The Search for Self Worth


I have just arrived in a nice comfortable place, excited to write, with nothing to write about – this is a lie I tell myself, because what I am dealing with is the internal struggle with Self. It is self-doubt, which has me questioning whether or not my expression of self is even good enough to begin writing. I have started typing, regardless, because if you are anything like me, you know that, like everything in recovery, even if I don’t want to do it and it doesn’t feel good, it does when its done. Once its done I end up questioning why I was even resisting in the first place.

I had a therapy session today, with a therapist who, I believe,  God has chosen to introduce me to, to help me fly. I went in feeling amazing and I came out just as good (for a change), but I have an overwhelming burning in my chest. We keep opening major wounds together and I am left with the feelings I used to use on – God only gives me what I can handle – so does my therapist. Thanks to the program and a bucket load of work I have done on Self, I am able to sit with that feeling, not judge it, live through it and realise that it’s not actually going to kill me.

I have likened therapy to entering a wrestling match with a Gorilla – The Gorilla always wins and I end up pummelled and in pieces, to put it mildly. Today’s session was on money, or under earning, rather, which is funny, because I swear I started therapy to get over my ex 🙂

I have spoken quite a lot about the different addictions I have. I came in for drugs, but when I found a program for sex addiction, I felt like I had found my home. When my therapist brought money to my attention, well… This is the thing that has actually brought me to my knees. There were two things that were off the table when I was growing up; we did not speak about sex and talking about money was totally out of the question!

When the topic of money came up in today’s session, I shrivelled up, hoping I could just dissolve into thin air – then the topic of goals came up and my lack of and I felt overwhelmed with shame. I don’t know in which part of my life I lost the ability or confidence to dream. I remember, when I was young, I drew the farm mansion that I was going to live in, with my vegetable garden, animals, rolling paddocks for all of my horses with a forest at the bottom of the property, with a river running through it. There was a track around the property, an indoor jumping arena and an american style barn. I did want it to be fully sustainable, even back then.

Something happened, so that I have not been able to think of that dream until this very moment, but what’s worse, something’s happened to make me believe that it’s not ok to dream like that. “I am asking too much, being too greedy or I am in way over my head”, this is the internal dialogue that chastises me even at a mere mention of the topic. I don’t cry often. I have been seeing my therapist for just over 4 months now, we dig so deep and she has maybe only seen me cry twice. Today she asked me a question, which broke me… I was so full of shame for not knowing the answer, but even more shameful about trying to think of an answer. The question was simple:

“What are you worth, Nicole?”

Today, I learnt what a shame attack was. I get them often, in varying degrees. I have them when I am asked really difficult questions, which I do not know the answers to. I have them when I am dealing with authority figures. I even have them when I am trying to order a meal in a restaurant and don’t know what to choose, because I feel some things are too expensive and if I order the cheapest thing on the menu it would make me look poor. When the pressure gets too much… I want to RUN! I want to run far away and hide, praying that I don’t bring my whip along to beat down on myself, but when I am running from a shame attack, it is almost a given that I will. Its funny that I run away from something and into Self, so that I can beat myself down, until I am left fighting for my very last breath.

I feel like this post has a bit of a gloomy undertone, but if you are anything like me, I know you will relate. The hope for me and that warm light kissing me at the end of this tunnel, is that, today, I didn’t run. I faced it and although I couldn’t answer her question, I am willing to sit with her and work with her until I can. Because the truth is, I want to know this part of myself, because that part is sitting right next to the girl who could dream up the beautiful farm. Both parts are fundamental to who I am today and my deepest desire is to, no longer, turn my back on myself – any part of me… I deserve that!

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