When I talk to others about feeling worthless, responses seem to fall into two categories. There are those who are try to validate me with stuff like "you're totally the bee's knees, you're awesome, so don't feel worthless" and then there are those who say "you can define yourself however you want so just view 'worth' differently."
In the grips of feeling worthlessness, both of these responses fall flat for me. The first category of people is easy to dismiss. I simply think that those people don't know me, or don't know me enough, to determine my value.
People in the second category bug me for more complex reasons. Telling someone that "you define who you are" sounds like you're blaming me for feeling worthless because I defined myself that way. Which, yep, makes me feel even more worthless. I think things like "fuck, I can't even create an evaluative scale that gives me worth. I must really fucking suck." People say that defining oneself is empowering. For me, the thought is disempowering. It brings to my attention how little control I have over my feelings worthlessness, as compared to those people who can redefine it all away.
Claiming that someone can "define" themselves assumes that the person in question is in control of believing that definition. And I think when it comes to my feelings of worthlessness, the problem is precisely a lacking control of believing my definition of what I am "worth." I can certainly make up some creative scale where "just being me" means I am a worthy person, but I cannot make myself believe it. I literally cannot convince myself, no matter the logical gymnastics, that my definition matters, is relevant, is more than some lie I'm telling myself. I've told people stuff along these lines, and they almost always tell me that belief is a choice, once again blaming me for my feelings of inadequacy, making me feel inadequate for feeling too inadequate to feel more adequate.
Then these people tell me to be mindful and grateful. These things are supposed to make you glad to be alive (right?). I can be mindful to an extent. I can focus on a particular detail of something to forget about something else. But it only lasts so long. Being "mindful" in that respect is just a useful distraction. It does not make me feel any differently after 5 minutes.
General gratefulness is not something I can feel. If I didn't have this cup, for example, I'd just be using a different one. I wouldn't feel sad about losing it. And if I didn't have cups at all, I'd just use a bowl. Similarly, if I wasn't alive, I would be dead. Nothing tragic about that, nothing to be grateful about. These are just facts. I would adjust the absence of things that I hypothetically wouldn't have. And if I were dead, I wouldn't feel anything at all. It's all the same.
And then they tell me I'm depressed, that I need therapy and meds that I cannot afford. Maybe I'm just seeing the truth. No one entertains that idea.
I'm not looking for advice. I'm just venting.