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From Hate to Hope

by Michelle Standridge about a month ago in anxiety
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A Mental Health Journey

From Hate to Hope
Photo by Mattia Ascenzo on Unsplash

Dear Mom,

I know you think you know everything about me. You can pick me out of a crowd at the drop of a hat. You know what music I listen to and what TV shows I watch. You know all of my pet peeves and all my passions. You've watched me grow from an infant into a woman and you have loved and supported me every step of the way.

I love and appreciate you so much, but there's something I've been too ashamed to admit to you. There's no easy way to say this, but I have very little hope that I will amount to anything. I don't think I'm special, in fact, I think I'm garbage. I hate myself with a passion and it's slowly eating me from the inside out.

For years, I've put on a brave face, a fake smile, a mask. I've tried not to feel this way, but I can't understand how you or anyone else could ever love me. I'm too quiet, too childish and too selfish. Sometimes, I can't focus on anything other than the fact that I'm inherently terrible. There's something fundamentally wrong with me, it's in my core. I can feel it.

I know exactly what you'd say. You'd tell me that I'm being too hard on myself. You'd tell me that I'm worth more than anything in this world and that I just can't see it because I'm too close to see the big picture. I've thought about this a lot and I can tell you that you're right.

I know I'm not actual garbage, but there's still this voice in my head screaming insults at me with every move I make. I've become so wracked with indecision because no matter what choice I make, I believe it's the wrong one. Of course, doing nothing is also a choice, so there's no way to get the screaming to stop. I feel like there's nothing I can do.

I don't know why I feel this way. I feel so guilty for having these thoughts and emotions. You and dad have given me such a good life, full of love and laughter. I have no right to feel the way I feel. So many people have had it worse. I know comparing myself to others only leads to heartache, but I don't know how to stop. I see everyone I've gone to school with grow up and make lives of their own. Meanwhile, I'm hanging on by a thread, hoping it doesn't snap and leave me falling into the abyss.

I've started going to therapy. It was the only hope I saw. I felt so weak going into my first appointment. It's gotten a bit better over time, but I'm still filled with anxiety and trepidation. I've learned that therapy is hard work and if I want to move forward, I have to want to improve. Only I have the power to make my life better.

I don't know what the future holds, and I'm trying to be okay with that. I have a long way to go before I come to a better place, but I think I can make it. I'm starting to have hope, though it's still not much. Sometimes in life, it's the little things that matter most. I learned that from you. So, I'm holding onto my little ray of hope.

Thank you so much for everything you've ever done for me. It's only because of you that I have the strength to move forward. There's not a day that goes by where I don't think of you and everything you've taught me. I've come to realize that I can't completely hate myself when so much of who I am comes from you.

I love you,



About the author

Michelle Standridge

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