I remember a time in my life when my stress and anxiety was so intense, I would fantasize about *poof* just not being here. My best friend would tell me on a regular basis, ‘If you don’t get this under control, you’re going to get sick’.
It was three years ago, right this very moment, I sat on the side of my bed, covered in bruises, blood vessels bursting, hemorrhaging, on the phone with TeleHealth to ask them if they thought I should go to work or not. I intended on going. I had already missed a full week in the office for the muscle I had locked in my hip days before. I didn’t want to miss anymore time at work.
It was easy to pass it off as not a big deal. Like I was being a big baby. I should just suck it up because duty calls. My doctor clearly wasn’t concerned. And even when I got to the hospital, after TeleHealth told me to drop what I was doing and go, the triage nurse fluffed my concern off as a heavy period. Why would I take it seriously if the people trained to take these things seriously didn’t? It seemed to suit the rhetoric of my life perfectly. I would scream, ‘Me first!!!’ to the world; was even called names for it but I never really did come first. I blamed the world for that, feeling sorry for myself.
It took nearly a year after that day to realize that it wasn’t the whole world that has neglected me. I mean, I’ve had my fair share of bad experiences but the most deceptive wrong is the one we commit upon ourselves. It had been me, myself neglecting me. Yes, the world could kick you around but at the end of the day, what truly matters is how you treat yourself and I simply did not value myself. I did not feel worthy of being put first.
To think that I was 24 hours away from my own death and still I didn’t trust myself enough to make the decision to seek medical care. That I was 24 hours away from my own death and more concerned what my employer thought about me missing another day. My lack of self-worth almost cost me my life. My lack of self-acceptance; if only I could get there, to help start easing the burden of my anxiety, wasn’t something I could see in front of me. Not even through the strongest telescope. Let’s be honest, there is no telescope that can penetrate a well crafted ego that’s not ready to let go.
It’s been 3 years and I don’t know that version of me anymore. I’m grateful for who I’ve become. I unapologetically come first because the mere fact that I breathe makes me worthy.
If you can relate, I hope you can find it in yourself to love yourself before life shows you why you always should have. Because you are worthy too.