I know it isn’t healthy to live with this amount of self-loathing.
It isn’t normal. Normal people don’t look in the mirror and want to punch the glass, crack the reflection so they don’t have to see it anymore. Normal people don’t choose to stay home in their PJs in bed because they think everyone hates them, and it’s just better if they don’t drag their fat, ugly asses into public. Normal people have no problem adjusting or fitting in with their friends and family.
Apparently, I’m not normal.
The good news is I know what’s going on inside me isn’t normal. Don’t they say crazy people don’t know they’re crazy? So I have that going for me.
It was easier to ignore these feelings when I was younger and life wasn’t as stressful. But once the financial stress, career stress, lack of talent and ambition began to pile on, and my dreams began to fail and seem colorless and unattainable, the innate issues I’ve always suppressed became harder to ignore. The more shit you pile on, the bigger the pile gets.
This worthlessness inside cuts deeper than any knife could. The voice in my head tells me I’m useless. I’m worthless. I have no real talent for living; everything I try to do, I fail. Everybody hates me, as they should because I hate myself. I’m unlikeable. I’m not pretty. Nobody wants to see me. Nobody wants to be around me. I’m just a downer, a piece of crap, unloveable and irrevocably broken.
I know a lot of the people in my life don’t, and can’t, really understand what I’m going through. Honestly, I don’t even understand it, not in the way you understand a lesson in history class. I’ve written about Inpatient Drug Rehab and depression in general on this blog before, so this post isn’t so much about depression or statistics, and more about me trying to tell people,
“I’m sorry I hate myself; please be kind to me.”
It sucks to have to hide these issues and pretend everything is “FINE.” Everything is not fine, and I hate that our society is so hung up on sweeping mental health issues under the rug. People live in this beautiful padded room where depression and suicide don’t exist, where ignorance and denial entwine to keep them in their happy bubbles. If they don’t hear about it – if they ignore it – it doesn’t exist.
Well, depression and suicide and the hard mental issues exist. Pretending they don’t doesn’t make it any less so. And no I can’t just “get over it” anymore than a coma patient can “just wake up.” It isn’t a “look on the bright side” situation or “stop being so negative.” That’s not how this works. That’s not how any of this works.
Depression isn’t self-taught. It isn’t a choice. Believe me, someone fighting this self-loathing, this gaping maw of sadness, did not choose this battle. When I wake up in the morning, I don’t just put on pants and go. I have to shrug into armor and choose a weapon as if I were going to war.
That is what battling depression feels like. Going into war every single day and coming out at the end alive but bruised, bloodied, wearied, and one step closer to giving up because the war is neverending.
I am nothing but broken glass inside, and all the pieces are irregular. It is an impossible task to piece them together to make me whole again. I can’t do it. The people who love me and understand what I’m dealing with can’t do it, no matter how hard they try. The people who love me but don’t understand can’t tell me anything that will make me feel better. In reality, those platitudes usually make me feel worse, like I’m some mutant creature that doesn’t belong in this world. Doesn’t deserve help.
A very hard part of going through this is knowing how it looks from the outside. It probably looks like I’m selfish. Self-involved. I turn down going out and having fun. I break plans more often than I should with friends and family. When I finally get a few hours free time in between working upwards of 60 hours a week, if not more, I choose to lay in bed and binge watch Netflix or read a book. Because just the very act of existing is incredibly hard. When I disappear for weeks at a time, it has nothing to do with not wanting to see the people I love. It has nothing to do with anybody else whatsoever. It is all me, all me and that broken, inky blackness inside me that no one can see. And every time this happens – and it happens often – I hate myself more.
It’s easy to internalize all of this. To not share it with anyone. In fact, it’s easier not to tell anyone or open up about my battle with depression. The coward’s way out. If I don’t talk about it, no one can tell me they don’t care. No one can make me feel worse than I already feel.
A simple google search for images to break up this monotonous wall of text proves to me I’m not alone. There are a lot of memes out there on self-hatred, most of them tied very securely to depression and mental health. Living with this disease is a lot like standing in front of a full-length mirror, except the glass is distorted, and your reflection is fragmented, and behind you is your version of hell. People only see the outside, the shell that walks, talks, and lives a life that might seem pretty good. In reality, depression is a cancer eating away at one’s tissues, exposing muscle, sinew, bone, until everything is raw and your heart aches just being awake.
Never judge a book by its cover. You don’t know how terrifying the tale is beneath.
I guess maybe at this point in the post, I want to make it known that anyone who follows me and resonates with this – you are not alone. You are not the only broken one. Recently, the #medicatedandmighty hashtag went viral, and I cried when I read about it, as I scrolled through tweets from girls who look just like me and who probably hurt just like me. Going on medication feels like giving up; like saying well, I’m too shattered to handle this on my own. So I’ve abhorred the idea for so long.
But I’ve reached a point in my battle where I am at my darkest. I don’t want to fight anymore, and I don’t want to cry and hate myself and simply exist beneath a cracked exterior on the verge of collapse. This is not living. I have lost myself, lost the girl I used to be, lost the will to do anything that once made me happy. My disease is cutting me off from the people I love and the things I enjoy. And it’s only through the power of the internet that I can feel like being broken like this isn’t the end of the world, because there are so many of us fighting this fight.
I leave you with an eloquent Buzzfeed post that really sums up living with depression.