I dislike myself. In the past I always thought I was weak to admit that. I felt like a coward whenever I expressed how I truly felt. I didn’t always dislike myself. In reality I actually hated myself. Hate fueled by anger, judgement, and doubt. I’m antisocial and I tend to avoid people because I fear that I’d say or do something that would cause them to judge me. The way I’d “fight” it is by putting on a fake “mask.” I showed others what I wanted them to see. I made lots of friends, but only two people knew about the real me. 

My self hate never moved towards ending my life. I always felt I was a coward for not ending things, but I realized that if I do that, I’d hurt those close to me. All the bonds I created would be destroyed, my family would be broken, but most importantly, the people that I was there for when no one else was, would no longer have someone supporting them. I faced the realization that I’d end more lives if I ended mine. From then on, I’ve felt the same way. 

Sometimes the best way to help yourself is to step back, and look at what could or is happening to others around you. The first thing that helped me get better was realizing that I have problems. Things aren’t always the best, and that’s perfectly okay. What’s important is what you do knowing this. It wasn’t until my junior year that I opened up, and it was all thanks to my English teacher. She did something that no other teacher had done before: she let me write. She told me to just write, so I did, but what I got in return surprised me: Instead of receiving concern or judgment, I received praise. She knew already that I was dealing with things, but she knew I couldn’t just talk about them, so she had me write how I felt. I was given no limitations in my writing. I could say whatever I wanted, and I did. She also checked on me from time to time, but not based on concern, but out of genuine interest in me. The way she spoke made me feel appreciated. I began to get closer to her, opening up more and more. I’d talk with her during my lunch if I ever needed someone to talk to. Soon I started talking more and more. I then wrote my best work, my memoir. This was the first time I confronted the fact that I hated myself, and my teacher loved it. She said it was the most honest work, and that I was brave to write it. I gained enough confidence that I decided to share a section of my story to the class. Little did I know that I was going to be reading in front of two classes, and an author of one of the stories we read, but I still went through with it, and it felt great. To stand in front of 50 students, two teachers, and an author, and say how I felt about myself, it felt like a heavy weight inside of me being lifted. 

I’m continuing to work on how I feel, and I no longer hate myself. I now dislike myself. The best advice I could give to anyone who is doubting themself or is feeling low would be to never keep it inside. What helped me was talking and writing, but it’s not the act of talking or writing that helps, no, it’s the act of expressing your true feelings. If you don’t want to talk, write. If you don’t want to write, create. Do anything that makes you express how you feel. Life is going to be difficult, and there is nothing we can do to change that, the only thing we can do is choose how 

to react to the problems. Will you hide from the problems, choosing to ignore them, or will you continue going forward, working through the problems, the difficulties in life, and ultimately break free from them? The choice is up to you, and only you. You are the only person in control of your life, don’t let others try to take that from you. 


– Alex, California

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