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Monday, October 10, 2011

Am I Worth the Investment???

Today is World Mental Health Day, a day dedicated to promoting awareness and open discussion of mental health issues.  This year's them is "Investing in Mental Health".

I think that this is the hardest thing about therapy for me.  I have never thought of myself as worthy of an investment.  My focus has always been on making everyone else happy, doing for others as I would never do for myself.  Holidays dinners had to include all my nieces' and nephews' favorite foods.  It didn't matter how many hours I stood over the stove to do it.  It didn't matter how stressed and tired I was or whether there was anything I liked to eat.

School was always about getting the best grades.  Making my teachers and my mom happy.  In high school I felt the necessity to become involved in every activity I thought might impress a college administrator.  It didn't matter whether I chose the classes or paths I enjoyed.  It didn't matter how stressed or overwhelmed I became.

This same idea that I didn't matter spilled over into all my relationships.  I wasn't worthy of good relationships so it didn't matter how friends, family, or lovers treated me.  Because I knew that I wasn't worthy of good relationships, I never really became fully attached to anyone.  I kept a small part of me separate, knowing that in the end, people would hurt me and/or leave me.  That had always been the way my relationships had worked in the past.

Moving past these ideas and realizing that I am worthy has been the toughest thing.  The idea of my limited worth has been so ingrained for so long.  It wasn't until my mom insisted that I take time to get help through Disability Medicaid so that I could receive treatment that I even considered the option.  I had never considered therapy, because I had never considered myself worthy of it.  I didn't consider myself worthy of it, but my mom did.  It took someone else showing me that they saw my worth before I could even begin to see my own.

Through therapy, I have begun to look at this.  I have begun to see that others, not just my mom, do see worth in me.  If they see worth in me, how can I not see the worth in myself?  This has been one of the major eye-opening moments for me, simply realizing I'm worth investing in.  Realizing that investing in my own wants and needs doesn't mean that I don't care about the wants and needs of others.  Realizing that investing in my own needs is a requirement if I truly want to be there for my friends and family rather than be detached from relationships.  Therefore, for me, the first step in investing in my mental health has simply been realizing that I'm worthy of being invested in.

6 comments:

  1. Beautiful. Just beautiful. It brought tears to my eyes, for I felt I was reading a page out of my own life story.

    YOU ARE WORTH IT!

    Your Mom sounds like a great lady.

    Everything you said about not feeling worthy- I have felt that too and still struggle with those feelings. And for me it has also spilled over into my relationships.

    I have also worn myself out seeing to other people's needs and then worrying they'll leave me in the end anyway.

    Gosh, we really have such similar stories.

    Hugs,
    Elizabeth

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  2. I'm glad it spoke to you, Elizabeth, although I'm sorry you have had to deal with these types of feelings. It seems to be the hardest part of my struggle.

    My mom is a great lady. You don't even know the half of what she's done to try to support and take care of my siblings and myself. I'll leave that for another post. ; )

    We really do seem to find more and more that we have in common every time one of us posts. LOL

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  3. This is a great post - something I think anyone with an MI can relate to. We all need to come to that amazing realization, that we are *worth* the investment. I know I sometimes feel like my main function is to use up other people's air. It can be tough to put our needs up front, and realize that doing it does not mean we are forgetting other people.

    "Because I knew that I wasn't worthy of good relationships ... I kept a small part of me separate" This really resonates with me - I did this for so long, and I have to say I think I'm still doing it a little, even 13 years into a very happy marriage. Low self esteem is a tough hurdle.

    Thanks for joining the blog carnival!
    Adventures in Anxiety Land

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  4. You are so worth the investment, Kat! The best thing I ever did was invest in my mental health, and it is so important! Great post, very thought provoking and honest.

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  5. This is a great post. Thank you so much for sharing, Kat. It really struck a chord with me.

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  6. Thank you for all of your comments. This was just something that came to me in the middle of the night the other night. (Yes, a little insomnia there.) I decided to write it up at the last minute. I think that's why it seems so honest. I'm glad it spoke to all of you, although I'm sorry that you have all had to feel the same way in the past. I still struggle with this, but I'm working at it everyday. : )

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