I was sitting outside of my house, hunched over hiding by a bush. I couldn’t have started kindergarten yet. My young mind consumed with wanting to die; I just wanted everything to end. I couldn’t have been more than six! I am not even sure how I understood life or death, but the level of comprehension at that time still stands vivid in my mind; why I would want the latter so badly was overwhelmingly frightening to say the least.
Junior High led me into more of a peer-comparison depression. My life at home was… isolated, and I kept away anyone who would want to come over. The one time the joking from my junior high bully pushed me to tears, I was sent to the counselor. I refused to talk to them because having to see a counselor meant something was wrong with me.
High school I transitioned roles. I was much more aggressive. I stood up for others being bullied, but I also allowed a bitterness in me that kept me from showing compassion to anyone else, almost turning me into a bully of sorts. (It is still a harbored personality trait)
My struggle with depression became exhausting. My committed relationship, if anything, was a sign for my need for acceptance but also of low self esteem. I allowed myself to be treated in ways that no self respecting woman would permit, all in the false name of love. I found more life in sleeping, and did everything I could to sleep for 12-18 hours a day. (Oversleeping is a pattern I still struggle with.)
I write this, and feel ashamed, not for feeling depressed, but for feeling like my level of depression isn’t good enough to talk about. It is this weight I have allowed society to place on my shoulders.
I write with hope that maybe knowing that despite my outward appearance of having it “all together” if you needed to hear this then know that you are not alone.
Sometimes there is no amount of hand washing, flu shots, or vitamin C you can take to keep you from getting that cold.
If only we, as a society, understood, talked openly about, and respected depression the same way as the common cold.
There is someone there to help you. There is so much to life. You are loved.
Life is a garden; grow it.
I stopped struggling with insecurities when I was around 15; the year I realized I was hot. By that I mean I came to an understanding that the only opinion of my level of attractiveness that mattered was the opinion that I held of myself.
Even still, I walked into a relationship whose key player danced on the human weakness of feeling as if you are not enough. I would lay awake at night thinking that I needed to change my body or my habits to be enough for this person.
It felt like an insane uphill battle because my well founded self confidence in who I was fought with this projected insecurity of who I felt I needed to be.
I’ve never seen someone plant weeds, but that is exactly what I had done.
After that relationship withered away, I found myself laying in the arms of the man who told me he loved me so much that when I was away he even missed my stinky feet. Yet even in the arms of someone who loved me so fully, I found myself struggling with the ghost of those insecurities I had never come to know, and this sudden hollow need to feel like I was somehow enough.
The result of unaddressed emotions lead me to become both bitter and needy.
I expressed to my best friend during this exploration of self awareness, “This must be hurt pride causing a bitter root to take hold.” and she had given me three weeks to bitch, whine, and be resentful, and then assured me I had to get my shit together.
Once my allotted timeframe came to an end, I worked to uproot the bitterness. I imagine visually it’s a lot like weeding a garden, where you grab the weed by the base pulling hard, trying to ensure you get all of the roots out of the soil so that it doesn’t take hold again later. I turned my love off, and it had been affecting all my relationships.
The weeds sprung up ever so often, and I become more equipped each passing day to handle them. There would be a season where it came time to plant a new garden. However, I discovered that though free of weeds, my plot of land had bad soil. *Coming out of the metaphor, I never addressed the needy feeling taking its toll.
If love is like sunshine, then pain must be the rain.
This has brought me through another growing season: You do not need either person to be enough.
The sun and the rain do not dictate to the flower to grow, bloom, and be a flower. You do not need either the insecure or loving person projecting their perspective of who you are and what you are worth on you.
The rain does not arrange a downpour on your schedule, and the sun does not shine at your command. You will never be enough for the wrong person, and there is nothing about you that would keep away the right person.
Be a better version of yourself today than you were yesterday. This change in yourself is happening every day because of the love in your life from family and friends, but strongly because even when it seems like you fail, you spring back up. You are not a victim of others actions. You are strong, loving, hard working, attractive inside and out, and intelligent; all of this makes you beautiful.
Say it every day, with conviction “I am enough.”