No One Deserves to Disappear

I feel invisible. If I disappeared tomorrow, no one would notice. No one would care even if they did. I’m not special. There’s no reason to remember me.

This is what I tell myself. I tell myself this consciously and subconsciously, and I have for years. And the thing is, I desperately want that to change. I try to do things that I hope people will notice. I post on social media. I go out and socialize. But at the end of every day, a part of me whispers that it wasn’t good enough. “You are still invisible,” it says. “No one cares about you.”

I wanted to write this because I was listening to a song yesterday that really resonated with me. It’s a song I have heard many times before, but last night  it felt like I was hearing it for the first time. Here are some of the lyrics that stood out to me:

“No one deserves to be forgotten. No one deserves to fade away. No one should come and go and have no one know he was ever even here. No one deserves to disappear.”

In therapy lately, I’ve been working through my feelings of invisibility. When I was a kid I was bullied, and that changed how I saw myself in the world. I didn’t have a lot of friends as a middle schooler. In fact, I used to walk the track with my math teacher at recess because I didn’t have anyone else to hang out with. People always told me when I was a kid that I was so mature for my age, and I chalk that up to having more adult friends than friends my own age. I wasn’t cool. I wasn’t popular. I still feel that way.

“When you’re falling in a forest and there’s nobody around, all you want is for somebody to find you. When you’re falling in a forest and when you hit the ground, all you need is for somebody to find you.”

It’s hard for me to accept that I may never have the life I desire. I want to be seen so desperately. I don’t want to constantly measure my life based on how many people follow me on Instagram, or like one of my photos, or comment on meaningful Facebook statuses. I want to feel that if I fall in a forest, someone will come find me.

“Even if you’ve always been that barely-in-the-background kind of guy, you still matter. And even if you’re somebody who can’t escape the feeling that the world’s passed you by, you still matter. If you never get around to doing some remarkable thing, that doesn’t mean that you’re not worth remembering.”

I constantly feel like because I have nothing remarkable to offer the world, no one cares about me. I often feel talentless, and I constantly compare myself to others based on what I see of them on social media and out in public. I can’t figure out what I lack that other people seem to have. I don’t seem to be too different from my friends, and yet they are loved by so many, have a large social media following, and seem to have it all together. Even when I don’t want to, I find myself turning these thoughts over and over in my brain…what did I do wrong? What am I missing?

Listening to that song last night, I realized how true the sentiment of the musical, Dear Evan Hansen- where the song comes from-  is as a whole. The message is that no matter how invisible you feel, you are not alone and you don’t deserve to disappear. It’s interesting because I’m working on believing this myself, and at the same time, I believe it so strongly for other people. I want others to know that they are not alone and that their lives are worth it. It is just so hard for me to flip that on myself. But I’m starting to work on that.

I’d love to hear from others who feel similarly, or who found this post relatable in any way. I tend to do well on “islands of misfit toys,” finding that I can get close to those who come from similar backgrounds. And I’d love to be surprised; my therapists are always saying that there are more people like me than I realize. I’d love for them to be proven right.

Feel free to comment, send me an email, a message on social media, anything you like. I’d love to hear your story.

“You are not alone.”

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