â€œYou donâ€™t fit the mold,â€ my therapist told me.
I tried to ignore her statement, but I knew she was right.
â€œYouâ€™re different now,â€ she continued. â€œIt can be scary for people who live inside their own world and donâ€™t stray far. It just scares them.”
I had spent half an hour complaining that I donâ€™t get any acknowledgement for my work â€” my columns in the paper, working with NAMI Greater Corpus Christi, and the most difficult: the positive changes in my life since coming out of a depressive episode in 2019. Itâ€™s night and day, at least to me. Iâ€™m so grateful, and I want to make sure nobody else feels alone in their struggle, so now I talk non-stop about every aspect of my recovery. Iâ€™m sure my family and friends have felt weary listening at times. But scared? I don’t know about that.
Regardless, I have to keep talking.
I donâ€™t do what I do for acknowledgement, but it feels like a slight with family or friends when they donâ€™t bring it up or ask about it. A big slight. I take it personally, and I know I shouldnâ€™t, but at times I obsess about it. Honestly, it makes me feel like Iâ€™m not good enough, even though Iâ€™ve worked very hard to get where I am.
Iâ€™ve never felt good enough. But some part of me must think I am because I marvel at the depressed, anxious person I was just three years ago. Iâ€™m highly functional now â€” I can volunteer at my kidsâ€™ schools, go to lunches with friends, work, write, practice self-care on top of everything else. Iâ€™ve proven I can do hard things. Yetâ€¦thereâ€™s that deep-seated nagging feeling that makes me feel rejection, hurt, confused and angry. And poof! The visual of myself stronger and happier vanishes from my thoughts.
Itâ€™s there, and likely always will be unless I do an exorcism of these thoughts, and for that, you have to put in the work with honesty, therapy and introspection. Who has time for that?
What I need to remember is that my worth isnâ€™t tied to anyoneâ€™s opinion, no matter what. I need to tell myself every day I can do hard things â€” that Iâ€™ve done hard things. That I crawled my way back from the darkest pits of despair. At one point, I thought that I was just biding time until I killed myself. I slept all day. I engaged in self-mutilation and abused my medication. I lied to get narcotics from the doctor. I wanted to feel anything but the awful pain I was in.
Thatâ€™s not me anymore.
I am more than my worst mistakes and moments. I wake up at 5 a.m. I take care of my kids and husband. I work to spread awareness about mental illness. I take my medications, I see my therapist weekly, and I do the work, even when itâ€™s hard. I can see my transformation reflecting in my familyâ€™s eyes.
I made it. I lived. I survived.
So it makes me wonder if the reason I get so upset at my loved onesâ€™ apathy is not because itâ€™s painful but because I deep down I â€œknowâ€ Iâ€™m not good enough â€” that Iâ€™ve put up a farce. That Iâ€™m not worthy of their love.
Once again my brain is telling me conflicting things. And itâ€™s scary when thereâ€™s such dichotomy in those thoughts. I mean, who do I listen to?
More importantly, which one is right?