It's Not You
Updated: May 2, 2019
Growing up, I never felt like I was enough. Not enough for myself, for the expectations I had for myself, not enough for my family, for my friends, or for anyone else.
The makeup I wore covered my face like a mask, and I was always too ashamed to show the world my true self. The shame and guilt I felt for just being me permeated every aspect of my life, and drove me to extreme measures in order to try and find a false and fleeting sense of belonging. Whether this was through the clothes I wore, the words I spoke, the music I listened to, the people I hung out with, or any other means, all my actions were somewhat driven by my insecurities, and everything I did was filled with pain.
It's heartbreaking to realize that that's how I've lived my entire life thus far, and I want nothing more than to comfort my younger self, hug her, and tell her she is enough as she is. Instead of wallowing in this self pity and sadness, I have turned this awareness into gratitude - gratitude that I'm coming to realize this about myself now, at 21, and not when I'm 71.
Whenever I got drunk growing up, I sought validation from external sources, and this was most often in other people and men. If I didn't believe I was enough when I was sober, my mission when I was drunk was for someone to (basically) validate my worthiness in my desirability.
I am not proud of this, but I recognize now how this insecurity drove me to act in the ways that I did. I know that this insecurity drove these actions because I would wake up every morning after drinking and be filled with guilt and shame. I hated myself more, I criticized myself more, and the lists of insulting names I called myself only grew exponentially.
I now know that when I get drunk and I want to reach out to you, it's not you I want. It's wanting the validation that I am enough for you. That I am enough.
That's why when you reject me, I am filled with shame and embarrassment. It's so much deeper than just not spending time with you, hell - we don't even get along that well, it's the idea of not being enough for you and everyone else that crushes me.
That's why when you want me, I feel worthy and validated. It's so much deeper than just getting to spend time with you, it's the idea of finally being enough for someone else, everyone else, that makes me crave that approval.
I say all of this now being filled with shame but self-awareness. I recognize that my insecurities have shown up in this aspect of my life, and in engaging in this cycle and acting out these beliefs, I am only keeping myself stuck in my pain.
I know that regardless of how many times you seemingly "accept" or validate me, it will never be enough. I will never get the sense of fulfillment and peace that I will get from being enough for myself, by myself. It will be a fleeting sense of joy - a temporary sense of validation that will only leave abruptly when you reject me next.
It's really not you.
You bring out this part of me, in a cycle of reinforcement that is only keeping me stuck.
It's not even just you, I derive the same sense of acceptance, approval, and rejection through some of my friendships as well. I just now recognize that this insecurity is why all of these ideas are so devastating and all-consuming.
When I think about you now, I don't want you. I don't want you because you don't deserve me. I don't want you because I don't want you to be my source of validation and approval. You don't define my worth as a person, that has to come from me.
At the end of the day, I have to be enough for myself. That is the only sustainable and healthy way I will develop a sense of self worth, and live through that. It is only through finding and defining my sense of self worth by myself that I can truly experience the fullness of love and joy that others can bring to my life.