it’s a feeling i’m familiar with, one i’ve encountered time and time again. the sense of not doing enough, of never being good enough.
it nags at me, eats away at me, makes me hate myself and those that i envy.
this most recent occurrence has been triggered by a friend who i’ve always deemed cooler than me. the type of friend who when i check in with her has just gotten back from being abroad for a “fellowship.”
“how do you even get a fellowship?,” i question. “you’d know if you weren’t such a lazy loser,” i respond.
i understand that negative self-talk is toxic and counter-productive, but it’s here, and so i must give the critic some space to speak. we know each other well.
in No Bad Parts by Richard Schwartz, he makes the point that the crux of every part of ourself is a positive intention. so what’s the positive intention of the critic? to motivate me. to convince me to wake up earlier, sleep less, go to the gym, write more.
the issue is that this is all to prove my worth, as though merely existing is not enough to be worthy.
it’s also to some extent a distraction, because often what i feel like i “should’ do to be worthy doesn’t feel aligned. it keeps me from figuring out who i actually am and what i actually want. i get stuck in the comparison game, looking at everyone else’s lives and tallying all the ways i’m falling short.
it’s depressing and exhausting. hating myself is exhausting. but then i’m reminded of all the reasons i’m lacking, like consistently sleeping 10 hours. like what non-teenager actually does that? ya, that’s why i’m not more successful at anything.
you see? she’s mean. i’m mean. i don’t know how to motivate myself from a place of kindness. i don’t know how to feel worthy beyond external constructs of success.
i don’t know how to shake the feeling of being a loser. it’s nagged me all my life, and i don’t know if anything will ever satisfy it.
it’s all very sad and short-sighted. i know the measurement of a human is so much more than external accomplishments, but i don’t know how to shake this self-hatred that eats away at me.
i don’t mind the sense that i could do more to live up to my potential, but being motivated like this is heartbreaking, not inspiring.
i wish i had answers, but for now, all i have is pain.