It was a murky, starless midnight when a girl sat at her old desk, just staring numbly at the blinking cursor and overthinking her past mistakes, of every time she couldn’t fulfil her commitments, of how close she was to failing herself again.
“This time it will be different,” she murmured to a seemingly empty room.
Suddenly her phone beeped, alerting her of the oncoming deadlines. She ignored the alert and tuned out everything. Because this time she was serious. She has put all her energy into this task and she will not disappoint anyone, not again. She wanted to feel like she belonged somewhere because lately she felt like the biggest freak among her peers, But this felt like her answer to overcoming the feeling of being an outlier, she will make this her answer.
Everything was crystal clear in her head, all the motivation in this world was there.
But so were the inner monsters.
Constantly reminding her of her failures, Of how every decision that she has made turned out to be wrong, Every time her actions has humiliated her and that has cost her of her self-respect. Forcing her to believe that however hard she tries, she will always be replaced and taken for granted in the end. She knew that she was being melodramatic and things were not as bleak as they seemed, that tomorrow even if things don’t work out the way she planned them to. Everything will eventually turn out fine, But still, these voices kept ringing in her head that she’s:
Never good enough
A talentless person
A failure, a disappointment, a baggage
“Stop it!” she cried loudly.
She has read stories about numerous characters that were full of self-doubts, They all embraced their inner demons and turned out fine in the end, but some lost themselves within the darkness too. Became their foes. Destroyed themselves in the end. In the real world- there too were people she knew who would silently fight their monsters each day without letting other people know of their struggles, they would do so with a smile on their face and a gleam in their eyes, no one could guess the inner battles they were going through, of how they constantly criticised their work, judged themselves so harshly, living in a constant turmoil that they’ll never be good enough at anything or for anyone, the kind of people that lights up other people’s lives but remain hidden under a mask. Their real face never shown to the outside world.
She remembered how it started as a tiny whisper one day that was easy to ignore and it grew louder as days passed and then one day it sat there, converted into a fully-fledged, super hairy, aesthetically unpleasant monster that constantly overshadowed every other thought leaving nothing but a terrible hunger to prove herself to the people that she can be good too.
Back in the room, she types out:
‘STOP. GIVING. INTO. THESE. THOUGHTS. It’s your mind for goodness sake! It should be working for you not against you!’
That’s the thing you see? There will always be the darkness that brings out the worst in you but so there will be a light to chase out the darkness. There will always be hardships that force you to look down on yourself and thoughts like if only I did a this or that task in a certain way then surely I would’ve been more acceptable and maybe people would’ve cared. But what use are these kinds of thoughts if the sole reason for them to exist is to move you away from your goals?
But they will always be there lurking in the back of your head consuming your sense of identity. Constantly reminding you of your downfalls. Why not you use them to your advantage? If those monsters are going to exist, then they must be coerced to help you, guide you, build you, and work in your favour. For if she does not learn how to tame them, They will engulf her. For the sake of her own life, she is going to learn to deal with them. Become her saviour because chances are that no one will be there to help her deal with this except for herself.
‘She gets up, takes a deep breath, and starts confronting them’
Determined, she hits publish, shuts off her computer and rise–for if they become restless and rebellious again. She wants to
will become strong enough to answer them back with a smile on her face and triumph in her smile not fall apart in the process. Prove herself worthy of everything good in her life. For the sake of her sanity she will continue fighting them–one monster at a time.
It would not take a monster to destroy a monster—but light, light to drive out darkness.-Sarah J. Mass
For those of you who are silently battling your monsters, I hope you quit overthinking and seeing the goodness within everyone but you. I feel like we’re our own worst critic and blind to recognize the value in ourselves unless someone forces us to see the things we’re capable of. It’s easier to focus more on our shortcomings because that’s just how our brain is wired.
So the next time you feel like you can’t possibly find anything likeable about you just try looking around and see how even the smallest efforts you make can affect other people’s days. Master the art of redirecting that dark energy into something positive and it will come back to you in a much, much brighter way and will help you recognize the beauty within you too.