If someone asked you right now, "Where does your worth come from?" what would your answer be? I’ll give you a minute to think about it. Personally, in 2008 I would have said,
“I. Have. No. Idea.”
This would then lead to years and years of searching for my worth in all the wrong places. Perhaps it was my incessant need to please people that started all of this. I was fourteen/fifteen, ridiculously naïve and craving any kind of attention I could get, and then all of a sudden along came a boy. Yes, a boy. The validation I got from someone constantly affirming me was what my heart was craving. At the time it seemed innocent and playful. I thought I was in control. Little did I realise, over the years I slowly lost my spark, and in that I lost myself. As the wise Taylor Swift once sang, “When you’re fifteen and somebody tells you they love you, you’re gonna believe them,” and I regrettably did.
For years I kept this situation to myself, not telling a single soul for the fear of losing him. This in itself was all consuming, and the guilt that followed took a long time to overcome. Relationships are meant to be a joy, something that is shared with the nearest and dearest people around you. They’re not meant to be concealed, covered up or hidden. Unfortunately, I ignored this red light. What I am learning now is that you should never be anyone’s secret. You are Gods Princess! His treasure and he delights in you!
I wish I had listened to the people in my life way back when they knew something was wrong, but my stubbornness won. I stuck it out for a couple more years and once said boy finally took off, I was left with a massive hole in my heart. This then created endless anxious thoughts that I wasn’t worth it, and that no one would ever be able to love me again. Anxiety consumed me so much that I couldn’t move, I became so paralysed by the lies I had created.
I switched off.
I became even more of a closed book.
I had decided that this was as good as it was going to get, and that was that. I had become accustom to the weekly panic attacks, the tightening of the chest where I thought I was literally going to die; the pounding head ache of another sleepless night. Even to this day, I’m surprised my tear ducts didn’t close over after being so over worked. The cycle was toxic and it needed to end.
2015 was the year the God so graciously cornered me and told me to ‘take courage.’ There is a verse in Deuteronomy 31:6 that says,
“Be strong. Take courage. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t give them a second thought because God, your God, is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; he won’t leave you”.
I was so low at this point in my life, that when God so evidently told me this, I laughed. I laughed at God because I thought I had it all under control. Now that’s actually absurd, because I 110% didn’t. At the time, if you had looked up in the dictionary the word ‘denial,’ a mug shot of me would be smack bang in the middle of the page. I had spiralled so deep into the rabbit hole and supressed all emotions and logic that even the idea of some form of change would send me into an uncontrollable panic attack.
I started seeing an incredibly insightful, compassionate, but also sassy, Christian Clinical Psychologist a couple of months ago. It took me weeks to actually call up the clinic and book in an appointment once I got my Mental Health Plan sorted. After I became vulnerable to my small Young Adults group and also a few close friends, they totally embraced me and prayed new life into me. They gave me that little push that I needed to pick up the phone and dial the clinic's number.
After a few intense sessions, I was diagnosed with moderate to severe anxiety. I was mainly surprised by my reaction. If I had heard that three years ago, or even last year, I would have crawled into the foetal position and would have shut off even more. I don’t want to sound self-deprecating in this, it’s just the truth. Plain and simple. I wouldn’t have been willing to hear that or then after, continued to seek help. Instead of doing that, I took it on board and said “Okay, what now?”
I know I still have a lot to learn. I’m only just beginning, but I’m excited. I can safely say that this 21-year-old girl is starting to find herself again. Yes, I still have my bad days, but doing life with God by my side makes it all possible. I can barely put into words how exciting it is to find yourself in Christ. I hope and I pray that I’ve made some sort of a coherent rambling and that you can take away something that might help you. God has such a purpose for everything we go through, and He can turn a terrible situation into good. Please know that you are never alone. God’s got your back, always.