You roll out of bed every morning, and for the first few moments that the sunlight kisses your skin, you feel fine. As you enter the bathroom and glance into the mirror, though, the hatred engulfs you. It isn’t simply a repugnance of your appearance, a dissatisfaction with your face, it is a complete malice for all that your body emblematizes, a wish that your existence could be erased.
This is what it looks like to hate yourself.
Sometimes it takes almost nothing: A minuscule occurrence can start the chain of dominos. Within seconds you are filled with emotion, it washes over you until you are entirely submerged. All reason is obliterated, the logic has gone astray. Your emotions drive you, the feelings dominate and manipulate. Once the storm has evaporated, once the emotions retire, you are left with a deep dysphoria, brimming with regret.
This is what it feels like to hate yourself.
The room is suffused in silence, but your mind takes pleasure in stuffing you with a monologue of animosity. Your thoughts become consumed with blunders, interrogations regarding your bountiful flaws. If you try to tune it out, it only makes the whispers turn to screams. Your body quickly shifts to being overwhelmed. You want to scamper, to flog yourself…then your skin starts blaring, demanding punishment.
This is what it sounds like to hate yourself.
The pains of hunger transport you to the kitchen. You pilfer through the cabinet, the freezer, and the fridge. Nothing strikes your fancy or makes you salivate. You contemplate just starving; you could stand to shed some pounds. Nothing ever has flavor these days, even a few bites leave you disgusted.
This is what it tastes like to hate yourself.
You remain motionlessly spread across the bed, uncertain if you want to move or die right here. You focus on the aromas that surround you: the sweat, the fluids, the sheets, the air. You realize this time it was your choice, but the regret of the past devours you, it eats away at your soul. The odors take you back there in your mind, and suddenly you are reliving every devilish detail fully with your senses.
This is what it smells like to hate yourself.
Others say that you should love yourself, that you should give yourself some grace. That simple task seems impossible, the hatred runs too deep. Perhaps with time (and enough therapy) your emotions will stabilize and even become brighter, but right now that seems too much. You can’t take compliments or comprehend that anyone would want to be your friend. All you see is darkness, even when they insist that there is light.
After all, this is what it’s like to hate yourself.