Not “enough”

For much of life I lived with the belief that I was not “enough”.

Never smart enough, talented enough, attractive enough, thin enough, successful enough.

I bought into this belief and lived up to it. I found myself in bad situations, poor relationships with consequences and limited coping skills. I was a victim of a story. A story that was first constructed for me by others and then adopted and lived as my truth. Self worth and self esteem were non existent. Eating disordered, anxious, depressed and desperate for approval and belonging, fear and scarcity ruled my life. For a very long time.

You know the punchline. I’m clearly not in that place now. I’m capable and a resilient and my story is no longer tethered to those old, damaging ones. Yes, the adversity has made me strong and successful. Sure. But it would be the place of privilege to proclaim as much; the old “what doesn’t kill you…” falls flat for me. The trenches are as grimy as you think.

I chose this work, the helping profession, initially as part of my own journey. The wounded healer is a common theme in our profession. Yet over time as the healing and growing has taken root I am aware that I’ll forever be on that continuum, managing the sliding scale of life despite being largely “healed”. I have an empathy that comes from an deep understanding of suffering. And I also have a vantage point that proves change is possible. Pain in life is not avoidable, but misery generally is. If I’ve leaned anything it’s that positive thinking, journalling, meditation and gratitude are a fools errand if you don’t have the basics in place. The icing isn’t complete without the cake.