There are many things I don’t like about myself, and I know I am not the only one. Everyone goes through some feelings of self-doubt from time to time. But what do you do with those feelings when a mental health condition compounds all that?

My suspected abnormality was confirmed to me in my first-year of university when I visited a psychiatrist for the first time. Reading her notes after our sessions was quite strange to me. How could someone who had spent just a few hours with me understand me better than I could myself?

Being diagnosed was somewhat of a relief – finally I could attempt to tackle the cause of my issues now that I knew what was going on inside my head, or at least the doctor did. But after just one hour of being in her office, my hopes of being normal were yanked violently away from me. Unfortunately, my abnormality wasn’t a phase. 

There was no longer hope that the turbulence I experienced daily, or even hourly, would fade. This would be my life, and I don’t think I’ve quite come to terms with that just yet. And even if I do understand what is wrong with me, the question of why still plagues me.

Why can’t I be like everyone else? Am I happy right now, or am I just numb? What does it even feel like to be happy? 

The hues of my misery, anger, love and pain diverge from the conventional palette of emotions. The reds are more red, and the blues are more blue. All the colours have deeper, more intense tones. My sadness is an oppressive thick black sludge, which oozes out of every vessel in my body to cover me with its gluey tar. I choke as the substance forces its way up my gullet and I weep viscous black tears as it dribbles from my nose. My frustration burns hot red inside my belly. The heat radiates outwards until all the hairs on my body are left dull and singed.

And then there is the emptiness. 

But this does not mean that there is peace. Instead, there is suspense; an intense anxiety that bad thoughts and feelings are approaching like jagged shadows marching on the wall. 

After a period of relative normalcy, I start to feel myself slip away again. This reminder of my lack of mental progress reaffirms to me that I am not normal, and the feelings of anguish and despair I first felt on the day I was diagnosed return again with even more vigour and force than before. Once again, I am bowled over by melancholic waves of my own making. 

So, then, how is someone like me supposed to love themselves when the fragility of their emotional state is a constant reminder of their abnormality? I am too intense, too sensitive, I “take things to heart”, as Mum likes to say. Being too much is isolating, despite knowing I am not alone in feeling that way. 

One day I hope to be more compassionate towards myself. Maybe I’ll start to understand my emotions, or I might even discover some advantages to my abnormality. But the hatred will always be waiting, and it will be difficult not to succumb when it arrives.

Maybe self-love is unattainable, but perhaps self-tolerance is within my grasp – and maybe that’s enough for me.

By K

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *