Sunday, March 11, 2012

How Not to Feel Worthless

This occured to me about twelve seconds ago as I was listening to Demi Lovato. I switched windows. Is there a teenager out there who has never felt depressed, worthless, pitiful, friendless, and all that fun stuff? A ghost slipping down the halls. A drop of murky oil bobbing in a sea of happy, chaotic people who have life inside them. A shadow in life. I know I have until recently. Here's a few tips:
1: Don't commit suicide.
That's downright stupid. Picture your funeral. There's you, stiff and boring in the coffin. There's your emotionally scared little brother. Or cousin. Neighbor kid. There's your mom wondering what the heck she did wrong. There's your grandmother wondering how she's going to explain this to Great Aunt Ethel at the next family reunion, where by the way, you will not have the priviledge of sampling the vegetable platter. There's Michael What's His Name from math class. He looked at you last Wednesday when you handed him the stapler and now you're a corpse. He knew you.
Congratulations. Now your school has miserable foggy atmosphere and you've got everybody else thinking suicidal thoughts.
This happened in my school. A boy committed suicide and two years later to the date, another boy followed suit. Don't give anybody ideas.
Life needs tragedy. If all your problems were washed away you'd find something else to complain about. Scabs bleed because we pick at them. It's better to live a life of joy and sorrow, no matter the amounts, than to throw out any chance at joy.
2. You aren't that ugly.

See this guy? He's a lemming. Yes, those things jump off cliffs in masses. Peer pressure is so much fun. Is he an adorable honey colored fluffball or what?
EDIT: I have recently discovered lemmings don't jump off cliffs more than any other species. Urban legend.

Fluffiness never was happiness. There will always be somebody prettier than you. Go to the grocery store. Buy a copy of People magazine and some kind of chocolate. Ignore the photoshop, plastic surgery, and professsionally applied makeup. Read about these beautiful people with death and divorce and infidelity and loss of custody and DUIs.
There will always be somebody uglier than you. Go to somewhere public. Yes, a place with people. Look around and there will be somebody who looks like they applied their makeup in the dark. Using their toes.
Even less than handsome people have gone on to do great things.

He was so ugly, an eleven year old girl wrote him a letter advising him to grow a beard.
This is what happens when politicians take advice.
Still homely, but now he's President of the United States of America.
These guys drove 2 hours just to go to my book signing!  (Taken with Instagram)
The girl in the middle has been dubbed "ugliest woman on earth". Her name is Lizzie and she has a medical condition so rare, only two others people in the world have been diagnosed. Basically, she has no body fat. When she was in high school, some scumbuckets posted a youtube video mocking her. Viewers left comments calling her a monster and urging her to commit suicide.
But she rose above them. Today she's a motivational speaker and author. If she can do it, so can you.
Now for a guy.

