Like you’re worthless. That there’s no point in existing anymore. The demons scream inside your head, telling you you’re not good enough. That you’ll never be good enough. That no one loves you. That no one wants to be around you. Why would anyone? You’re not skinny enough. Pretty enough. Talented enough.
You want someone to care. But don’t want anyone around. Don’t even want to be looked at. Your family loves everyone more than you. All your loved ones are all more talented and impressive and receive oodles of attention. You have a tortured past, but don’t know how to face it. Don’t know how to get past it. You know in the back part of your mind that there are a few who love you, that you are their world to them, but that is only a muted thought compared to the screaming voices in your head.
Life doesn’t make sense. Everything that has led you up to a certain point in your life is all a jumbled mess that you thought had meaning. You thought there was purpose. But there wasn’t. There isn’t. You believed in fate, that all the hardship was just part of your story… that soon it would end and everything would be all right. But you keep waiting.
And it gets worse.
No one cares. No. One. Cares. You’re alone. Alone to cry. Alone to stare into space. Alone to let the voices scream louder in your head.
“But you’re beautiful,” everyone says. “You’re the most talented person I know,” everyone says. But the words bounce off of you. They don’t reach you. You’re numb now. Nothing reaches you. You’re a machine, going through the motions, barely able to get through the day. You wake up, wanting it to already be nighttime, so you can go back to sleep—because sleep is the only respite. Sometimes.
You stop eating, because what’s the point? You don’t even feel hunger. And when you do, at least you’re feeling SOMETHING. Soon you’re 90 pounds and have no idea, because you don’t care to step on the scale. Caring would be doing something. Caring would mean having a goal. You’re past goals, because goals don’t work. You’ve already tried having goals and tried succeeding at something and failed… and it broke you.
Meanwhile family starts to become alerted. They start giving you WORDS. Words that you nod your head to—agree to—but don’t really agree to. Because no one cared for so long, why would they care now? You don’t believe them. They still don’t show love. Their lives are more important.
You are meant to be alone. Meant to suffer in silence… maybe that’s you’re purpose?
You think you have friends. They make you smile every once in a while. But success sweeps them up. And they slip away. Again another reminder how unimportant you are. The world takes them away from you. The comfort they once brought is gone. But it was never real comfort, you realize. They were never real friends. They just wanted stuff from you. You were never important to them. Because you’re not important to anybody.
You contemplate not wanting to exist anymore. But you know that it stops there. You don’t want to hurt yourself. But you wonder… you Google ways to end it. It would be so much easier to not exist. Every day hurts too much. Soon you don’t even know how to cry. Because the numbness is so strong, emotion is impossible. It’s easier to not feel. So you embrace it. Let it wrap you up and carry you through each day. It’s the only way you know how to exist.
A very long and difficult then…
You have someone in your life who *makes* you go see someone. To get help. Medication. Makes you talk to a professional. It’s clear you have depression. PTSD. Anxiety. It makes sense, you think, after seeing your child die and seeing your baby boy go through cancer. Why didn’t anyone see it sooner? Why didn’t *you* see it sooner? Could you really have a mental illness? You suppose so… looking down at your 90-pound body, that’s barely alive.
But you’re still numb. You don’t care to change. Don’t know how to change. Don’t even know if you want to change. Because changing involves feeling. And feeling hurts too much.
Seeds are planted.
More words are exchanged. But this time, words don’t seem so empty anymore. Maybe they have meaning.
You realize that your whole life has been a lie. In a good way. An idea plants itself deep inside of you that starts to take root. The lie is that you’ve been basing your whole self worth off of accomplishments. Of how you look. Of how GOOD or talented you are at THINGS.
That. Isn’t. Self. Worth.
Things are only petals on a flower. Your talents, your accomplishments are only petals that spread from your self worth, but they will wilt over time. Your self worth is your core. Your belief of who you are. Who you KNOW you are. What you do and how good you do something doesn’t define you. How many friends or likes or beautiful pictures or places you travel or marathons you run or awards you win or adventures you have don’t define you.
There’s a spark… deep within you that whispers to you who you are. You KNOW who you are. That there’s something unique about you. That you ARE different. That you ARE special. That you DO have purpose. And that you exist for a reason.
Your core—or self worth—grows stronger. These petals—these accomplishments—don’t matter anymore. You realize that anything you accomplish will never bring you true happiness. They wilt over time.
And the things you craved… the things that you thought you needed/wanted, like attention from family, or friends or worldly success don’t matter. Not if it hurts you. A petal can be good for your self-esteem… but it’s important to know the difference between self WORTH and self ESTEEM.
The light returns. Bit by bit.
There’s still hurt. You still feel ugly sometimes and untalented and sometimes like a failure, but it doesn’t break you. You still don’t have the friends you so desperately wanted attention from—they are still gone—but it doesn’t make you retreat to a numb place.
You eat again, because you WANT to live—even though it’s still hard to feel emotion. The demons keep trying to scream in your ear, but thoughts of your loved ones’ faces come to mind and fight back, softening the sound. Because you’ve allowed yourself to open up and feel again… to love again… to not only take root in your self worth, but let it blossom, grow, and thrive.
You know who you are.
You know what you have to do. You know the kind of life you want to live. You KNOW what is right and what is wrong. And you CHOOSE to do right.
You feel inspired again. You believe in yourself again. And you hope again. You allow yourself to work and set goals and smile… and you know that if you “fail,” it’s not really failing at all. Because petals will always fall off, but your core will stay strong.
You know you have a battle ahead of you. That each day you might be overwhelmed with demons, but that you’ll also have days where the demons will tire, and you’ll have quiet in your head.
Remember those days. Hold onto the good, so you can have ammunition on the bad days. Hold onto the people that make you smile. That care. Onto the family that shows that they love you each day. Onto the people or thoughts that remind you how special you are.
Let go of the people or thoughts that lead you down dark paths—that make you want to be numb or forget.
We all face so much. And this life can be so difficult. But it’s truly remarkable how one can build themselves up from rock bottom. By just knowing and believing in who we are.
Whoever reads this—even if it’s just me—I wanted to share these thoughts with a small part of the universe. Because miracles exist. And YOU… yes YOU, are important. Are special. Have worth. Have meaning. And have so much to share that only you can share. Please believe that.
Morgan is an ex-ballerina turned YA writer, represented by Red Fox Literary Agency. She has been immersed in the arts since the young age of 4, where she trained in ballet under the tutelage of Julie Orlob, which provided her to further her training with New York City Ballet’s principal dancers, Maria Calegari and Bart Cook. Morgan performed with a professional ballet company for over a decade and has danced on prestigious stages like soloing at Carnegie Hall in New York City, where she performed various title roles. She has taught thousands of girls in her fifteen years of teaching, where some of her students have received full-ride scholarships to schools like School of American Ballet, the Harid Conservatory, Kirov Academy of Ballet, and Pacific Northwest Ballet, to name a few.
Morgan discovered writing when her three-year-old son was diagnosed with cancer. It was through that experience which instilled the need to share art and magic with children through words on the page. Her first piece of writing won an online HarperCollins story contest, where her work rocketed above 30,000 other projects in under 2 weeks. Along with writing, Morgan is also an accomplished concert pianist. She was the first girl in Utah to receive the 75 pt. Gold Cup in the Utah Federation of Music in piano solo/concerto competition. Morgan currently lives with her X-Games gold medalist husband and four young children in the cold mountains of Alaska.