

It’s completely frustrating. I lash out, or I make myself small, and I hate myself for it. So not only do I deal with the self-loathing coming from my anxiety and depression, but then the hatred of myself from my actions when I try to protect myself. I constantly wish I wasn’t like this. I can have terrific weeks or even months when that wish is true. And then I relapse, and I hurt people I care about the most.

Those awful moments are when I wish I could collapse into a million tiny pieces and finally put myself back together the right way. I would be broken, but I would finally be whole and be me. I would be “normal.” I wouldn’t have irrational anxieties. I would love myself. I would believe in myself and others. That if I could just put myself back together the right way then I could fix myself and be happy for the most part. I could live a “normal” life. I could have “normal” relationships. I could do “normal” things. Every time I think of how this anxiety and depression could be a lifelong thing, I want to curl up into a ball. Because how could I do it? How can I live with those negative thoughts and feelings all the time?

I still don’t have the answer to that. I wish I did. I wish I knew the cure. I guess all I’m doing currently, is trying to put my pieces back together when I can. Morphing them so I can feel a little more whole and a little more together. Sometimes the pieces fall out, and I have to start over, but I always start over. There are days when I don’t want to, but I still do. Days when I wish I could give up, but I can’t. Days when I wish I could give anything, to be OK again. Days when I wish I would stop disappointing people around me. But those days are becoming less and less. Slowly the pieces of myself will come together, but it just won’t be today.

Unsplash photo via Xandtor

Originally published: January 19, 2019
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