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When You Don’t Know Why You Struggle With Self-Hatred

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“You’re pathetic, you think you deserve food?”

“Look at you, walking like you have a right to be here.”

“Everything you do is wrong. Everything.”

If this were someone else, I would have bitten their head off by now. But it’s not. It is me. And I can’t make it stop. It is the constant monologue I have in my head telling me I’m not good enough, I’m not worthy enough to exist on this planet. I once had a friend say some girl sucked at being human. Well, I suck at being human. Make me a tortoise.

Why do I feel this way about myself? Nobody has ever blatantly treated me this way. It is not like I’m hearing the voices of my parents or some other shadow who said these things. This voice is all me, and it didn’t always exist. I’ve never been someone who had a plethora of self-compassion — I was always anxious and awkward and self-conscious about pretty much everything I did or said — but I wasn’t so mean or cruel. I would just internally cringe and nurse a little fire of self-loathing inside my belly. Now the flame of self-loathing has spread, and it’s potent enough now to be called self-hatred.

To justify my existence, I delve into charitable and empathetic activities. I want to teach at Rikers. I love animals and want to volunteer with them on weekends. I want to make life easier for people with psychotic disorders because I know how hard it is to deal with something so many people are convinced is monstrous. I don’t know how I’m going to do that, but it’s a goal. I want to help. I try to be kind and empathetic, always thinking of what the other person could be going through, and I think I have pretty much everyone convinced I am this good person. I try so hard to convince myself that the world is a slightly better place because I am in it — that there would be a small cosmic gap in the world if I disappeared. But that’s the voice in my head I can’t believe.

Still, every day, I try to do at least 20 minutes of yoga in my room via YouTube. The yogi is nice and though I know she isn’t being nice directly to me, it makes me happy to hear nice, compassionate things about myself for 20 minutes a day. Sometimes my mind clears. Sometimes I even laugh. Since high school, I haven’t been big on exercise and I have to force myself to get on the mat. But yoga is one of the few things that helps, partially because the physical difficulty keeps me distracted and partially because I am taking time for myself, time not to think.

My therapist says I need to channel the spunky version of myself, the one I was before I became so ill, and tell the voice in my head to f*** off. Sometimes it works, and I start to miss that girl. She was brave.

What I want, more than anything, is to be a good person. And I want to believe it.

If you hate yourself, you aren’t alone. For more, check out this article from our community.

Photo by Kirill Balobanov on Unsplash

Originally published: November 3, 2020
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