Need for Validation

i wish i could believe
when people say
“your failures
don’t define your worth.”
my sole measuring criteria
of self-worth
merely depends on
a spoonful of shiny validation
diluted with
a sense of euphoric victory.
i wish the labels
of empowerment
were made for me too,
but i have none
and neither was I made
for empowering victories.
i wish i could credit myself
with appreciation
in the days i survived,
swimming solely across the seas
of tormenting grief
while i saw people
sailing through.
my sense of self-worth
is very, very messed up.
it is as messed up as the
pile of books which gathers dust
because of my
unrelenting disassociation
from reality
and the wardrobe I’m too drained
to organize.
i cannot love myself,
unless i feel the hollow warmth
of transient, external love.
i was made for surviving
which i do to this day.
this kind of self-worth
is only existent till another chapter
no amount of validation
can give it the life
it needs to survive
like myself.

Amna Mannan is a writer and a poet.

Featured image: ammar sabaa / Unsplash