Growing up I always felt like I wasn’t pretty enough or good enough. I always struggled to fit in always feeling as if I was so different from the others. Always feeling I wasn’t good enough because no one was attracted to me. I placed so much value on fitting in and being one of the girls that I was willing to do anything to achieve that status. As I entered junior high this meant experimenting with drugs and alcohol, getting involved with guys I shouldn’t get involved with.
At the end of the day, I wasn’t any more popular. I started drinking more and the guys I was interested in weren’t exactly interested in my personality. Instead of fitting in with the girls I was isolating myself from them because they began to talk more negatively about me, make fun of me and call me names. I was getting a bad reputation just because I wanted to fit in. I began getting depressed at 13 years old, and I didn’t know why I couldn’t just feel like the other kids, happy and enjoying life with their friends. I began cutting at that age, it was the only thing that helped me to feel better but I also isolated myself more, the more people knew about me the farther they pushed me away. Many saw me as merely an attention seeker.
I decided the best thing for me would be to go to an all girl high school, where I could focus on myself, my studies getting into a good college and forget all about the boys and everything else that reminded me of junior high. So I did, I tried to run away from everything and went to school hours away. And when I started high school, I was happy. I found friends that understood me, and I fit in. It seemed everything was falling into place; I even had a real boyfriend for the first time. But, as far as I ran away it wasn’t far enough because my problems still followed. Slowly my new boyfriend and all his friends were urging me to do all the same things I had run away from, since I didn’t want to lose out I gave in. I started drinking, smoking and doing all sorts of things. And then it started to fall apart. I noticed my “boyfriend” taking far more interest in the skinnier, prettier girls and eventually he phased me out of the picture. I was devastated yet again. All the feelings I had pushed down were rushing back. I wasn’t pretty enough I wasn’t good enough and no one wanted me. I sank into a depression and began cutting again after not doing so for almost a year and a half. I starved myself because I wanted to feel beautiful like all those girls. And for a little while it worked. I felt good about myself. I was ok with being single. And I poured myself back into school work, choir, dance and everything else I could find. But it only lasts so long…
Years later I found my self in the same dark depression, running to the same coping mechanisms. I felt worthless, I felt ugly, and I felt disappointed in myself. I don’t know how much longer I would have made it on my own. But I was lucky enough that someone out there loved me enough to pray for me and introduce Jesus to me. I had lost all faith many years ago as a result of many tragic events. But somehow, my heart was opened again and I wanted to hold on to any sliver of help.
“-Growth is hard, regression is easy”- Ken Wilber
Has it been easy to always stay on the right track? No…but what is ahead of me is far better than what I leave behind. What the world has to offer me is fleeting. What God has offered me…is eternity.
Do not conform any longer to the patterns of this world, but be transformed daily by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
There will always be pressures to fit in, to do what everyone is doing, to measure up by the world’s standards. But just because the pressure is there, doesn’t mean I have to give in. I realize that by opening even the smallest door in my life, I put everything I have worked for at risk. Being happy healthy and in love with God, is all I want and need in my life…and I am not willing to lose any of that.
It’s a long and difficult process, but I am slowly starting to find myself…the real me. I can look in the mirror and see someone I actually think is beautiful. I can see someone I am actually proud of and not ashamed of. I feel like I have found my passions in life, and I actually have the courage to follow them, I have the strength to believe in my dreams, and above all…I believe in myself…which is something I struggled to do for a very long time. And none of it would have ever been possible if I had never encountered the unconditional love of God.