Self-loathing is something that ate at my core from a young age. It became worse as the years wore on and I had few friends. Even as I succeeded in my career, I didn’t get any happier or more comfortable with myself. 

Self-loathing came to a whole new level when I “realised” people wanted me dead. Aghast I questioned who I was to warrant such hatred. Had I killed someone and hadn’t admitted it? Did I cause someone to commit suicide? Surely if I couldn’t remember anything I mustn’t have done it? During one hospitalisation I was convinced I must have killed someone while driving.

Then I considered my core values: social justice, equality, a truly welcoming and inclusive multiculturalism, recognition of traditional owner’s rights, and I thought how I hadn’t lived up to my ideals. How, because of psychic pain I wasn’t active in the way I wanted, and because I am white and from a middle class background I am oppressive without any awareness.

Suddenly I was a glaring failure of values, a walking danger to others, especially to the vulnerable.

People thought the world would be a better place if I, Sarah Quell, were not in it. No doubt I had also been responsible for many more deaths because of my sarcasm, cynicism, inquisitiveness and ignorance.

What I could never bring myself to do before, mainly because I couldn’t believe it would be an end to my misery, I tried on multiple occasions.

I attempted to overdose on my prescribed medications a number of times.

I tried to hang myself once. It was a laughable failure. I’d tied the bedsheets to the light in my bedroom. The light broke so quickly that I didn’t even notice a moment of tension around my neck. But it was dramatically loud, shorted the electricity in the rest of the house and my parents came running.

While in hospital I drank a bottle of shampoo. Obviously that won’t kill you. It’s not pleasant. But I thought it was laced with drugs and believed I was told to drink it. Understandably the nurses weren’t too happy that after sculling the shampoo in the bathroom I came out and immediately vomited vast quantities all over the locked wards floor.

Vomiting quickly meant I suffered only short term damage to my throat rather than lasting stomach problems.

To this day I can’t stand that brand of shampoo.

I’ve started to wonder if my bipolar and borderline personality “traits” affect my relationships with others. But I honestly don’t believe I’m a bad person. I haven’t murdered or killed anyone. To the best of my ability to show respect for all people (that doesn’t mean necessarily agreeing with them 😉).

When I consider Donald Trump has an endless supply of supporters, surely I have at least the right to be my own supporter?

I’m not perfect. No one is. But I’m good enough and growing. I’m giving up on self-loathing now. I deserve life as much as anyone. I deserve basic respect as much as anyone.

These days are the beginning of my life that embraces who I am and who I can become.