Self Loathing and Happy

Adedolapo Olisa
6 min readJul 3, 2024


This piece explores a reality where one could be a generally happy person whilst still hate himself.

I have always bitten my nails for as long as I can remember. Infact it’s one of the few constants about me. For some people, a site of Dolapo viciously noodling over whatever is left of his nails is as defining as say the fact that he is from Nigeria.

I love the rush that comes from ripping apart the flesh around my nails. The pain that comes with it can be so soothing. I was so acutely aware of every minute growth in my nails because I feel through them as consistently as a gardener at the White House would check to make sure the grasses were pruned and depicting the visuals befitting of a king.

Once I get nervous

Once I am stuck with a problem

Once I am stuck in my head

And sometimes, a lot of time, once I am in a good mood.

“Get over here! Nom nom nom!”

Yes, I am proud!

The only other time I have gone this long with my nails growing out must have been I think a year pre teen or just in my teens. And I will never forget, my immediate older sister — Damsket, who was the one that begged me to stop biting my nails made me mad. In a bid to punish her, I restarted feasting on my nails. Now I am not so sure who got punished.


I want to dust off a thought that started as a feeling that has lingered. I have been unable to shake it off.

The idea that I hate myself.

It’s kinda hard for me to admit or even permit this thought.

Because I am a very confident person. So confident that one of my signature look is to be rough around the edges. I believe I have so much to offer life not just a woman that I do not need to groom. I believe that at my job, I am so good at what I do and offer so much value that even if I look homeless, I will still be invited amongst leaders to solve problems.

I believe that I offer so much to potential partner that even if I do not obviously ooze class; my intellect and raw beauty will shine through. Not merely the beauty of physique but also the beauty of intrigue and inner deposits of awesomeness.

I don’t particularly enjoy flattering myself but it’s important to establish how highly I think of myself internally.

I may come across as humble; and I think I am. But it’s easy to mistake that for a lack of self esteem. To be honest, I am closer to a narcissist than I am to someone who is a doormat.

So when I say that I hate myself. It’s a riveting thought.

This shook me to the very core of my being. How can I think so highly of myself yet built a majority of my life on hate for myself.


The only thing that explains my sea-saw relationship with women is this:

I know who I am so well that I often attempt to prevent women that want to love me from being exposed to or committing to who I see truly.

There is a strange chivalry that sabotages healthy progressing relationships because I genuinely don’t believe I would choose myself if I was a woman that knew what I know about myself.

There is some mental gymnastics here.

It’s almost as if, there is someone inside of me that is advocating for humanity. And that person observes from close quarters my interaction and deepening of a relationship. It freaks out and begins to sound the alarm and when that fails, it flat out insults and uses any means necessary to jolt the woman in question, whoever she is into some emotional comatose.

I can hear it screaming often: can’t you see that he sucks! Can’t you see that he will hurt you? Can’t you see how many women have rejected him? Can you see that he is not worth your love? Can’t you see that he is a depraved animal?

The funny thing is that while I hear it scream those things, I genuinely don’t believe that about myself.

I know that I am imperfect.

I know that I am capable of hurting someone’s emotions.

I know that I can be a dickhead

I know that I can be short sighted.

I know that I can be very selfish.

I know that I have a lot of flaws.


I also know that I am very self aware

I know that I attack my weaknesses with excitement for growth.

I know that I am capable of loving with reckless abandon for my own needs.

I know that I care deeply and illogically for humans.

At the very least they balance out? At the very best, I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

There is this verse that also struck me lately and reminded me of the fact that I may not be who I wanna be but I have character.

3 Not only so, but we[c] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope.

Romans 5:3–4

I have known enough suffering and endured a whole lot of them. I have held onto hope and it’s been a companion through suffering like a laboring mother with multiple children, I have seen so much character emerge out of my many wilderness.

Who I am today is not the finished article but character? There are loads of it. This exercise even to write and explore the darkness within. To shed light on who I am ashamed of. This is not fun. This is some form of sufferings but I am here and back often out of obedience but I very much also love who gets birth within everytime I kill my ego and say to the Lord through the world:

I die to this version by inviting light into my shame!

So why hate?

Where does the hate come from?

Why does the hate have a master bedroom in my thoughts?

And how can hate so consequential be ever present like a guest that lives more in the house than the owner.

Self loathing has become a maid in my own home that has birth 7 kids and raised them all in my house while I have been on vacation.

Worse still, it has raised all 7 kids and I have paid for their bills because I have believed them to be mine.

The more I continue with the analogy the more messed up it gets because I realize now that I have raised these kids as my own and not even paid attention to whose they are biologically.

How can the kids of my maid be my own kids. How can the kids of my maid bear my own name. How can the kids of my maid be the pride of my existence.

How can the pride of my existence be foreign to me?

So I must know that I hate myself surely? For I dialog and sleep with and cultivate this hate daily? Yet, I have no clue that it is hate?

This is not a piece that will bring answers.

I’m sowing seeds to a land that I must return to cultivate.

I’m happy

I love who I am.

Yet, I hate myself.

Hmmm… the end.



Adedolapo Olisa

I’m an aspiring story teller that is learning to let stories tell their own morals. You’ll find me where Faith-Tech-Art meet.