Danika Enad - I Am Enough

by GEM Magazine / Jul 28, 2015 / Comments

Self-reflection has never really been one of my strong suits, and looking back I realize I had a particular aversion to this part of myself. For the longest time I didn’t tell anyone, I couldn’t tell anyone. If I told anyone that I was unhappy and had suicidal thoughts, I'd have to admit that it was real. And I could barely admit that to myself. I wasn't ready to say it aloud and truly accept it.

At thirteen years old, I wanted to die. I would spend nights locked in my room after school willing myself not to cry. I would try and focus on tasks such as homework and making polite conversation at the dinner table, but I could never escape my own thoughts. Especially when bedtime rolled around.

I can remember staring up at my ceiling begging to be taken away. Eventually I would fall asleep with tears on my cheek and wake up the same way. It was a life that had somehow stopped being worth living, but I was still there. I was still alive.

With all of the knowledge I possessed at thirteen, I figured this was a natural part of growing up. I’d seen in movies and TV shows that the protagonist of the story always ends up better because of it. Someone will come along and show them that they are worth it and help them see the light in themselves. That never happened for me. There was no knight in shining armour, or loving best friend who forced me to see all the good I could do.

I learned the hard way that no one wants to deal with your sadness. No one wants to willingly engulf themselves in something that will only bring them down. I had this idea that being anything other than happy was somehow weak, and that feeling anything other complete joy made you less of a person. This idea was reinforced the first time I said outloud that I wanted to die to another person.

The best and worst part about it all, was that no one could tell. My teachers believed me when they asked if I was fine and all I would say was “I’m tired.” No one questioned the loud girl not speaking anymore. They couldn’t tell that I was completely numb on the inside, going through the motions, and trying to survive the day.

I could not see myself turning 14 or 16, let alone 20. I was sure that I wouldn’t be alive to see my next birthday because I would have taken my own life. I never imagined a life for myself because I internalized it all.

I kept every bad feeling, every nasty comment, every moment of hopelessness sit within me. I let all the things I assumed people were thinking, all the comments I knew they would say and all the judgments I thought they would make, eat me alive. I let all the mean things anyone ever said affect me.

I didn't love myself.

I became my harshest critic, and I was disgusted with myself for wanting to die. I thought I had become weak, and that went against everything I had ever thought to be true.

Now, seven years later, I don’t hate myself for feeling the way I did. I don’t hate the people that compared me to others, I don’t blame the people who called me nasty names and made those snide remarks about the way I acted or the way I looked.

I refuse to be angry anymore, it is exhausting.

I look at the world a little differently now. I no longer have those idealistic expectations of a happily ever after. I know that life isn’t fair and that sometimes people are just mean.

I pull myself out of my bad days, I force myself to re-evaluate my thoughts and I am kinder to myself. I learned that only I can control what I can and cannot do. No one knows me better than I know myself.

The truth is, I still have those thoughts, but not all the time.

Instead of a never ending cycle of self hate, they creep into me like a winter cold that seeps into your bones. Some days I won’t get out of bed, but I don’t blame myself when they happen. I forgive myself for those days and know they won’t last forever.

Growing up, everything felt so final, like one bad day was going to be how I would feel for the rest of my life, but it wasn’t. With each passing day, I learned how to deal by doing little things. I became more in-tune with what I need and the person I was. I saved myself, and by doing so, I started to surround myself with people that would lift me up. I know what kind of life I deserve and the people in my life only support that future.

For anyone who experiences the feeling of overwhelming hopelessness and believes it will never end, I promise that it does.

The little things about you, like the way you take your coffee or the way you watch television are your best parts. You don’t notice them, but the people around you do.

We can be our own worst enemy, but we will also be our own best friend if we allow it. We need to stop apologizing for the things we love, and stop apologizing for who we are, because we will always be enough to the right people.

But first we must start by being enough for ourselves.

By Danika Enad

Danika is a young writer from Calgary who believes that words have the power to change people for the better and encourages all forms of storytelling. Being truthful to oneself is something she aspires to maintain while still trying to grow as a person. When she is not at school, or doing one of her many creative projects, she can be found spending copious amounts of time with her family eating at their favourite Pho place.

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Twitter - @DanikaCEnad

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