I recently wrote about my struggle with depression and, honestly, I immediately regretted hitting publish on that post – for so many reasons – and a few that lead me to the topic of self-hate.
When I started seeing my therapist, I told her that self-loating had become a major part of the funk I had been dealing with. She asked what that sounded like but I could only explain that it was the overwhelming feeling of not liking myself. Everything from the way I look to how I keep house to my relationships.
She wanted specifics, though. She wanted to know exactly what I was telling myself so I began to keep a journal.
As I rode the elevator down from her third floor office, I felt happy. Then it started. “Who do you think you are needing therapy? With all the atrocities happening in our world, boo-hoo, you feel blue.”
I banged out my depression post that same week. As soon as the comments came in, I felt embarrassed and ashamed about what I have been dealing with. “You’re damaged, broken” that voice told me. That afternoon, my daughter wanted a play date with a friend that didn’t work out. “That mom probably read your post and she doesn’t trust having her child around you,” I thought.
When I got together with friends for dinner, I found myself sitting quietly as I thought “You offer nothing to the conversation. You’re dumb.” I stumbled over the pronunciation of something on the menu and I berated myself for the error all night.
The group dynamic is really bizarre to me. I only realized recently that I often shut down in group settings. I always thought it was because I was shy. Truth to told, I’m not especially shy. Yes, I might be an introvert but I’m social and I really enjoy hanging with others that lift me up. But, when I beat myself up over little things like the pronunciation of words or feeling like I can’t bring anything to the conversation, I turn into someone who appears to be totally disinterested. I’m not, I’m just freaking out inside.
Even sharing these thoughts even now makes me feel ridiculous. As I type, I’m thinking “You are a moron. This is so self-serving. Are you just seeking empathy with this post?” Another voice says “No. I’m looking to connect with others who have had similar experiences.” Talk about juxtaposition.
The journal has helped me remember what it is that I’m telling myself. It has totally helped me identify what’s contributing to my bubble of self-hate. My therapist has given me some tools on how to counter those voices with the hope of finally deflating my bubble. I like the direction I’m moving in.