Self esteem. I wish someone would bottle and sell it. In this world it's really difficult to cultivate self esteem on your own. I wish there was some magical way of thinking, some fail-safe mantra that could protect a person from an attack on their confidence. Even those who somehow manage to have a strong sense of self worth can have the rug pulled out from under them. And those who are hanging on by a thread can have their last link to reality cut, and they give up.
It's tempting to blame any one thing in this world, but they all work together. Advertising, movies, thoughtless acts of others, the way society gets more and more distant in its human interaction. You can pass by hundreds of people in your day and not have a meaningful exchange with anyone. And you certainly don't have to have a 'socially unacceptable' disorder to be a victim. It can happen to anyone, any age, any attitude.
And to further complicate things, it's about more than just your looks. How do you explain how someone like me, a girl with male pattern hair growth, can keep going while someone else with flawless skin and elegant features can hate herself so much that she feels her own life is not worth fighting for? Self esteem is more than feeling good about your looks (though that certainly can help). Is it your abilities that you have to be proud of? Do you have to like your personality? Do you have to feel you are in balance with being a good friend and a good daughter/sister/mother, good wife/girlfriend and a good worker? What does it take to feel like you are worth it?
I wish I knew the recipe, so I could protect myself, and help others. No one should be feeling like they should just give up. No one should allow a careless lover to get them down, or the thoughtlessness of a friend, or one's own error at work, or the body they were born with. Yet they do. We're all fighting this constant battle to hang on to this mystical thing, but we don't know exactly how to keep it from escaping.
And for some, it is not melodramatic to say this is a life or death struggle.
I think one of the biggest mistakes we make is thinking someone else can give it to us--particularly in a romantic relationship. If you're not happy with yourself now, you're never going to be happy as part of a pair. Some family and some friends you can trust to build you up, but throwing that expectation onto a stranger is dangerous.
I think another big mistake is to allow yourself to get in the way of acheiving your dreams. Have the courage to go to that country you always wanted to visit, orget that higher education that will place you in the career you fantasize about. It's my observation that the people who don't really give something a wholehearted try are the ones who feel they fail at everything--and so they don't try. It's a vicious circle that keeps them in a place where they feel like a failure. Going after what you want is not as simple as it sounds, but that's why you have to give it your all, frightening as it may be.
But lack of confidence in one's self is usually what spurs us to make these mistakes. It is so hard to fight for yourself when your own self is pitched against you.
So what do you do? Obviously I have no answers, but I'm not giving up, and I don't want anyone else to, either. There are people who believe I'm worth it. And there are people who believe you're worth it, too. If you can't think of anyone right now, just use me.