self-worth : low, slowly crumbling


it’s when people tell you “it’s not good enough”
when you’ve poured your heart and soul
your blood, your sweat, your tears
invalidated by a “not good enough”.

it’s when you’re put on a pedestal
alongside someone clearly better
obscured by their much greater shadow
you bathed in darkness whilst they basked in light.

it’s when you hate the person
staring back at you in the mirror, who mocks you with their very existence
their imperfections, their ugly appearance, their unwanted presence
you so hate.

it’s when you’re running on a treadmill
caught in a perpetual chase, trapped in a never-ending journey
no matter how high the speed setting, no matter how fast you run
you’re always unable to catch up, always “not good enough”.

it’s that monster, overwhelming and all-consuming
that lays dormant, pulling you into its embrace when you least expect
eating away at your mind, twisting your very perceptions
welcoming, inviting

that sinking feeling
which catches your mind at its weakest, and paints you pictures of
never meeting expectations, never being up to standard
of being cast aside like an obsolete

tool, along with the others
you, along with the unwanted, the neglected, the not good enoughs
haunted by impossible standards, following the shadows of the number ones
forever second, forever not good enough.

it starts to whisper sweet words tinged with malice
enveloping your heart with feigned promises of liberation, hopes of an escape
to a world without the expectations, without the standards
without the “not good enoughs”.

its whispers become incessant gnawing
an irresistible temptation, preying on your morbid curiosity
coaxing you
to loop the rope around your neck
to leap over the balcony
to swallow those pills
to plunge the blade through you
to accept death’s invite.

it fools you
it lulls you
into a state of complete submission
you falling victim to its monstrous influence
as it continues to whisper “not good enough”.

By: Mi Chelle Cheah, Penang