Tuesday, 14 August 2012

About worthlessness, and how to overcome

Although I have had a few blog ideas up my sleeve at the moment, I wanted some inspiration from others, and a good friend of mine told me to speak about worthlessness, and how much of a prominent feeling it is when you suffer from a mental health problem.

I actually looked up the word 'worthless' to find out what it actually means. After all, it's a word we tend to use all the time, sometimes without even thinking. So, courtesy of dictionary.com, worthless means:

 — adj

                                          without practical value or usefulness

                                    without merit; good-for-nothing

Now, I don't know about you, but of all the inspiring and wonderful people I have met in my life, not one of them lack practical value, and none of them are certainly good-for-nothing. Why do people with mental health problems ultimately deem themselves as worthless, even when they know they have succeeded in life?

Feeling worthless, I once read, derives from a stronger yearning to feel valuable in life. To feel like they need to please everybody. To feel as if you must succeed at every given task. This people-pleasing nature is a characteristic that commonly derives in those with mental health problems, people who strive and strive and strive, and even if they do please, nothing is good enough. This, coming from a more deeper perspective, can      come from that old can of worms called 'the past'. I know in my friends case, his past was led by a controlling father who wasn't willing to tolerate his wife's religion and therefore used it to manipulate and dictate his life. In which my friend begun to blame himself for his fathers actions as he believed it was his fault. This lead to the feeling of worthless, progressing onto depression, which unfortunately he still struggles with today.

In this case, my friend's fathers issues were ultimately his own (the fathers, I mean). It was his opinions that were the problem and it was nothing to do with anything that my friend did. He fell in love, quite simply put. But it's very easy to recognise how the fathers actions (which I won't go into) from then on then made my friend feel that he was worthless and to blame for the actions.

Feeling worthless, as my friend very well put in his email, often derives from a person projecting their negative energy and values onto ourselves, in combination with a people-pleasing and perfectionist personality. The first point, in my friends case, was his father. In my case, it was being bullied for the majority of my schooling life. The second quality isn't necessarily a bad thing, but combined together lead to disaster and it's important that as human beings we look after ourselves, and try not to let other peoples values and negative energy grind us further into the ground. We're only human, after all.

Whenever I start thinking that I'm worthless and 'good-for-nothing', I start to try and list the achievements I have made in my almost 20 years of being alive. And there's actually quite a few. I'd like to think of myself as academically sound, I am a good friend, I raise tons of money for charity and I have goals, ambitions and dreams that I'm so excited to pursue. I have fought through continuous battles with mental health and won, for the most part. How could any of those qualities lack worth? And I'd like you to take time from your day and recognise the qualities that you have, because whoever you are in the world, I know that you have some.

I then begin to think about who it is that's made me feel that way, why they've made me feel that way, and whose fault ultimately it is that I feel this way. Often, it's the person involved. If it's not a person, and it's something like for example, you've made a mistake at work, mistakes happen. If you learn from the mistake and go onto achieve the right thing next time, again, that doesn't lack worth. Life's all about learning and progressing, that's all we can ever do. We can't please everybody. We can't be perfect. So try not to let other people or situations get in the way of your happiness and beliefs in yourself. You are all worth something, each and every one of you.

I'm going to leave you today with a quote that my good friend sent to me when he requested that I write this blog this evening. It said:

'We need to have our own soundtrack, not someone elses'

Quite frankly, what an inspiring quote. We need to stop living our lives trying to please other people and try hard to make a balance between that and making ourselves happy too. You'll never reach your true potential in life if you are held back by others opinions and beliefs that you are not valuable.

Otherwise, what else can we feel but worthlessness?

1 comment:

  1. Hey Amy,

    I can identify a lot with this.
    As a teenager and in my early twenties I didn't much care what others thought about me but after I got clean off of drugs I became a chronic people pleaser. I was actually writing about something similar on my blog recently.
    I became a social chameleon, changing my personality to suit the person or the situation.
    I even remember changing my accent in an attempt to be liked an accepted.
    Finding my own voice and my own truth will be a huge part of my recovery.

    I can tell from reading your blog that you are finding your voice. There is a quiet strength to your writing.

    Keep fighting the good fight Amy, you are beating this thing and you have your whole life ahead of you to do wonderful things.

    Keep the faith x