This is Nick Vujicic. Also a motivational speaker. He has a head, a torso, a foot, and a hot wife. He tried to kill himself when he was ten. If he had gone through with it, he wouldn't have a hot wife. Or a foot.
Look down. Do you have a foot? If yes, then you too can have a hot wife.
Note: Ever look at somebody really close up? You see pores. Blotchy pink skin. Oddly positioned freckles. Funny little bumps on noses and too stretchy lips. On everybody. Nobody's beautiful. That's why they invented photoshop.
3: Expand your definition of friend.
So you don't confide your deep, dark secrets to a vast number of people. At least, not without a laptop as a shield. I mean, you just googled "how not to feel worthless" or something similar. Yes, my blog tracks search phrases. No, I'm not stalking you. You're a very special person but I have better things to do with my life. As do you.
Anyways, friends. You have some. Maybe not the slumber party sister for life kind. But there's the person you carry on the randomest conversations with in biology. The shrimpy kid with the acne who passes by your locker between fifth period and lunch and you wave to them out of pity. That eerily perky girl who always wants to know exactly how good your day has been. You smile and lie to her on an almost daily basis. How is that not an interesting relationship? Then there's that kid you sit by at church you'd love to hang out with, but he transferred to some random charter school around the time you noticed his existence. And that girl you don't like to count as a friend because she's two years younger than you and that's not something you imagine yourself bragging about at parties. The upside, you are her cool friend. Seniority! And don't forget Michael What's His Name.
4: Get a life, get a hobby
You are good at something-that dark poetry when you channel your depression onto paper at two in the morning,  the way scales overlay perfectly when you draw dragons, your ability to manipulate google into actually producing something useful, and the fine art of pouring soda onto your sister's head. Nobody else can aim for the ponytail holder and actually hit it.
There's something you're good at. Anything. Think about it.
(Insert imaginary Jeopardy theme song here)
Got anything yet? Than keep thinking, you lazy sea slug.
There's probably even a Big Thing you're good at if you try hard enough. I like writing. In seventh grade I joined the school newspaper. It was intimidating, to say the least. But it was the first year and everybody sucked just as much as I did-some more! I picked up some of my weirder, ahem, more awesome than average friends there. There's the Harry Potter fangirl, that guy with absolutely no personality unless you mention girls, the girl who occasionally dresses in all orange, the brilliant class clown slash techie nerd hybrid. Even one of my very best friends, this redhead wannabe pickpocket with an unhealthy Les Miserables obsession. Her hobbies are stealing my pencils, speaking in a Cockney accent, complaining about her little sister, theater, smearing my face with ink, flicking water at me when I try to wash the ink off, and trying to force me into signing contracts to be her personal servant for life.
See? Everybody has their thing.
5: Your life isn't that bad.
Today I gave a smoothie to a homeless couple in front of McDonalds with a cardboard sign. In some countries, you can't get a piece of cardboard to make a sign because somebody else is using it to make shoes. Forget about pens-people are melting them down to make new pens.
As you read this article, their are millions of starving children around the world who don't have internet access.
6: Submerse yourself in depressing entertainment
I mean mood music, movies where everybody dies at the end, and books. Ooh, books. It's so nice to know somebody else out there went through the same stuff you are. Try reading Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, Shock Point by April Henry, or Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer. Then there's historical fiction-holocaust, anybody? All of a sudden, your life does seem pathetic. Pathetically easy.
7: Ignore Step Number Six
Trust me, you'll get sick of it.
I like music, especially when I'm doing homework. It drives away that gray monotonous feeling that makes my brain feel like it's stuffed with something boring, like pencil shavings.
Anyways, music. Here's my Bad Day Playlist:
Believe In Me by Demi Lovato
Keep Your Head Up by Andy Grammer
Keep Holding On by Avril Lavigne
Live Like We're Dying by Kris Allen
Sound the Bugle by Bryan Adams
Not Alone by RED
Absolutely anything Disney
Then move onto whatever strikes your fancy, because I don't know you or your musical preferences. Watch stupid happy romance movies and read the books where everybody gets married and rich by the end.
8. Pray
I don't care what your stance on religion is. There's so much good in it and it helps me to know there's a God who cares. If you've got so many thoughts in your head that there's hardly any room for you, why not get down on your knees and whisper to someone who can help? No one will know. You have nothing to lose.
9.  Do Unto Others
You aren't alone. No, really, this is my third most popular post. So many others are having the same thoughts, and you pass them by the same way everyone did to you. Smile. Talk. Take interest. Don't wait for someone to take you under their wing. Spread your own wings and fly.

Above all, stay strong. Now get off the internet and do something with your life.


  1. Great post. Even us "older" teens get depressed sometimes. Just what I needed--a real kick in the pants.

  2. this is just so helpful. Thank you.

  3. Thank you so much, really. The mixture of comedy and relevant meaning really put me in a good mood. I hope you use this ability to inspire more people. Thank you again.

  4. Thanks-it's comments like these that motivate me to keep blogging.

  5. Oh just realised you were female. Heck I still love you :)

  6. "now get off your computer and do something with your life"
    yeah. helpful.