I often surprise people when I tell them I had a horrible self-esteem as a child/teenager. Those who know me today can’t imagine the shy, quiet Erin of years gone by. Truth be told, I had more than a low self-esteem. I hated myself and longed to be anyone other than me. For several years in high school, I avoided mirrors because I didn't want to be reminded of how hideous I was. Because of this self-loathing, I set-out to improve myself. I vowed to be the best at everything I did because I “knew” this would improve my self-worth.
So I worked, and I worked hard. I might not be supermodel material, but I had a brain and a little bit of talent. I pushed myself to be one of the top students in my class. I won awards in the state of North Carolina for my skill as a clarinetist, and I made a name for myself as one of the best writers on the school paper. I even won an award for my journalism prowess. By the time I graduated from college, I had a GPA of 3.94. I had worked extremely hard and achieved a great deal, but if I’m honest, it wasn't enough. I still wasn't satisfied with myself. I still wished I was someone else. Oh, I felt I had more value as a person than I did before I achieved these things, yet I felt like my worth was based on what I accomplished, which created a huge problem for me when I became too sick to work.