Why Do I Hate Myself So Much?

In the week that lockdown restrictions have been eased, I felt compelled to make sure that some of the bigger issues are not forgotten. It’s entirely possible that nobody reading this will care at all, but perhaps taking this action can prove something to myself instead: a reminder that my existence can — and does — have value, even within a society that would readily dispose of vulnerable lives in exchange for a trip to the pub with their friends. See, the title of this post asks a big question, I know. In fact, it might make some people feel uncomfortable, in the same way that such raw honesty is wildly outside of my comfort zone. However, it’s also something that I have had no choice but to confront this year, after a lifetime of preferring to pretend that these thoughts were not an issue. Due to a wide variety of medical conditions, I have been shielding since March, even during the periods where advice around this has been more lenient. Almost overnight, all of the coping mechanisms that I had put into place to compensate for how different my life felt to other people’s simply disappeared. Before, I could just about manage the dull ache that I feel in my heart over a lack of healthy romantic opportunities, if I was able to meet friends for coffee. I could just about manage my sadness over never quite feeling confident enough to accept meaningful date invitations, over fears that I would inevitably become a burden, if I could buy my mum dinner instead. I could just about manage my horribly messed up body image, if I could actively plan events to look forward to throughout the year and perform well academically. You get the idea.

So, you can imagine how difficult it was when everything fell apart simultaneously, leaving me with nothing but time to think and fall down the rabbit hole. First, I had to watch as society at large complained about missing out on the various aspects of life that have always been inaccessible to me. For example: I have never been into a nightclub, simply because I am terrified about what might happen in the event of an emergency. Besides, being invisible in a crowd full of drunk people is not my idea of fun. Speaking from experience, it’s very easy for people to forget that I exist when they feel like the responsibility of looking after me will prevent them from having a good time. Then, as life started to regain a semblance of normalcy that I couldn’t participate in, my friendships also became more distant. The negative voice from inside of my head was getting increasingly loud, so it felt as if I no longer had anything to talk about with these people, or support to offer that would have been worthwhile.

In amongst all of this, after an acrimonious couple of months, I have officially taken an extended break from my studies. At the final hurdle, the university offered me almost no support. After making a formal complaint, it has since emerged that this is largely because they don’t know how to properly help their disabled students, particularly during times of crisis. This whole experience was awful, to be honest. I’m still working through the damage that it incurred to my sense of self. Still trying to reassure myself that my existence isn’t pointless without academic validation. But this, combined with everyone’s approach to the pandemic, did allow me to realise one thing: I have been misunderstood and bullied by people throughout my entire life, really only because they have never been given the tools to accept diversity without question. It’s impossible for them to associate disabled lives with anything positive, if they have never been shown any examples. So, that’s what this blog aims to do, alongside helping any other young disabled people that this might reach. You are not alone. Maybe, I’ll even learn to heal myself along the way, too. Yes, there are parts of myself that I don’t have a good relationship with. But I’m learning that it’s because I don’t have any reason to fight against those ideas right now, on a societal level. In the meantime, I will be my own voice for change.

So, check in with your chronically ill and disabled friends right now. Stay safe. Also, please don’t be afraid to ask questions. Conversation is never a bad thing, when it comes from a place of wanting to do better. Besides, I am exhausted by feeling like such an important part of my life and identity is somehow taboo. One blog post at a time. xxx

12 thoughts on “Why Do I Hate Myself So Much?

  1. I hope that your university complaints get actioned and they offer better support. Please don’t hesitate to contact me should you need someone to talk to ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Danielle, this is a truly inspiring post! I love your positivity despite the hardships you face! Please continue to recognise your self-worth, it is so important especially in these difficult times. Take care 🥰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank-you so much for reaching out to be so kind. & for taking the time to read it, too. It means more to me than I could ever begin to articulate and only encourages me to continue writing. Hope that you’re taking care of yourself, too! You will always have a friend here 💛

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Danielle!
    That was awesome, I found your raw honesty so fascinating to read…
    I’m not what to say except that I have enormous respect for your courage to say it how it is.
    You’re important, you’re doing important work here… breaking down barriers that are full of unnecessary prejudices.
    Keep going, I look forward to more of your succinct intelligent and honest blogs in the future.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank-you, Jane! You’re going to make me cry, haha! I was so nervous before posting this because I did not expect any kind of good reaction AT ALL, so I’m really so grateful that people like you are willing to listen and take notice ☺️☺️

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Danielle,

    Thank you for this blog, first of all you are very special and always remember that please. The society we live in will always have different opinions, attitudes and behaviour however you must always be strong and who you are darling. There are many aspects of life people do not appreciate what we have and that is there mistake, stay true and special because there are people in this world who do appreciate and believe in you. I still remember meeting you first time more than 10 years ago, you were beautiful and smiling at the party with Tina and Mike 😌😘 take care darling 😘😘😘🙏

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Danielle, I am beyond proud to know you and to read your amazing blog. You are quite simply one of the most amazing people I have ever known. It breaks my heart to read how tough things have been and remain for you and others and I hope that change can come quickly where it is so obviously needed. Take care and we all send our love. xx

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow Danielle, how amazing that you are doing this. I am a very proud auntie. You stay strong my lovely and you know where I am, even if it’s only to discuss what good series we are following at that time. I look forward to reading your next blog
    Lots of love ❤️❤️Xx

    Liked by 1 person

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