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How long can I hate myself for? August 16, 2010

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Depression.
Tags: , , , ,

Please feel free not to read this. It isn’t fun, it isn’t exciting, it is just what is going on in my head that I need to get out.

When you are depressed, it often feels like you are the only one who has ever felt like this. You whine, and grump, all the time assuming that you are the only person who knows exactly what it feels like to be this low. When you peer over a high drop and catch yourself thinking about how much easier it would be if you jumped, you forget how many other people have felt like this. Are feeling like this. Still, selfish and self-obsessed as this may be, it is so hard to break yourself out of the routine. You find yourself blogging about it more and more, because only when you get it out of yourself do you feel like you can go on. You worry that if you stop paying attention to the depression, you will be nothing. You will fade gently out of existence, and no-one will notice you disappear.

I don’t know why I can’t get out of this negative groove. I don’t even really know what set it off, although I expect the fact that I am single and have been living a stressful life has something to do with it.

When I think about it, I don’t know why I was so OK when Ben and I broke up. I think I plunged myself into a deep sense of denial, and I happily skipped through life trying my hardest to ignore just how much my life had changed. Despite the fact that in essence I had lost the best friend I had ever had, I tried to pretend I was fine. Then, against my friend’s advice, I ended up getting involved with someone. Despite the fact that I was probably far too vulnerable to be doing that to myself, I got wildly excited, and somewhat over-enthusiastic. When that ended, as everyone could have predicted it would, that was when my well-constructed barriers fell down and I tipped neatly over the edge. It wasn’t the situation itself, more that it functioned as a trigger, the one last thing that left me alone in my new house, sobbing, scared, and hating myself.

You see, that is the thing. I tipped over into full-blown self-hatred. Of course it wouldn’t have worked – I am a hyperactive idiot, ugly, over-reliant. I’m shallow, unintelligent. I am a bore to be around, none of my friends will ever want to see me, people feel like they are wasting their time by being around me. Why would a funny, good-looking man want anything to do with me? I have always been a drain on a relationship, Ben is probably better off out of it, I am stupid and foolish and far too loyal. I hated my attitude, my beliefs. I looked in the mirror and wished I didn’t have a reflection staring back at me. This degree of self-hate is the sort I only ever experience when zooming headlong into a full bout of depression, and I reiterate that this is almost definitely the backlash from the end of a long and lovely relationship.

The self-hate has slowed now. My inadequacies, many failings, and aesthetic let-downs (i.e. my face!) aren’t constantly running around my head at a million miles an hour. However, what has been left behind is a thoroughly battered shell of a mind. I am thinking about suicide far more often. I keep catching myself thinking about how easy it would be to be out of life. Sometimes I see the silliest things, and it makes me cry.

The question is, how long until I can respect myself again? How long until I am disappointed with every tiny little quality that makes me the individual I am? How long until I stop Facebook stalking people and believing I am the idiot they are discussing on their walls? How long until I stop feeling unworthy of anyone liking me, let alone loving me?

I was going to end this post with a few things about myself that I do actually like. A booster of sorts, designed to remind me of my good qualities. There must be something about me that I admire and respect, there must (theoretically) be something about myself that others like. I presume I am not an entirely repellent human being? I presume Ben, and Piers, and all the other men who have ever been interested in me must have seen something to encourage them to get involved at all? The problem is, I can’t think of anything. I am chubbier than I ever used to be, I am irritating, I am uninteresting. Perhaps people are better off not knowing me, silly and melodramatic as it sounds.



1. Caroline - August 16, 2010

This is exactly how I felt at the start of this year. For about 2 months I was crying on the train, on the bus, at my desk, day in, day out – going home at night and not bothering even to turn the TV on, just crawling straight into bed and sobbing until my Mum rang and I had to pretend to be – if not fine, at least “ok”. It didn’t matter who was there for me or where I went, or that the day before, to all intents and purposes I had appeared to be “normal”: I was a hideous failure. They were the clubs I used to beat myself up, those two words going around and around in my head. “You’re hideous,” said the voices, “You’re a failure”.

Unfortunately there is no magic cure for that feeling. No-one else can drag you out of it. All you can do is ride it until the day that you wake up, open your eyes and say, “Hey – I know what will really help! I’ll…” For me, it was signing up to match.com – which was an acknowledgement to myself that I’d given myself enough time to finally get over my last relationship and felt ready to move on. You can’t push that though – and you know in your heart when you’re ready for it. All you can do in the meantime is ride it out, get through each day as it hits you and realise and acknowledge that every single one is making you stronger in the long run. And go to your GP if it gets unmanageable.

As my Uncle Bob used to say “Even this shall pass.” And although I believed no-one who told me that at the time, I now promise you with certainty that it will!


