Over the past couple of weeks I’ve seen many people I follow or listen to speak on the subject of mental health, specifically their own and it’s gotten me to think about my own issues.
I’ll be honest with you, this isn’t the first time I’ve written this. I’ve kinda lost count at this point but I’ve never published it, never thought to put it out there, mostly because on a second read I hate how it all sounds and I have this nagging thing that makes it sound even worse, so I scrap it. But I’ve decided not to do that anymore, to just put this out there no matter how it reads in my head afterwards. Maybe it’ll help someone, and maybe It’ll just help me.
I don’t really know a name or a term for my issue, beyond self-loathing. I just have a voice in my head, sometimes even less than that, sometimes it’s just a feeling, almost like a certainty coming from deep inside. This voice, it reminds me of what a disgusting thing I am, how worthless I am in everything I do, how much damage and pain I bring to people around me just for existing and being there, how I bring everyone down, make their lives miserable. If I meet someone, this voice reminds me of how ugly, fat and boring I am and how those people would be better if I just left the room. This is the voice that tells me not to try anything because it’ll be worthless. If I offer help to someone, the voice swiftly reminds me of those times when I’ve hurt people instead.
On a good day, on the days when the voice or the feelings aren’t completely oppressive, I can carry on and do what I like. I can write, I can be creative and in a certain way use that voice as fuel, as if there’s a chance that I can create something so good that it’ll make the voice say, “you know, you’re not so bad!” It’s not gonna happen, of course, but on the good days, I can push past it. Lately, I’ve focused on big projects and that helps a bit, my mind being busy on writing details for the Telia campaign guide, or putting short stories together.
On a bad day, I struggle to even speak, as it all becomes an almost physical weight. I feel this burden on me, this heaviness or a pressure in my chest that I can’t shake and I feel nothing but abject misery and I struggle to hold back tears.
The main thing though is that good or bad days, the voice, the weight, it is always there, the feeling of worthlessness never leaves, it’s just a matter of how many “willpower points” I wake up with, to put into gaming terms.
Thus, as a baseline, I consider everything I ever do to not be worth anything and I’ve come to dislike praise, as I have this constant reminder that it’s not true, that those are just kind but hollow words and I don’t really deserve anything good being said about what I’ve done. The fact I get any views on this site is both a constant surprise and a steady source of ammunition this voice of self-loathing.
Now, with all this said, I’m good…ish, and people don’t need to worry about me, not physically at least. There’s no chance ever of self-damage beyond eating more pasta than I should on a particularly bad day. Even at its darkest, I value life way too much for anything like that. Where some people claim they want to be put out if they’re ever hooked to machines, I’m the one demanding more machines, hell, transfer my mind into them. I follow George Carlin’s rather wonderful phrase: “the secret of life is not dying.”
And lately I’ve found some escape mechanisms to help me deal. I’ve made it a routine now to broadcast games I play. I don’t do it for views or anything and I just play whatever I like. But it means that for 2 or 3 hours every night on weekdays my focus is on the game and the people who might come in for a chat. On particularly bad days, it helps a lot.
Having said so, in 2019, I’m gonna try finding help, someone qualified that can aid me in mending some of the broken pieces inside. And I’m continuing to make changes in my life to lose the lot of weight that I have, and I can at least hope that doing so, losing weight, losing clothing sizes and getting to the point where buying clothes is a matter of getting what I want not what fits, will help with the body image side of my self-loathing, the part that stops me from looking for companionship, love even, because the voice strongly reminds me that no one will ever like…this…thing I call a body.
Now, I just have one request. If you read this, you may want to leave a kind word. Don’t. I’m not meaning to be unfriendly and though I know I should appreciate those words and support greatly, the greater chance is that I won’t believe you, that I won’t be able to. I’m not there yet, and where I am, kindness doesn’t help, it only makes it worse, as then something will make it so I’m certain I’m wasting your time, and making you worry about someone who doesn’t deserve it.