A few days ago,
I jokingly mentioned my self-loathing
(as I am wont to do,
knowing full-well, of course, that it is no laughing matter,
but laughing anyway to cope) and
you had the audacity
to say, “well,
you think you hate yourself,
don’t even go there, I have more self-loathing up my sleeves
than you’ve probably ever seen in your life,”
as if it is a competition, a game, for someone to hate themselves
as if it is a smug way to one-up someone,
to tell them your struggle is the greater, and the more worthy,
to put down their entire lifetime of self-esteem issues,
because, hey, your perception
is that your self-esteem issues deserve greater recognition,
am I right?
I’ve never intentionally pierced my own skin,
but I’ve certainly thought about it
and isn’t that evidence enough
that my problems are real problems?
Is my battle invalid, illegitimate,
until I swallow pills, and take a razor to my thigh––
does it have to be on the outside, rather than
a wound that is always open inside of me
and always bleeding
and always widening
and always hurting?
I know people who have made their own attempts
and I know people who a burying their scars
and would you tell them that their reasons are inferior, too,
and that they don’t know real pain, either?
Let me tell you now
there exists no beauty in hating myself––
it’s not romantic, it’s neither pretty nor petty––
it’s black, and it’s empty, and it’s full of obstacles,
and it’s a mountain I have to climb over every day.
It’s not a competition,
it’s not something you can brag about,
or show off, or compare to another’s––
it’s completely personal, completely awful.
Self-loathing is not a trophy. It is a disease.