Where’s the first place you go when you need to shop?
Stay with me here – the first place I go when I shop is the clearance rack. I like to find bargains and deals. I’ve bought things that I didn’t necessarily like, or fit particularly well (i.e. too big/small) because they didn’t have my size on clearance. And lord knows I wasn’t going to go look on the regular racks. Especially when my husband was in active addiction and the finances were all kinds of screwed up, I felt like every penny was the end all, be all of our budget.
Self worth is the value you place on yourself.
I’ve come to realize this actually says quite a lot about the value I place(d) (I’m working on it too!) on me, my time, my family, my budget. For a very long time, my Self Worth has been connected to my net worth. So when there was no money in the bank, I felt just as empty. I felt like I “SHOULD” have it all together. I “SHOULD” be able to make all the bills on time. I “SHOULD” be worthy of his love and HE SHOULD want to get clean and sober for me/us.
Beware of those “Shoulds”.
I’m sure you’ll agree that there’s not much (barring an emergency/unexpected something) that can knock me on my ass faster than a “Should”. When I start circling that drain of the coulda shoulda woulda’s – I’m in dangerous territory. It’s so easy for us to beat the shit out of ourselves. It’s based on old beliefs that we internalized and thought to be true. And you’d be surprised at the number of women who feel they aren’t good enough/there’s something wrong with them.
In my experience, it’s an old wound that never really healed.
I’ve worked with hundreds of addicts, and families of addicts. Not to mention my personal experience. 99.9% of the time, there’s a wound that just never quite healed. Maybe it started to heal, and someone ripped the scab off. Perhaps it’s ‘healed’ but the scar left some disfigurement (or false belief).
Here’s an example: I spent 30 years thinking I wasn’t good enough, and through a process traced it back to the birth of my little brother. REALLY?! I spent 30 years in a space of not feeling good enough because my parents had another baby. To 4 year old Erin, that was reality. If I was enough they wouldn’t have needed another baby, right?
What about your relationship with your addict?
What is it that you believe about yourself that lead you into this marriage? For me, I had a 3 year old and a 4 month old. I was certain no one would want some damaged goods with all that baggage, so when this charming man (ignore the 40oz beer in his hand) asked for my number, well… yeah – the rest as they say is history. Now, I can see where all of those events have lead me to my current reality, and am grateful for them.
I’m sure you struggle with the same feelings of “not good enough”, “broken”, “crazy”. Sometimes they are just little whispers in the backs of our minds. Sometimes they are straight out of the mouths of the man who vowed to love us till death do us part. Either way, they become part of the fabric of who we are. And therein lies the problem.
So don’t believe everything you hear.
Ole Nelly (you can read about her here) has a way of telling me all the things I’m not ‘enough’ of. Not pretty enough, not thin enough, not smart enough, not enough money, not enough time… And I know you have one too. Have you named her? Next time she starts in, tell her to shut the F- up. A part of you knows you’re absolutely enough. Just where and how you are. That part of you may be very quiet, but if you can get still and coax her to speak up, you’ll hear her. That’s your intuition. Believe HER. Not Nelly, or your hubs when he’s been using/is mad/had a bad day, etc, or your sister, cousin, neighbor, or anyone else.
They may have your best interests at heart, but then again, they may not.
Not everyone is your friend. We’ve all had experiences of the ‘best friend’ who ended up being a mean girl, or stole our boyfriend, or started talking smack (or all 3 in my case). It’s become easier to not have friends than to worry about picking ones who aren’t going to stab you in the back. We build walls, and are afraid to make the wrong choices, so we don’t make any at all. We get stuck on the merry-go-round and one day we wake up and don’t recognize ourselves any more. Then we seek out information and feedback and the vicious cycle can start all over.
Chances are you know a few people who really do have your best interests at heart, that will call you on your BS, and will tell you when you’re wrong – that is your tribe. Those who will listen, validate and help you adjust your crown if it’s tilted. Just remember that they are seeing things from their own lens. They aren’t part of your marriage, so they don’t know the whole story. They’re basing their guidance on their perception.
Sometimes you find a great deal.
Sometimes you find the perfect outfit in the perfect size and the perfect color hanging right there on the 80% off rack. Just like sometimes someone will come into your life at that perfect time and you just crack up and drink up all of their awesomeness. They help you see things a little differently, they help you adjust your trajectory, they help you shed another layer of the onion and move closer to who you really are. They are the teachers. And until the lesson is learned, they will keep coming back. If you can listen to the whispers, it won’t take a freight train whistle to get your attention. Send up a bit of gratitude for those finds.
In conclusion – when it comes to self worth (the value you place on yourself) there’s 3 things you can do starting today to increase your self worth – beware the shoulds, don’t believe everything you hear, and learn the lessons. Remember – it’s ok to shop the clearance rack – just don’t discount YOURSELF.
Does your shopping reflect your self-worth? (Or is it just me?!) I’d love to hear your thoughts! Leave me a comment below!