I don’t know whether this is a depression thing, a depression plus delusional disorder thing or a thing most people go through but here goes.
Sometimes I cannot stand who I am. I am selfish, and self-centred. I miss my chances to ask good questions about people and am left wondering how their holiday went for weeks afterwards. I think too much. I have an overactive imagination. I am boy obsessed. I am not clear headed. I make careless mistakes. I am careless. I don’t care about other people enough. I don’t care about the world enough. I don’t go out enough. I’m not creative enough. I’m fat, I’m inactive, I’m unattractive. I am mean. I go too far when I tease people. I am a bad person. A bad sister. A bad friend. I am bad.
When this kicks in I am prone to confirmation bias. The girl who just said I always go above and beyond to help at work is clearly wrong because of that mistake I made on 6 December 2015. That is who I am. I am the person who made that mistake. I suck. At everything.
This guy said I was kind and really see people as people and care about them on Monday but he was wrong because this girl said I was selfish and crap on Friday and that everyone agreed and that was why none of them hang out with me anymore. And they don’t. Maybe he just doesn’t know me well enough to know how rubbish I am. When people get to know me they leave. They always leave.
My friend Paul used to say I collected compliments. What he didn’t realise was that I collect the insults and criticisms too. I am trying to make them balance but I am not sure I manage, and to be honest the negative stuff seems to carry more weight. I guess it is like trains – even if the service is 99% on time that 1% of late trains will be the bit that sticks in the mind. I really notice when I fuck up as a person, a friend, an employee, a sister, a client, a wife so when other people notice it too it furthers the idea to me that everything will end and I will be where I deserve to be; alone.
The thing is, people do tell me I am great and kind. People come to me for hugs. I don’t believe them though. I believe the people telling me I am getting it wrong. I always will. Those are the voices I hear the loudest because they reinforce my own opinion of me. What is worse is that I will then bend over backwards to get them to take it back, like me, be nice to me, tell me I am okay.
Back when I was a Philosophy student I encountered the idea that to be truly virtuous one had to not necessarily want to be virtuous in oneself but instead choose to be despite oneself. Or basically bad thoughts don’t make you bad, bad actions do. By this I am broadly good as I often want to do bad things but don’t. I want to walk up and kiss lots of people but I don’t because I am in a monogamous relationship, I want to shout and scream and sit on the floor but I don’t because this is socially unacceptable. I have other urges I don’t follow which are to hurt me but I don’t because I know the people I love would suffer even more than I would.
Weirdly though, I can intellectualise it all I want but I just feel like I suck. That is the core. I am a bad person and no one should want me. Even writing this scares me (at 33!) that people will see that, yes, yes I am and leave me. Because somehow in my head that is the way life goes and will always go.
So what do you think? Is it a mental health thing or something we all feel from time to time? Do you ever get this feeling? If so, how do you cope with it?