the one where i confess to hating myself


first, i need to ask you a favor: no matter how well intentioned you are, how sorry you feel for me, how skewed you think my perspective, PLEASE DO NOT RESPOND TO THIS POST WITH ANYTHING RESEMBLING “YOU SHOULDN’T FEEL THAT WAY.”

i know you will mean well, but i can’t stress enough how frustrating i find these kinds of responses. if i could, i wouldn’t feel this way. i’d give anything to not feel this way. being told i shouldn’t feel this way just makes me feel worse, like more of a failure.

what you can do for me is pray for me. if you want to tell me so, that’s awesome, too.

ok. now that that’s out of the way, let’s get on with it.  i’ve wanted to write this post for a while but haven’t known how to write my disclaimer and have been afraid to get it out in the air.

i hate myself.

i have for a long time. it feels like it’s been as long as i can remember, but it probably hasn’t been that long. i know for sure i’ve hated myself since 1988.  that summer is memorable because i was 13 and we moved from california to texas, leaving all my friends behind right before i started the 8th grade. i think that’s the first time i was actually clinically depressed. it was just a perfect storm of puberty, leaving friends behind, junior high, not being aesthetically “normal” and then having an undiagnosed and untreated mental illness. none of us had a clue. what a mess.

anyway…since then, the norm for me has been self loathing. i hate my body, my hair (not anymore, but for a long time yes), my personality, my voice, the way i did this, that i didn’t do that, every thought i have, every bad choice i’ve made. it never stops. sometimes it quiets down or something else drowns it out, but it seems like it’s always there, waiting to crash over me like a tidal wave, dragging me out to depression’s fathomless depths.

when i spent a lot of time manic, i masked these thoughts with drugs, sex, achievement, bravado and a healthy dose of pretend. at other times, i’ve been able to distract myself from the thoughts. maybe because i was better medicated? or not as stressed? or my capacity for coping was better for some other unknown reasons?

but if i am being honest, as much as i’ve improved in the recent months, these thoughts have never went away. their power over me has ebbed and flowed, but they are always there, growling like a vicious dog waiting for the gate to open so he can strike.

the really twisted part is that i hate myself for hating myself, too. what a failure! why can’t i just stop thinking about myself and move on? who cares how i feel? if i was a better christian, it wouldn’t matter how i feel, because i’d be really focused on Jesus.

i’m really struggling with this right now. i tweeted this a few days ago:

I know I have a deeply entrenched problem with automatic negative thinking, but the longer I live, the more it just seems like realism.

with all my experiences, it just seems more logical, more scientific, shockingly less emotional, to not hope for better. to only hope to survive. maybe it’s just foolishly setting myself up for disappointment to dream of more than just living through the day.

and i hate myself for having this illness. for writing maudlin, self-absorbed, hyperbolic and melodramatic prose about poor, pitiful me.  i guess that’s the real impediment i’ve had to writing this down: it seems weak and pathetic. i feel like i come across as a completely ridiculous lunatic, than everyone can see it and everyone is sick of my self-pity.

i know i am.


2 thoughts on “the one where i confess to hating myself

  1. Maybe it’s just because I’m tremendously prone to melancholy as well…but I’ve spent the better part of my life hating myself, too. Maybe that’s why God gives us friends – to kind of even out the hatred. Does that make sense? Friends who can see what we just absolutely cannot because we’re engulfed by every horrible thing we think about ourselves.

    That’s part of why I started the positivity series thing. I hate it, too, actually, because seriously I’m not awesome. But…maybe if I start talking about things that aren’t quite so horrible about myself I’ll hate myself just a little less?

    One of my friends writes positive things on sticky notes on her mirror and reads them out loud to herself every morning. I think that’s kind of cool.

    You’re not alone. (hug)

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