Anxiety Makes Me Hate Myself and That’s Okay
For all the success I have had recovering from mental illness, the one thing I haven’t gotten over is my deep hatred for myself. Perhaps “hate” is a strong word; maybe “severely dislike” is a more fitting phrase, but I am not in the business of sugar coating my writing. When I lie awake at night and think about who I am, my anxiety makes me hate myself and that’s okay.
It’s okay because it is my life and I can make my own choices. I can define mental illness recovery, as well as my life, any way that I choose. I’m not locked into some formula that states I have to love myself in order to consider myself healthy. Perhaps hating yourself is too much for you to bear, and that is certainly fair, but I don’t live in your head and you don’t live in mine.
Low Self-Esteem, Hating Myself and Anxiety
Let’s call it what it is: hating myself is low self-esteem. Low self-esteem and anxiety do have a link, as one can certainly drive the other. A reasonable person could make the argument that I am not in mental illness recovery at all because I haven’t repaired my internal feelings for myself. In many people’s minds, full recovery means having no lingering self-doubt, no anxiety attacks, and certainly no self-hatred.
Those people are wrong and let me explain why. Being a professional baseball player doesn’t mean never striking out. Even the best hitters in the world carry batting averages well below 50 percent.
Anxiety Recovery Is up to You
At the end of the day, anxiety recovery is up to you, the person suffering from and/or living with anxiety. If your life is where you want it to be, then you are in anxiety recovery.
I caution you to be honest with yourself. No one wins or loses this battle but you. It really is a solitary fight between us and our disease. But, at the end of the day, if where you are allows you to function and enjoy elements of your life, take the win.
Being in recovery doesn’t prevent you from improving or working on things or bettering yourself. It does give you a strong foundation and positive place to learn, grow, and improve. So right now, anxiety makes me hate myself, but that's okay -- for now.
Howard, G. (2015, January 21). Anxiety Makes Me Hate Myself and That’s Okay, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, July 2 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/anxiety-schmanxiety/2015/01/anxiety-makes-me-hate-myself-and-thats-okay
Author: Gabe Howard
I’m in a constant circle of anxiety - loss of control- guilt. I can’t tell anyone Cause I’m a mom. I need to be normal or my kids will be messed up. I feel hopeless. My husband is no help- he just gets angry. Th guilt I feel makes me not want to live and weighing the cost of that happening .
I am new here, but if it helps I can try to learn to hate you too ( kidding). When dealing with people with mental illness I have learned to separate the person from the illness. It is more difficult to do with ones self. But you are right you do it the way you feel works for you and you find a site like this for more options. Thanks
I needed to read this. Thank you. Self hatred has been an issue since around 10. I'm now 36 and it gets stronger. My anxiety is paralyzing but what I also need to stop doing is things that don't make me feel good and make it worse. Again thank you Gabe
Julie - It is my pleasure! Thank you for reading and commenting -- it really means quite a lot to me! :) ~Gabe
Now and than, I have an anxiety attack however, I'm able to overcome them. What I seriously dislike about my PTSD and bipolar is the anger that comes out of nowhere. I wish, it would disappear.
Thank you for reading and commenting. :) I think many of us would like these things to disappear. That would be fantastic! :) ~Gabe
Gabe, so well put. I battle through self-esteem, and most days of late its low.
Anxiety is my best friend, but my worst enemy. It's with me all the time and drives me to perform in a certain manner, so I don't fall foul to 'the game' of life. But it's bitter sweet when all the effort, welcomed by others, is not good enough for myself. The voice in my head that pushed me to out-do, out-perform, and give my best, is the same voice that tells me I've just fooled myself and listen carefully. Listen to what 'they' are not saying, listen to their tone, watch their actions. I just stuffed up. And it repeats in so many areas. Sometimes to the point where I am totally dysfunctional. When I as an over 50-year old, just curl up in foetal postion on my bed, and cry. Cry so hard it feels like the inside of me is being ripped out. And I hate me.
And then the guilt seeps in, as years of therapy has supposed to have taught me that I'm okay, and in the moment I am not okay, so the self-hatred/loathing dominate. And a vicious cycle is set loose.
So, like you, right now, I get that you say you hate yourself. Because we're all so afraid to share, this is something people don't know.
I have also come to the conclusion that most of humanity is in fact anxious, it's the severity that is an issue. And while we don't speak up, it stays in the closet an woe to those of us who dare decide to wear the label, get the treatment, and try make the most of our lives.
Thank you so much for reading and commenting, Charmaine. Anxiety (and mental illness in general) is a giant burden -- of this I have no doubt -- but we have to get through it. We need to be well and lead good lives. Big Hugs! ~Gabe