I am not a real person, I am nothing but self hatred and shame in human form. I hate myself for being alive, I am ashamed of myself for existing. Everything I think or feel or do is wrong, fodder for derision, evidence against me. I try to do as little as possible, I try to stay quiet to stay safe – but then I hate myself for that too. Because in a most delightful twist, what I hate myself most for is hating myself, what I am most ashamed of is my shame. How do I untangle that? There seems to be no way out.

I am convinced everyone else hates me too, and how can I blame them? They all know I am disgusting and evil, they can all tell. The world feels a hostile place. I am scared to go out because I fear I will be attacked. But I do not feel any safer staying in because any time I hear someone walk down the street I think there will be a bang on my door, that they are coming for me.

Be kind to yourself, they say. Distract yourself, they say. Remember that things have been better than this, and can be again. But all I can see is that the self hatred and shame and anxiety and paranoia seem to be getting stronger than they’ve ever been before and I’m panicking. It all seems impossible to cope with. My thoughts are turning to suicide again – and yes, you guessed it, I hate myself for that, and am ashamed of it.