I’ve had this post in mind for weeks now, but it is honestly so raw and stripped down that I’ve hesitated to put it up. I’ve had all these things I felt as though God wanted me to share, but I had been secretly terrified to expose some of my most intimate flaws that I had spent years lying to myself about.
Anywho…to the actual post:
A few years back, I had a conversation with one of my coworkers at the time. He shared with me that he was starting his own fashion business and that it was bound to be something big.
I was so ecstatic and instantly yelled out, “I’m so happy for you! You deserve this!”
He stopped me right there.
“I hate that word ‘deserve’. That word sounds like a sense of entitlement and the world isn’t going to give you a d*mn thing. Either you EARNED it or you didn’t. I don’t deserve this. I earned it.”
That conversation has stuck with me for all of these years. I believe that what he said applies to life in general and not just work or employment.
Lately I’ve had a lot of my friends stopping and asking me if everything’s ok or if I’m doing alright. I hadn’t understood what so many people are seeing about me that seems “off” lately.
I honestly just think that I have been caught up in my own little world. Trapped in my own thoughts.
I’ve been reflecting on my life a lot lately. I’ve had a lot of things going on currently that have forced me to look back on things in life that I’ve never shared with people and how me suppressing those things have affected me today.
There have been a lot of things that I have spent years being ashamed of sharing. Things that caused me to feel like I maybe didn’t “deserve” some of the blessings that I have been receiving.
Recently I’ve been feeling compelled to share more of my story.
I used to live in denial about a lot of things.
One full story that I’ve never shared with anyone is how I secretly had a breakdown my sophomore year of college.
Keep in mind, I’ve dealt with anxiety since high school. I remember having my first panic attack in the 9th grade. I remember sitting in the back of my Pre-AP Bio class and freaking out because I didn’t know we were having a test that day (I was a stickler about my grades).
Fast forward to the Fall semester of my sophomore year in college.
It was my first college semester being single, I was living on my own, my classes starting getting more challenging, I was working 3 days a week, and I had a lot of personal things going on.
I kept lying to everyone and myself. I kept saying everything was ok and that I could handle everything. Slowly I saw myself pulling away from everyone around me. I found myself not answering my phone and staying cooped up in my apartment. I found myself alone.
I had no idea that others recognized that as well. I’m not even referring to my friends. I’m referring to my professors.
One day, I received a concerned email from one of my professors. He stated that he had seen a decrease in my work ethic and attendance and that he would not allow me back into class until I spoke with a therapist in the health center. He even CC’d my advisor in the email.
The next day, I went to the health center. After meeting with 2 therapists and a psychiatrist, I was diagnosed as severely clinically depressed. I was precribed three different prescriptions of anti-depressants.
A few people are aware of this, but what I never told anyone was that I was also told that I should be checked for the early stages of schizophrenia and was also put on a 24 hour suicide watch by the university.
I walked out of there feeling like a crazy person! I was ashamed to think that I wasn’t normal and that people would begin looking at me differently.
I eventually went back to class after being gone about 2 weeks. People would ask where I had been and if I was ok.
All I could tell anyone was that I had been “sick.” I was still lying. I’m not sure if it was for them or for me, but I still couldn’t be honest.
After that, I saw a therapist once a week for the next year and a half.
I’ve been through a lot of things in life. Private moments that I’ve never shared with anyone.
But I overcame.
Yes, there are some things that I’m still learning to speak on and be real about with people, but this right here is a huge step. Writing this right now and admitting my past is therapeutic.
I’m trying to learn how to use my words more wisely and more positively because I know some of the things that have hurt me that I have lied to myself about and let build up.
I never tell people that mention when my skin breaks out that those comments actually hurt because my acne was so bad at one point that it has always been an insecurity of mine.
I haven’t been able to openly thank people for complimenting my recent haircut yet. Not because it is out of vanity, but because it was not a haircut I chose. I went to go get my hair done last week because my hair had been coming out at the root and when I did, the stylist found a bald spot in the back of my head. Cutting off my hair again was the only way to hide the bald spot.
I don’t share that it bothers me when people make jokes about how “I don’t like to eat” because I’m skinny now. I’ve lost about 35 pounds and I’m proud of that, however, it was rough being reminded of my weight when I was overweight and it’s still rough now that I am constantly being reminded of my weight in a negative way now that I am fit.
We all have things in our lives that we are telling half truths about. We all have moments in life that we hide from even ourselves and say “it’s ok.”
I’m starting to really immerse myself in my blessings.
Why? Because I’ve EARNED it.
I’ve earned the right to a decent job. I’ve earned the right to have nice things. I’ve worked and prayed for them.
The biggest realization that I’ve had is that I’ve earned the right to have a healthy, loving relationship.
I’ve spent so much time saying “I don’t want a boyfriend”. Possibly because I had that whole insecurity about what I “deserved” in my head.
People spend their whole lives looking for something genuine. Looking for someone they can laugh with, share their emotions with, pray with, and even just relax with.
I don’t want to be the person that is so stubborn and stuck in my ways that God brings that person in my life one day and I’m sitting here saying, “No, I don’t want a relationship.” I don’t want to look up 10 years from now, wondering why I “deserve” a good man and he’s nowhere to be found when God had sent him years prior and I pushed him away.
I am open to love and being loved because I have earned it.
We have to stop lying to ourselves about things of our pasts because everything is meant to be used as a stepping stone towards where God wants you to be.
We have to stop sitting back and waiting on the things we believe that we “deserve” to come to us. We must live in the life that we have EARNED.
Stay blessed, lovers.
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