Angel is 17 years old and she gravitates to the beat of a different drummer. She likes Roy Harper comics, reading the Hobbit, and choreographing dance moves to Korean music. She lives in the world of panda bear tattoos and rainbow colored hair. life should be a never ending song of happiness for Angel yet she has had to overcome bouts of low self-esteem due to being bullied. Low self-esteem is a by product of being bullied and if there’s one thing that’s known about self-esteem is that there’s nothing innate or God-given about it and that it must be learned along life’s way. Those who are unique like Angel are often a target of those who possess limited intelligence and are opposed to change. Sometimes the changes that they see are a direct result of a bullied person who felt that their self image needed improvement in order to belong in a society that’s forever unforgiving. When a person is bullied, their lives and their happiness have become restricted and it often leads to fundamental feelings of inadequacy which in turn leads to other problems such as overeating, alcoholism, and depression. In women, low self-esteem is viewed as an epidemic and causes some women to make unwise choices such as marrying unworthy men, making bad career choices, and going from substance abuse to tolerating being abused. Some believe that women are more vulnerable to the symptoms of low self-esteem because the world as a whole is seen as a male dominated society.
It’s hard to have self-esteem when society as a group is constantly defining you, and in your eyes, you view it as not being good enough. You acquire all the symptoms of the dreaded “if only” syndrome. You begin to think if only I was prettier or smarter or had a better body. We all have been amazed at the runway models who look like they eat no more than two flakes of Wheaties and a glass of lemon water. That sends out the wrong message and starts some women on a never-ending perpetual journey trying to “fix” themselves to gain societies approval. You weren’t born with low self-esteem, it came from overbearing parents who told you that you were worthless, or being the one who never gets picked to join the “in” crowd because you choose to color your hair red. How does one change those “worthless me” messages? Sometimes it requires counseling and or a support group. It will also require the best weapon of all, family and friends. Angel has her good days and her bad days, and when she feels overwhelmed, she reaches out to family and friends and we are there to keep her spirits up. You must take the time to identify the good things you have and don’t put so much emphasis on the bad points. The greatest victory in life is the ability to live with yourself and to accept your shortcomings. You may be a long way from where you want to be, but if you really take a good look at yourself, you may realize that you’re not so bad after all.