Content warning: Depression, Anxiety, Self-deprecation
“You are not good enough.”
“Why can’t you get an A on this subject? Your brother did.”
“I am so disappointed in you.”
“I don’t think she can do this.”
Once upon a time, these words echoed in my head every day. They come from various friends and family members. Every time, I failed an exam, I would hear those words and mostly blame myself. It started a pattern; I would quit every sport that I participated in, or I didn’t even bother to try out for the team. I would contemplate whether I was smart enough to pass the class or athletic enough to practice the sport.
One particular incident stands out in my memory. I was on the soccer team. During practice, one of the team members found out she was on the same team as me. She complained how she was stuck in the loser team and took over the game.
I was drowning in a wormhole of self-hate, self-doubt, and low confidence. I was very depressed. I was numb. I felt that nothing mattered. That’s when my grades began to slip. Sometimes, I would cry in the middle of the courtyard at school, and sometimes I cried myself to sleep. I honestly don’t know how I graduated from high school. It’s a miracle. At this point in time, I didn’t want to go to college even though I had been accepted to a few colleges. Was I smart enough to have a career? Was I smart enough to go to college? I felt that I didn’t deserve it.
At this time, I stopped journaling and stopped praying. I was closed off. I didn’t tell anything to anyone. I just kept it to myself.
Then one night, as if struck by a bolt of lightning, I woke up and wrote this poem:
“You are not good enough.”
The words are stuck on rewind itself in my mind as an electric shock passed though me. My skin slowly turns black as little clouds of smoke comes oozing out. My brown curls turn into spikes as though by magic, piercing my skin creating little holes pouring out droplets of blood.
A cold scaly hand grasped me out of my electric shock body. I am a floating phantom. My body drifted into a sleepless state. I watched as my body slowly falls from the sky into a wooden coffin and lands on a floating cloud, patiently waiting for me to come back.
I am the floating phantom. My heart as hard as a rock as I remain a transparent body. As I look over my life (my future moments). I’m stuck in fast-forward as I remained still like a frozen popsicle.
For a while, I remain as a phantom. My ghostly body paler, limbs, skin disappearing as I turn into a body of smoke as my human body inhales me back.
My body wakes up, my eyes fluttered open with so much vigor and energy. My skin soaked with what seemed like 100 cups of coffee embedded, fueling me with his addictive but effective black energy. That burst of energy cures through my veins and my skin slowly turns into a golden armor.
My skin cast fully in a golden armor. My brown eyes turn into bright red beams, burning any obstacle that comes my way. I feel alive. The holes slowly patch themselves and turning into little golds fleck. My body slowly reconstructed itself piece by piece, healing itself before making a comeback.
As soon as I was done, I felt completely free. I felt reborn. Ever since that night, I started journaling again. I journaled positive affirmations and quotes every day. I prayed every day. Whenever I failed an exam, I went back to this poem and told myself that I can and will do better next time; that it’s okay to fail once in a while because that’s how you learn new ways to do things. It doesn’t mean I am failing, rather than it means I am still learning. I replaced I can’t with I can. I am smart enough to go to college. I am good enough to practice this sport. I can pass this class.
Lastly, I surrounded myself with friends who encourage me to believe in myself. I am still friends with them, even after I graduated from college. It took me some time, but I managed to get myself out of the black hole. I made the Dean’s List and was awarded a scholarship to help with my tuition.
I am telling this story to show how positive thinking can change your life. Surround yourself with positive people.
There are still times when these words came back to haunt me. But I go back to this poem: I express myself in poems and free writing until all these words are just white noise.