The Corrupted Machine

If you live with self-hatred – and this seems like a common thing across the entire self-hatred spectrum, whether you’ve descended fully into the void or if you’re merely hanging around at the edge considering your options – it perpetuates most in the way you speak to yourself. Everyone talks to themselves a lot, but if you’re an anxious and depressed person poisoned with thick, rich self-hatred (like me!) that interior conversation is a day-long slog overanalyzing every social interaction for clues as to just how much everyone hates you.

That conversation is fucking exhausting. Something as simple as a friend inviting you out – you’re happy to be validated, but then the questions come. Maybe some of this dry heaving sounds familiar:

“Do I look okay? I look like shit. Everyone knows I look like shit though, they won't care. I’ll drink too much, say something rude or knock something over and everyone will be annoyed with me. When’s the last time they invited me to anything? Does it seem like they really want me to be there? Did I go last time or did I stay here? Are they mad that I don’t show up sometimes? No, of course not – they invite me to be polite, I’m smart to notice that they don’t actually want me around, so I’ll stay here.”

If you’re convinced that you’re smart – maybe like a lot of self-hating people, that’s the only thing you’ll allow yourself to feel confident in, your intelligence – then there is no end to this conversation. You’re "smart about this stuff", that’s the one thing you do know – so you never stop listening to your own fucked-up emotional logic.

What’s going on here is pretty clear once you’ve climbed out of the pit, but when you’re down there it’s impossible to see. The churning hatred takes over your self-awareness - I like to visualize it as a literal machine - that positive emotions and validation can’t survive. If it’s taken root deep enough, eventually you will outsmart yourself at every corner, turning even the most unambiguously positive and validating experiences into shit you hate yourself for.  Once it’s been corrupted, the machine takes experiences and emotions and instead of using them to validate and contextualize your life and teach you things, it turns them into fuel for your self-hatred.

And if you haven’t confronted your self-hatred for the disease it is and the impact it’s having on your life, this process feels like it’s just how you are. This is every day. This is you, the sum total of you.

If you feel this way about yourself, if you have that horrible day-long browbeating conversation with yourself where every happy feeling turns into a desperate anxious nightmare, I want you to know this is not the sum total of you. There is an escape, the conversation can end. I promise. You are fighting something enormous and consuming – conquering self-hatred this deep is incredibly difficult and you’re making amazing progress if you’ve even started to visualize the scale of what you’re trying to do here.

Just hang on tight. You are not alone.