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how to lose a life

by erilea


begin by looking at the mirror for too long. learn how to criticize every line and freckle you find. stare at your flaws and burn your imperfection into your memory until your sister is pounding on the door because you're taking too long. this is only preparing you for what you will face.


forgive adults for swearing in your presence. don't let your breath catch or your eyes widen. let these words take the place of the emotion you can't express. realize that this is how to feel something, at least for however long the word lasts.


forget how to smile. never show your teeth unless you are baring them. look around you and discover that there isn't much worth smiling about anymore.

the little things in life can only bring you so much joy. eventuallly, they will stop bringing joy at all.


let your friends and family change every part of you until you look into the mirror and realize this is what people want to see. let words get to you until they just don't any more. let glazed eyes and wandering thoughts be a defense mechanism rather than a product of idle time. convince yourself this is how it must be, forever and always until the rest of your life. there's not a lot left of it anyway.

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Points: 31
Reviews: 1

Sat Sep 14, 2019 6:44 pm
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BCensored wrote a review...

I'm new to this reviewing thing but i have to say i love your piece. It's so relatable. We so badly want to please society that we forget what living for ourselves
actually feels like.

I personally love how you put the piece into like tiny stages. It's easier to read and analyze every part on it's own.
Overall i loved the whole piece and hope to read more of your work.

erilea says...

Thank you for the praise! :)

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48 Reviews

Points: 40
Reviews: 48

Tue Aug 27, 2019 10:45 pm
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starryknightt wrote a review...

Hey, there! Returning from a 2-3 month long hiatus is like waking up from a deep sleep...or maybe the opposite, falling asleep for the first time in a long while. Anyway, that's sort of how I feel right now.

First thing's first-

I LOOOVE your pfp :)

Okay, I'mma start reviewing now.

Your piece is just the right length. Honestly, I couldn't have created it better myself. Of course, the length is the most minor thing I could comment about, but it's true.

I also like how you separated these paragraphs with roman numerals. Like steps in a how-to guide. A guide that none of us would ever WANT to follow, but still manage to find ourselves stumbling along the steps of anyway. I know this is true for me, at least. This is why this post is doing so well. It's simply so relatable. Maybe it's not constant, but everyone has had or will have a time like this in their lives. Filled with emptiness, fake smiles, and so very malleable to others.

I really like this piece :)

I can't wait to read more of your art!


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109 Reviews

Points: 11267
Reviews: 109

Tue Aug 27, 2019 2:04 pm
silvermoon17 wrote a review...

I feel the need to talk about what Sujit said below.
You are not helping anyone by criticizing this poem. You are just destroying the writer even more with your own negativeness. Don’t let people criticize you that way, erilea; your poem is an inspiration. Never take it down.
Skipping the structure which is remarkable and has this little sour taste to it, skipping the imagery which exists. The “defense mechanism” and the whole mirror plots being examples- and lets directly skip to the poem in itself.
I am trying to understand what you tried explaining through your words by imagining your state of mind when you wrote this. I feel like there’s a sort of sarcasm in this poem. Like, “how to be depressive” or “how to make you want to kill yourself” it’s smart.. if I can say so.. but it’s also darn sad. Like saying, “Ill help you become what I’ve become”, as though you are not happy with who you are and you give a description of what caused that change by jotting down rules and steps to become who you dislike.
The poem is striking because it’s sad.. sure it is.. but there’s maybe like.. a sort of dead pride behind it. More like an empty pride where you are somehow proud enough of something you’re not, to describe how to become that. It’s like guiding us in how to cook, like you’re the professional; the mother who’s helping us through the steps. Except it’s not cooking we’re doing, it’s how to become you. Or how to feel something you’ve felt. It’s terrifying in the sense you’ve been enameled in that state of mind so badly, that you’re now showing how to become that.
It’s beautiful.. but terrifying.
From what I’ve heard, a lot of people reading this were saddened. Deprived of their positive energy.
Reading this just felt as though I was saying a description of my life.
If it can make you feel any better, know that you ar not alone.
There are millions of people that have these thoughts coursing in their heads every single day.

erilea says...

Thanks for the review and the kind comments! I really appreciate your analysis of it.

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6 Reviews

Points: 1
Reviews: 6

Fri Aug 02, 2019 6:12 am
Sujit wrote a review...

This is like 'how to be a bad boy guide'.This is misguiding others who want inspirational. It is filled with negativity. I am not sure what you were feeling but I urge you to discard such feelings. The world isn't how you see it. There is at least someone to care for you. Please do not post works of negativity.

erilea says...

Hey, Sujit. I apologize if this piece was misleading. Writing is a way for me and others to express emotions, and while I have not faced sadness to the severity of this poem, I have experienced similar degrees of it, and I'm sure others have as well. I meant no harm by posting, and if this truly upsets you or other users, I will take it down.
Thanks for the feedback.

silvermoon17 says...

Sujit.. You are not helping anyone by criticizing this poem. You are just destroying the writer even more with your own negativeness.

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20 Reviews

Points: 38
Reviews: 20

Mon Jul 22, 2019 1:31 pm
Bhaavya Singh wrote a review...

Hiii Erilea! I don't have suitable words to express how much I liked it. You have depicted the struggles and compromises, which almost every girl makes. It shows how she change from herself to what society wants to see.
In my opinion no girl needs to change herself for the sake of the society. I could Co-relate it with how we are forced to follow the rules and forget our wishes and dreams. I really appreciate this piece of work. Keep on writing.

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17 Reviews

Points: 84
Reviews: 17

Fri Jul 12, 2019 3:54 am
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salia4 wrote a review...

Okay, I first read this and was just like "whoa" like dang, this is absolutely amazing and is something I can truly relate to on a really personal level, as someone who struggles with some apsects of depersonalization and derealization, as well as depression and body dysmorphia, everything mentioned in this piece is stuff I experienced daily. I am glad of the fact that you claimed this is not based on a true story, however, that just makes me appreciate more, because there are a lot of people that experience exactly what you've described, and to be able to explain it so perfectly, despite not having gone through the experience yourself shows a great deal of empathy and insightfullness you possess, and I highly respect you for that.

Amazing work! And I will most definitely need to check out some of your other works!

erilea says...

Thank you so much! :) Your praise is appreciated.

No one achieves anything alone.
— Leslie Knope