Lauren Cooke - August 16, 2010

Hey hun, thank you! It is horrible, isn’t it? But yes, I am riding it out, and I think as always chatting about it on my blog makes me realise it isn’t all as bad as it seems in my head. The things we all go through living life are so challenging, yet I like to think that we will all make it through, and come out the other side happy. You are definitely a case-in-point and my role model for this at the moment!

2. Alysa - August 16, 2010

I can’t equal what Cie has said so eloquently. But I hope you’ll listen even if you don’t believe me now when I say that you *are* interesting, funny, lots of fun to be around – oh, and one of the prettiest people I know. And if I didn’t mean it I just wouldn’t have said anything.

Lauren Cooke - August 16, 2010

Thank you hun. Just going to reply to your email now…

3. Carys - August 16, 2010

You need to see someone. While your blog may be your outlet, it clearly isn’t helping. Counselling and seeing your GP really can – that’s what they are there for.

Lauren Cooke - August 16, 2010

Hi Carys 🙂
I have a doctors appointment tonight, so I am doing something about it. I would like to say though that actually venting on my blog does help, more than any form of counselling I have ever tried, so I’m not going to stop! I actually think that it is helping, it sorts out all the thoughts in my head and lets me get them down “on paper”, and it generally keeps me sane. In fact, it is the reason that my day to day life manages to continue relatively unaffected by what is going on in my head – because I am essentially counselling myself.

Carys - August 16, 2010

I think you misunderstood me. I meant that while you use your blog to put your feelings out there, they are quite clearly still a part of your life, otherwise you wouldn’t be blogging about them so regularly. It’s different for everyone of course – I don’t like exposing my personal life online at all – but self counselling like this is not necessarily what is going to help in the long term.

Counsellors will often tell you to write letters to the people you would like to talk to but can’t/won’t, or write a journal, but I have never heard of them recommending you keep a blog. Mainly because of what we were all doing now – the call and response aspect of it. It’s about you, not everyone else and what they feel/have felt.

I know you’re on medication, and I’m sure you have tried counselling, but it’s only through many repeat visits to find the right medication and continual counselling that real progress can be made. This may all be a bit “tough love”, but it’s merely being upfront – there’s no point not being with things like this.

The main point I will make is this – you shouldn’t be feeling the way you so clearly are. The right people are there to help – and I mean professionals more than friends – but you have to want it to help you.

Lauren Cooke - August 17, 2010

I don’t know… blogging does help me a lot, I have had a lot more positive effect with self-counselling than with any real counselling. I am also in medication that does actually help (and got the dose upped last night). The thing is that it is real life that is stressful right now, and it isn’t just my out of balance chemicals. The drugs will help right now, because real life is exacerbating my real life chemicals, but what really matters to me is working out what is getting to me and exactly why I feel like I feel. Whenever I write a blog it gives me a touchstone to go back to, so that I know what I was feeling and can assess my progress. Plus, I have never ever in my life been able to keep a journal, but I can keep a blog, and I have always been honest on it – that isn’t going to change. My online community is, in many ways, just as important as my offline.

Actually I don’t like thinking it is just about me. If I know what other people have gone through then it keeps me conscious that there is a way out when my brain would like to convince me otherwise. And give me a few weeks and no doubt I will be fine again, and all the people who have commented will be part of the fact that I am ok. This is my counselling, it really really works, and I shall keep it up.

I do understand what you are saying, but I just think for me, this is what works. And it won’t be long before I am OK again. Honest.

4. Cybill - August 16, 2010

You need help, see a doctor, get some medication ASAP. Other things that can help; 1 Stop listening to the negative voices in your head, tell them to shut up because you are valid, important and worthwhile. 2 keep up with the exercise. 3 keep a journal, write down your pain and write down what you are grateful for. 4 listen to upbeat music or watch a comedy. 5 keep hanging out with your friends, stay connected. 6 set a goal, learn a language, visit an art gallery or do a course of some sort. 7 make sure you get closure on your last relationship.
Good luck.

Lauren Cooke - August 16, 2010

Hi Cybill. Thank you for the advice, I will definitely try and follow some of it through! As for the doctors, I am on medication already, am going to the doctors tonight and may consider upping my dose. Thank you!

5. Becky - August 16, 2010

Although I haven’t been through this level of depression I do believe that everybody goes through it at some point/many points of their life so you are most definitely not alone.

Can I just point out that whenever we meet up we end up giggling like school kids about the most randomest things ever – farting in yoga anybody?!! This would be beacuse you are very funny, quick witted, good side of sarcastic and also very honest and frank about life which is so refreshing. I like knowing that chatting to you won’t mean that I’m being judged or examined.

I used to hate the saying ‘count your blessings’ until Dan counted mine for me and now I think of it nearly everyday. But also seeing the positive in the situation and in the future rather than dwellling on the past which, to be a tad matter-of-fact, can’t be changed. There will always be moments when we wonder ‘what if…’ or ‘I wish I had/hadn’t done that/said that’.

