By: Devin Riggs, Regular Contributor
A year ago I felt weak. I felt unworthy. I felt like a failure. I felt out of place. I felt unwanted.
I had spent months, and really years, wrapped in a chaotic depression laced with self-loathing and fear induced anxiety. I had given up my summer job as a camp counselor—knowing that was the best decision for me, but feeling like I was letting other people down. I was lost and falling apart, with no direction. And I couldn’t help myself through it. I couldn’t pretend that I was okay anymore.
And I was afraid to ask for help. I was afraid to confess to these weaknesses I had discovered within me. I was afraid to be vulnerable. I was afraid that no one would understand. I was afraid of facing the parts of my past I had pushed down and almost forgotten about. I was terrified of losing control, of letting go, and finally admitting to my imperfections- the very things that make me human.
A year ago this week, I walked into my first therapy session nervous, scared, unsure, embarrassed, and desperate for some semblance of peace. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, and the most important. Because in the midst of all that fear and anxiety and doubt, I have faced the deepest darkest parts of me and found that I am still a soul worth fighting for.
I still have something to offer the world.
I’m not saying that a year later walking into that office and sitting on that couch is easy, because more often than not I know I’ll exit with a tear stained tissue in my shaking hands. Some days are better than others. Some days I still have to work really hard to get out of bed. Some days I lose the battle with my anxiety and I break down. Some days I still second-guess myself.
Learning to love myself is an ongoing process. It’s not about being perfect. It’s about forgiveness. It’s about celebrating the smallest victories, even if that means just getting through the day. It’s about pushing through the negative thoughts, sifting to find the positive.
For so long I was scared to get help. I thought my problems weren’t “as bad” as others and that I should be able to handle everything on my own. That stigma that surrounds mental illnesses prevented me from getting the help that I really need. Now, after a year of therapy, I have the tools and the resources to not just get through the day, but to make something out of it and thrive. While it’s been a rough journey, I’m definitely better off now than I was a year ago, and I am making progress, step by step, day by day. I’m learning how to love myself. I’m learning how to trust myself. I’m learning how to forgive myself. And I am eternally grateful to my younger self for making the choice to reach out for help, even though it was difficult and terrifying.
So I’m going to celebrate the progress I’ve made. I’m going to remind myself how far I’ve come. I’m going to be proud of what I’ve accomplished. And I’m going to keep working, keep learning, and keep loving. Because I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me.
Let's talk! Have you ever felt like this? unworthy? How did you overcome it? How have you changed in the past year? Share with us here!
Devin has a degree in education with a focus in English. She is working to publish her first collection of poetry while also learning the art of patience. Her passions include Doctor Who, penguins, hats and scarves, potatoes, dancing, photography, and making people happy. She believes in the healing powers of music, spending time in the great outdoors, and a good night sleep.
image via emmamontez.blogspot.com