She stares off into the distance and her mind begins to wander. She begins to realize the magnitude of the world around her. She is but a grain of sand. So small, so minute. She constantly believed that the world would move on regardless. That her existence didn’t matter. Here one day, gone the other. She went to bed and hoped for sweeter dreams, and woke up wishing the day would be over. She mastered the art of a smile, effortless and real except for that look in her eyes. The help-I’m-drowning look that people often overlooked and continued on with their lives. The voice that never traveled farther than the tip of her tongue. Silence, acceptance, destruction.
If you can relate to her in anyway, regardless of who you are, please take a step back and hear me out. Believe it or not, that girl was me. Keyword: was. I was once at a point in my life where I honestly felt like I brought zero value to the table. That anything I said or did amounted to a disappointment. I was miserable. I allowed people to step on my kindness, I took the pain in and believed I deserved it, I let people’s opinions and words define me. I lost any self-esteem and confidence I had. I lost any value I deemed myself. I lost me.
It’s extremely hard to believe that rock bottom was a place I once visited. I stayed there for a long time. A very, very long time. It was an extremely lonely, unbearable, and depressing point of my life. But as any event, things like that make us stronger. The best thing about rock bottom is that there’s no other direction but up. Of course, things like that don’t mend and heal over night. It takes time, patience, and practice. I’ve come such a long way from rock bottom and though it was a hard period to swallow, I don’t regret it. Sure, it was shitty. Real shitty. But every event, good or bad, shapes us to who we are today. If I didn’t have my great depression, I wouldn’t be here right now. I’ve found a place where I am comfortable with myself. Yes, I still have my off days – and I’m sure everybody does – but I’m doing just fine now. I’m happy.
I recognized my self worth. No one can take that away from me. Not even myself. It’s definitely hard. Nothing in life is ever easy, but the result will repay you in ten-fold.
What does it mean to value oneself?
Well, my take on it is that you love yourself whole heartedly, flaws and all. There will times where you don’t like yourself, and that’s fine – I’m with you on that sometimes, but you should always love yourself. Believing in yourself is also extremely important. It’s true that if you put your mind to it, you can accomplish the impossible. It all begins with belief. If you believe in yourself, you will be unstoppable.
Once you love you and believe in you, you basically have the formula to make you invincible. The rest is all up to you. With self love and appreciation, comes self worth. Confidence, happiness, and power all follows. If you believe you can do something, go for it. There will be people hating, throwing negative shade your way. Don’t let it get to you. Embrace it. You’re doing something right. Hate is just jealousy and insecurity.
Don’t ever feel like what you bring isn’t good enough.
As long as you try your best, you honestly have nothing to worry about. Put that inner self-critic to rest. Everyone has their limit, comfort zone, and pace. There’s no sense in comparing your product to someone else’s. You do you, boo boo.
Smile more, especially in the mirror.
How does this help? Smiling makes you feel good. You release endorphins that up your dopamine levels. It makes you happier and lightens your mood. Plus, the best image you’d want to have of yourself is you being happy. And smiles are contagious, so spread that love!
What has helped me on my journey of realization?
Support from friends and family is a huge one. Talk to someone about it. You’re never alone. If that doesn’t fancy you, find an outlet. What did I do? I wrote. I wrote songs and poems and just pages and pages of stuff. It really helped me get through a lot of the shittier days. Sometimes I still look back and reread them. The emotion rooted in each word is explosive. Blast music. Surround yourself with noise to dilute some of your own. Run. I used to go on runs with music blaring. It helped me so, so much. Scream a little, if that helps too. I screamed into pillows or just screamed out loud into the night. Yeah, sometimes I got weird looks, but it felt absolutely liberating to release just even an inch of the weight I’ve been carrying.
A thing that really helped me too was my jar of positivity. I sat one day and devoted a few hours of my time to write positive messages to myself. I wrote them on paper and folded them up and placed them in a cup (so I never really had a jar, per say). Every time I felt sad, I would reach in and grab a note. That always helped pick me up, even if it was only a little or even just temporarily.
I don’t have all the answers, but I do have my own experiences, ears to listen, and a voice to give advice. If any of you out there feel like no one gets it, please feel free to give me a shot. Just like you all are here for me and supporting me, I would definitely like to do the same for all of you! Send me an email. I’m all ears.