What do I deserve?
To know what we deserve, we have to have a pretty strong sense of worth. Of purpose. Of self love.
I had a bit of a stumble last year, mental health wise. It was the first time ever in my life and it was most unwelcome. But it was like I had no control over it. It washed over my entire being and I was sad as hell, guilt ridden over nothing and angry at my body, my brain for being this way. Why now? What had I done to deserve this at 33 years of age?
And look at me calling it a “stumble”. I’m already playing it down. It wasn’t a stumble. It was a fall. I couldn’t get up from it. I didn’t have the right to feel the feels I was feeling. I have a great relationship, a beautiful child, a lovely home with a garden, a good job and family in spades.
None of that mattered. It wasn’t enough.
I mean sure, I was under some stress. Some big things were happening in my life. My 3 year old son was being poked and prodded to check for genetic mutations, my thoughts and experiences as a parent were invalidated when they refused an early diagnosis of Autism for him, I was single parenting with Neil working away, we were losing my Gran to the throes of dementia and my Grandad lost in his grief for the woman that, although still physically present, was once someone else. My health was shaky, night terrors disrupted my toddlers sleep each and every night for hours, I stopped enjoying my job. But still, what had I done to deserve feeling as low as I was?
I distinctly remember the day I decided I needed to go and see someone, a professional. I sat in my mum’s house, fully intending to let her know, without tears, that I had been feeling a bit down, but not to worry. But as soon as I started, I cried. This was what I did now. I talked and I cried. If I was lucky, I’d get through a conversation with a lump in my throat and the tears would stay in my eyes. I wasn’t lucky that day.
That same day, I spoke to the doctor. Our GP. I didn’t even get my first sentence out before breaking down. He asked what was going on in my life. I started to work through my list and got 2 points in and he stopped me, asked me what my job was, and let me continue. So I continued and with each point I verbally ticked off, my shoulders sagged just a little bit more each time. I left that room feeling freer than I had in a long time. And I worked hard to continue that.
But why did I deserve this in the first place?
I didn’t deserve it because I was a bad person. It was in fact the opposite. I deserved it because I was good. Because it was impossible for me continue how I was. Because the burden I was carrying, was sinking me lower and lower into depression, because I needed a wake up call. I deserved it because I’m a good person trying too hard to be perfect. It was unattainable.
I no longer measure my worth based on external factors. I am a good person and to know that is enough. Who am I trying to convince, after all?
So now, when I think of what I deserve, I don’t think negatively.
I deserve to be loved. I am.
I deserve to be a good mother. I am.
I deserve to have a comfortable home. I have.
I deserve to have a purpose. I do.
I deserve to have time to myself. I do.
And I deserve to feel that way I feel, without judgment from myself. I do.