None of us are easy to be around all the time. We all have our quirks and baggage and triggers and weaknesses. Thats right. All of us.
Life doesn’t leave anyone unscathed. We all have scars. We all have sore spots in our heart. Some of us have lost people we love. Some of us struggle with mental health issues. Some of us were abused as children. Some of us were abused as adults. Some of us had have our heart broke by someone we loved. We have all been hurt. We have all developed unhealthy coping mechanisms. We all have things in our lives that we need to work on being better about.
Personally, I’ve never met an exception to this. This absolutely includes myself. I am aware that I am not always the easiest person to be around. I was abused as a child. I didn’t have the kind of emotional support I needed as I was learning who I was. I have lost a boyfriend and a husband to suicide. I have had emotionally abusive relationships. I lost a pregnancy. Trust me when I say I know all about grief and baggage and working through my issues.
The thing is, I don’t think this means that I am unlovable. I don’t think this means that I am undeserving of respect and kindness and consideration. I am fully aware of where I have work to do. I am constantly doing my best to learn and grow and overcome. I go to counseling. I do what they recommend. I read. I write. I am self aware. I am constantly evaluating myself and my reactions.
I have Complex PTSD, depression, anxiety, a Traumatic Brain Injury, complex grief and dissociative disorder. I struggle to stay present when the stress gets too much. I also have IBS and widespread pain that is associated with the way my body responds to stress. Sounds fun, right? I know that there are many of you who will read this that will understand exactly how it is to live with things like this.
It is a lot. I am completely aware how hard it can be to live with. I live with it every single day. I have panic attacks and flashbacks. I get scared and insecure and need reassurance. I have days where I can’t find the desire to do anything. I cry a lot. I get angry and turn it inward. I feel isolated and misunderstood. My body and brain are in a constant state of fight or flight. The smallest trigger can cause a cascade of too much adrenaline, an overloaded nervous system, full body tremors and a racing heart that lasts for hours. It is completely exhausting.
There are days when I don’t want to be alone and I can’t stop talking and there are days that I don’t want to see a single person or say a single word. There are days when I feel strong and capable and there are days where I feel like I am completely broken. Most of the time, though, I’m somewhere in between. Sometimes I can’t handle being out in public because the people and the noise are too much. Sometimes I can’t handle the silence in my house. Some days I create gorgeous pieces of art and some days I can hardly find the strength to shower. Such is life with severe trauma.
Im not just my struggles though. I am also incredibly strong. I am one of the most loving people I know. I am honest and I wear my heart on my sleeve. I am intelligent and a talented artist. I share my story with the world in hoped that it can inspire even one person to hold on when they want to give up. I am funny and kind. I am an excellent cook and I love adventures. I am open minded and love to learn. I have the softest heart of anyone I know. I am proud of the person I am, despite my struggles.
I have worked hard to get to where I am. I work hard every day to get even further. I own my life. I know the only way I am going to be happy is if I do the work. I take responsibility for my healing and growth. I don’t expect anyone to do it for me or save me or to make me happy. I don’t even want anyone to. That is my job.
I want to be loved and cared for even on my bad days. I want to be shown some grace on the days I fall on my face. I want someone to hold my hand and cheer me on while I save myself. I want someone who is gentle with me while I heal my wounds and learn to live again. I want to share my life with people who don’t expect me to be perfect. I want to spend my time with people who take the time to get to know who I am and assume the best about me instead of the worst.
I do not think that struggles make us less worthy of love. In fact, it seems to me that those who have known struggle and heartache are often the most generous and kind people I’ve met. Cracks are where the light gets in. Scars and dents mean we have survived. In an Instagram perfect society, we tend to forget that no life or person is perfect. It doesn’t mean we are unworthy of kindness and forgiveness and grace and love if we struggle. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
Be messy. Be honest about your struggles. Honor yourself and your journey. Share your wants and needs. Celebrate your victories and learn from your mistakes. Be teachable. Perfect does not exist. It would be boring if it did. Let people love you as you are, flaws and all. Be unapologetically yourself while constantly working to improve and be the best version of yourself you can be. Don’t let people tell you that you aren’t worthy of love until you are perfect. That is absolutely untrue.
You are worthy of love right now. You are worthy of love as you are. Anyone you tells you that you need to change to be worthy doesn’t need another second of your time. Go find people who cheer you on, not beat you up when you aren’t what they expect you to be. People who punish you for your weaknesses aren’t your people. Go where you are celebrated. Go where you can be your perfectly imperfect self without having to constantly pretend or apologize for who you are. Your people will love you, as you are.