Low self-esteem is an insidious, necrotic poison. It erodes rationality and replaces it with a fun-house mirror. You end up believing the deformed, warped reflection is the truth. But how could it be? It only exists in your head. You are the one who put it there. This poison becomes extremely effective when coupled with apathy. A vicious cycle of not caring for oneself and not caring for the consequences inevitably spins out of control into self-destruction.
Every morning is a struggle to get out of bed. The energy to get up, shower, eat, work… I do not do these things because I want to. What I really want is to sleep. No, that’s not right. I don’t want to be awake. Every waking moment is another reminder of all my shortcomings. I have no prospects. I don’t have the same passion I once did. I’m tired. I’m neglectful of my family and friends. I am a leech on their lives. Why do I exist? Stop me from existing and nothing would change for anyone else, so why not cease existing? I don’t want to die. I am not suicidal. I just don’t have the strength to live.
So…? Now what? All I have proven is doing nothing achieves nothing. Circular logic. I am not worthy of effort, so I won’t put in effort. If I don’t put in effort, then I mustn’t be worthy of it. I can’t go on like this.
The first step towards a healthy psyche is identifying there is a problem. You cannot fix what you cannot or refuse to acknowledge. I keep telling myself that I am a bad person and treat my issues as if they exist within a void. This is leaving me catatonic and affecting my relationships and general health. I don’t want to continue this way.
The next step is reaching out to others. This does not necessarily mean explicitly asking for help. Contact with other humans is very important in demonstrating how things really are, as opposed to how you tell yourself they are. Chin (2014) explains that those who were prompted to verbalise a previously proud or successful moment in their life saw their moods improve. Some individuals then sought out additional information or contact. How you see yourself does not always line up with how others see you. Spending time with others quickly dissipates the veil of depression.
There are no other steps. Identify the problem, then reach out for help. I am at my lowest when left alone, at home in bed wallowing in self-pity. I am at my highest when surrounded by fellow students at university all working towards the same goal. Regardless of whether you experience the same things as me or not, if you have identified a problem, please seek help.
Chin, G. (2014). Self-Esteem. Science, 343(6168), 230.
Bed creaks soft and slow. Comfort metastasizes. Please, please, not today
Strength saps from my arms... My legs curl between the sheets... Breath rattles coldly.
Momentary dark, I reach out for your embrace, Please don't leave again...