It sounds cheesy and possibly patronising (sorry) but count your blessings, the big and small – house, job, family….

I know it’s easy for me to say but life isn’t that bad even though it looks like a steaming piece of something at the moment. Remember that the glass is half full, and if it’s not, than I’ll come round and top it up for you xxxx

Lauren Cooke - August 16, 2010

Aw Becky you’re a darling. Thank you so much for this, it has really helped. I do know that life actually isn’t as bad as I feel it is – in many ways that is the problem, I know it is fine and I actually like most of it, but just at the moment I can’t seem to enjoy it. It will pass, it always does, and know that you guys are there to chat and bit generally inane and happy with helps me unbelievably!

6. Sharon - August 17, 2010

First, we all get down sometimes but once there there is nowhere to go but up. I know I know, I hate those sayings even when there is a bit of truth to them.
Second, I hate when people try to compare what they are going through and how they feel to what you are going through and how you feel. We all deal with things differently. The thing is that no matter how we all agree we don’t want to let the bad, down, “I hate myself” feelings to cause us to harm ourselves or keep us from ever seeing the sun again.
With all that said let me tell you what I have been going through . . .haha.
I recently broke up with a guy who I still feel down in the depths of my soul in my forever soul mate. Guess he really isn’t but I still believe it. Anyway, I am trying to stay focus on my dream of building a brand and business etc.. but I find myself having those lonely moments. Yes, I could find someone new or at least to fill some time but, I know that would be unfair to me and him. I need to focus on me.
Then, there are those times when something (again) goes wrong and I wonder if I am just cursed to doomed to fail. The key is to release those thoughts as quickly as possible. If left to fester they sprout like weeds.
Have you ever tried weeding a garden? Especially if the weeds have been left alone for some time. There goes a weekend.

Writing helps me too. But how about instead of writing every bad thing you can think of about yourself. Write the good. Ten things I like about myself. Ten things in life that make me happy.

I know this is long. I just wanted to say you are not alone, we all get down. Concentrate on the good. Embrace yourself. Seriously wrap your arms around yourself and squeeze. Seek professional help. Surround yourself with your great friends. Remember, people do care . . .look at your comments.

Sorry for all the rambling. Made me feel better too.

Stay strong and remember you are beautiful.

7. Joyful - August 17, 2010

Just wanted to say I’ve been there too, keep doing what you’re doing to make yourself feel happy even if only for a moment, and although everything sucks right now, things will get better.
Stay strong.

8. Louise - August 17, 2010

Aw Lauren. I’ve been around various friends and family who have suffered from depression, it’s a horrible thing. It’s difficult to pull yourself out of, I know. If it helps, even though I’ve never met you, I do enjoy reading your blog and I think you have many great assets, including intelligence and humour.

I hope you feel better soon. x

9. Some bloke - August 17, 2010

Evening there,

I’ve come across your blog after following a link from a friend’s. We don’t know each other, it’s unlikely we ever will.

I read your post and empathise tremendously. Loneliness is a bastard and as a fairly happy bloke, it gets me down. I drink too much and become introspective. Not good.

My job means I come into contact with death on a regular basis, whether deliberate or accidental. What I’d like to say is that there is always so much to live for, the next sunset, the next time a stranger smiles at you, the next time a loved one holds you close. You must get through this, not just for you but for all the happiness, joy and love that you bring to others, both now and in future.

Great blog, I intend to read it for a long, long time to come.

Some bloke x

10. Selina - August 25, 2010

Hello my lovely – I’m a bit behind on my blog reading so I’m a few days late commenting on this, but I just wanted to say that you are lovely! I wish we could have had more than a couple of hours shopping together when I was over in July, but from those couple of hours I know that you are funny and smart and gorgeous and totally deserving of good things! Sending you lots of love and hugs from NZ. xx

11. Carrie - August 25, 2010

I came by here purely by accident via another blog.
When I read this particular post, it felt as though you were inside my head.

I don’t feel like I can talk to anyone. Anyone that is apart from my ex, who obviously was somewhat the catalyst for this particular bout of depression. But he seems like the only one who cares, but it’s not proper care, it’s guilt I think.

I’m convinced my friends hate me and are sick of me. If I was them, I would.

I’m drinking way too much and haven’t had a night in in over 4 months (apart from the odd occasion I have had company at home).
Drinking makes things okay. at the time. But it’s started to make me irrational and violent towards others and myself, so I know that’s no good. (edit: I’m not running around knifing people or anything)

It feels like every facet of my life is going wrong and I’m unravelling faster than a cotton reel.

I just don’t want to feel like this anymore.

But like you said, you’re convinced that noone else feels as low as you do at the moment, and it was reassuring to know that I’m not the only one.

Sorry, I don’t know you at all. I just kind of wanted to say thanks.

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