The Ballad of Not Good Enough

This is Not Good Enough. Perhaps you've met before? 

Not Good Enough sees things for how they really are: empty.

Not Good Enough knows that the grass is greener over there, because she’s looked over there for a really long time, and then looked back here and found it lacking.

Not Good Enough doesn’t need a ride, because taking the bus then walking home in the rain is totally fine.

Not Good Enough has never been upgraded from the kid’s table at Thanksgiving. 

Not Good enough sees the things people do, like getting making friends and going out and getting married, having babies, and buying sofas. And Not Good Enough just knows, inherently, that these things are for Other People and not for her. 

Not Good Enough figures, well, this is just the way things are. 

Not Good Enough's heart is delicate and frail, and therefore must be protected at all times.

Not Good Enough would like to be good enough…one day. But definitely not today, and tomorrow doesn’t look good either. 


Eating Disorder is very seductive to Not Good Enough. "I'll make you matter," Eating Disorder cajoles. And it's right. Eating Disorder adds a sense of structure to Not Good Enough's life--it adds something that matters.

Eating Disorder helps protect Not Good Enough's delicate heart by constructing scaffolding all around it. With the order constructed by Eating Disorder, Not Good Enough feels protected. Some of the time. Enough of the time to make Eating Disorder's work feel important and vital. 

Even if Not Good Enough doesn't feel like she can have the things other people have, she knows she deserves Eating Disorder. And she will do anything to protect it.

For reals, though, Eating Disorder is very bad for Not Good Enough. 

The sad thing is exactly what Not Good Enough can't see. In truth, she is Good Enough. 

Not Good Enough might think she doesn't matter, but actually, she always has. She just couldn't see it, instead thinking that this was a milestone that could only come after much work and at some point in the future that she could not see. 

Not Good Enough, you're not invisible; people see you. Only they don't see you as Not Good Enough; they see you as You. And You matter. 

So please, Not Good Enough, won't you come back to the rest of the world and be Good Enough just as you really are? 

Note: this was inspired by a writing exercise I did at the National Eating Disorders Association conference, wherein we wrote a character sketch about a feeling we associate with our eating disorder. This was mine, expanded and illustrated to be shared here.