All my life I have struggled with that feeling of not being good enough or like I don’t fit in or belong. I had somehow got it into my head that others were always better than me, prettier than me and more worthy than I was.
Through out my school life I struggled, and the worst thing about it now when I think back, is that I would always believe the problem was with me, I was the reason people were not very nice, It was my fault because I wasn’t good enough, I should feel great full that I am even allowed to sit with them.
My anxiety stems right back to primary school and a situation that occurred with a group of friends, what I didn’t realise is how much an unkind word or action could effect a person, the impact it can have on a persons mental health is quite simple unbelievable. Believable for me now as I live with anxiety and depression everyday because of those moments, those comments and those actions.
The children in that moment would not have considered the long term effect their words would have, nor would it be something that they would even think about in their life now as an adult, because for them it is probably not even a memory they hold, just something they did at school when they were blissfully unaware. For me it is a lasting memory of how cruel people can be and a reminder of how little an effect they think their words have. It would be the start of on ongoing struggle with situations similar to this happening over and over again.
Self esteem was always some thing I lacked, I was very shy publicly and never raised my hand in class to give the answer to a question, even if I thought I knew it, I would doubt that I could possibly be capable of getting it right. I didn’t feel at all knowledgable the only thing I knew to do was be shy, be quiet and try to fit in the best I could, hoping that I could make myself one day be good enough.
I don’t want any of my blogs to make others feel bad or even feel sorry for me, my intention and hope is that people will take from this a lesson that so many of us need to learn, kindness doesn’t cost anything but the impact a kind word or gesture can have is as big as the impact a negative one will have. I dealt with unkind words and actions just at school and it has had a lasting impact, I cant even begin to imagine how it feels growing up as a child today with technology and social media, never being able to get away from it. Not just hearing these negative thoughts from people you know but also complete strangers, their opinions constantly being pushed upon you, is it any wonder that so many of us live with mental health issues today. I say live, there are days when you just about manage to get out of bed it can feel sometimes that you merely exist!
Be kind to people and teach your children the same, I always say to my eldest everyday before she goes into class “be kind and make good choices”. This should be something we all live our lives by. Really just think about what you say before you say it and also the impact of a word. It might be something you say in anger or even in jest but really take time to think how it would feel if you were on the receiving end. Remember also that that might be not be the first time that person has been called that name or been made fun of, it could be ongoing, relentless, an everyday occurrence. Your word could be the one that finally tips the balance. The moment they believe its all to much and life is not worth living any more.
What I have learned in the past year or so, is actually, I have always been good enough, other people’s opinions do not define me as a person, what others say is simply a reflection of the person they are and holds no meaning towards me. The words I speak and the actions I make are what define me and that as long as I am taking my own advice to “be kind and make good choice” then I am living as a good and honest person and that’s all that matters. If I am not good enough for someone then they are clearly not living by the same standards and actually I don’t want their friendship.
We should build each other up and stop trying to drag each other down, make someone’s day with a smile, kind word or gesture, kindness doesn’t cost a thing but it could save a person from their own terrible thoughts and the unimaginable consequences it could lead too.