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Emily - Marietta, Georgia
Entered on October 17, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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In society today, it is imperative to pretend. Lying, putting on guises to please people is commonplace. Self esteem is rare, insecurity guaranteed. I believe in self esteem.

People are almost guaranteed to go through some self loathing before they reach the true point of self acceptance. In ninth grade my life was great. Dozens of friends and marching band kept me entertained, while an academic schedule loaded with advanced classes kept me busy and stressed, satisfying my need to have something to do. This high lasted a month. Like many teenagers, I felt as if I wasn’t doing well enough in school, as if everyone was a great student, a nice person, and a worthy friend except for me. All the bad seemed to build and build, while every ounce of good vanished. September 6 was when I had my first round of pills. It’s only Advil, not some horrible prescription or illegal drug. Half a bottle later, my plan still wasn’t working. My confidence was still non-existent, and I was still a loser. I took a few more, but was too frustrated to finish off the bottle. This cycle continued almost every night until I reverted to the kitchen knives to suck the pain out. Every drop of blood was a little bit of sorrow leaving my body. But this strategy was much more difficult to conceal. A week later, my deepest fear was put into action: “Emily, could you report to the counselor’s office?” Enraged at myself for not keeping my secret well enough, and furious at whoever had ratted me out, I was forced to sit through an excruciating session with the counselor and my mother, which resulted in Dr. Rena, psychiatrist. She opened my eyes to all the pain I had been causing those around me. Why would I ever have wanted to do any of this? How could I make my family and friends seem so inadequate? The thought that I had taken this horrible path seemed irrational, illogical, ludicrous. My mind became clear almost immediately, and I could feel the confidence rising up in me.

This needs to be a road no one travels down, blocked from entry. It doesn’t take an experience like this to find self esteem. For some, even those who don’t try their hardest to succeed, confidence is present in every aspect of life. The child failing all his classes could be the most self-assured, while the top student could have a hidden feeling of failure looming around every corner of his mind. People need to stop and think about their admirable qualities and focus on realistic ways to improve their lives, not concentrate on areas where they fall short of success.