My greatest enemy is myself


She has been here ever since I can remember.

Always appearing at the foot of my bed, although, her views on the world have changed. 

Her happiness was evident from the beginning, radiating from every cell in her body in a golden hue—a kiss from Helios.  

“Look at you!” she used to say. “You’re a very pretty girl!” 

Then she would grin at me, her smile changing shape as mine used to. 

The sound of feet pattering after me, keeping up with strides that grew along with my legs. 

Encountering new people would bring along smiles and giggles. Sightings of friends would carry along utter glee. Delight caused her to float above the ground, soaring as high as her mood. 

“They sure were nice!” she would exclaim. “I hope I see them again soon!”

Pit stops in front of reflective surfaces would result in her smile growing farther than what seemed possible. 

“Wow,” she would say, barely above a whisper, “You are beautiful.”

I would hold her outstretched hand, just admiring the feeling. Nothing could change our friendship. 

Now, however, she sighs as I awake. 

Her golden glow is now long gone. She is translucent: lacking more color than she possesses, as though she had just escaped from the clutches of Hades.  

“Oh,” she groans. “Why do you have to look like that? Do you think anyone actually likes you?”

Her once glowing smile is now replaced with a grimace. 

Her icy presence sucks any joy from my soul. 

Instead of marching at my heels, she now grips my shoulders or wraps her fingers around my arm, restraining attempts to stride confidently. She shoves my neck down, forcing me to look at my shoes as I walk. If any other person tried this hard to hold me back, they would rip my clothes apart, but she attempts to rip my soul. 

Conversations in passing are now met with her skepticism. 

“They don’t like you,” she whispers to me. “They find you annoying. They talk about you behind your back.” 

She paints friends as hidden foes. Their yellow color ages into grey. She turns foes into something deeper. Their grey color thickens into ink black. 

People deemed trustworthy in the past are now perceived as liars, even if they speak the truth. Their, once pale turquoise, wisps of words have become tendrils of pewter. 

“They’re lying,” she hisses. “You aren’t beautiful. They don’t love you. They just want to hide the truth from you.”

No enemy is greater than mirrors. 

“Look at you,” she mocks, “look at how ugly you are. Who could ever love you?” 

Compliments received from loved ones are now hastily disregarded, back-handed from the one who knows every single insecurity. The one who knows that my fingers are too pointy, my face too round. The one who mocks my voice and my shrill of a laugh. To her, I’m never good enough.  

All because the world has changed her. A small number of toxic people have spun her view of the world into a place where deceivers prosper. She builds her walls high and mighty to avoid disappointment and betrayal. 

To her, I am never good enough. I am not pretty enough. I am not smart enough. I am not funny enough. I am not brave enough. 

Each waking moment drags by slower than the last. She torments me until I lose myself in imaginary worlds or until I finally fight her hurling insults as I drift to sleep. 

Every day, I long for the girl that she used to be. Smiling and gold—overflowing with compliments. Oblivious to the bitter world surrounding her. 

I long for the day that she will finally see that I am enough. I long for another day where she finds me worthy of love.