I look at myself now and I am so proud of how far I have come over the past couple of years and the internal growth I’ve achieved. I wish everyone would internalise that they matter, are important and should have their needs met!
For years I had disconnected myself from my own needs. I had found that ignoring them was a survival strategy, experience had taught me that I was safer that way. This wasn’t a sustainable approach. I’d become so good at hiding and ignoring my needs that I spent years going through life numb to the good experiences I should have been having. All my actions were routed in expectations and obligations. When that got too much for me I turned to food, drink and drugs to fuel actions. It was ok that I needed to spend the day in bed, it was a hangover rather than depression caused by my unhealed trauma. It’s fine that I drank before I went out, that was me being savvy with money as I wouldn’t spend so much at the club. My binge eating was tied to the days when I was suffering malnutrition from before my adoption (I don’t recall that, I think I may have made it up. I recall walking to collect water with a container on my head as part of my chores, but never hunger…) and the list of justified negative behaviour that sustained the numbing of my emotions is endless. This was never sustainable, and that’s a good thing.
You will recall from My Lost Scarf post that I met up with a refugee to hand over donations and have a coffee with them. I understand that for them this country is strange, cold and they have given up so much to find a safe refuge and respite from a very cruel world. It brought up a lot of emotions for me that had me crying in public. This person has contacted me a few times since, out of I’m sure loneliness I presume for they don’t know many people here. I don’t have the capacity at the moment to do more, and so rather than avoid communications I sent a text explaining that. It was one of the worst feelings I’ve had in some time, but it needed to be done. Out of respect for myself and them, it needed to be done.
Old me wouldn’t have known that it was ok to prioritise myself first. If I wasn’t looking after my needs, then how could others know what was and wasn’t acceptable. I can put up healthy boundaries that consider me because life is about living. It didn’t even occur that giving so much of myself to others and helping them fulfil their needs left little emotional space for my development because deep down I was numb and didn’t believe that I was important enough. You matter. You are important. You deserve your needs met, all of them.
Understanding that you are inherently important by virtue of existing is the first step to healing. Writing this little post was delightful because I want to convey that message to you. Being in a healthy mindset allows me to be reflexive without the turmoil I’d have experienced before.
Please do look after yourself, all aspects of your being. Be kind to yourself and others, you never know what demons people are fighting! Going back to you though, take a deep breath and realise that not one other person in the world has had your life, your experiences or your perspective. You are unique and have so much to offer, and you can only do that by being good to yourself. Be your own best friend you beautiful soul!