I Am Slowly Learning To Love & Respect Myself

learning to respect myself
Photo by Dziana Hasanbekava

I was 15 years old when I took my first painkiller for period pain. It started an addiction that culminated in me nearly dying in June 2021.

I left the hospital with a bag of my clothes, no relationship, no friends, and a family who were reluctant to help but ultimately did.

I would have some days and eventually weeks clean. Although, I dislike that word, it implies that being a drug addict is dirty. In reality, it means that person is very, very lost.

I would “find” myself for a while, but I could not sustain it.

I followed a piece of advice about remembering what I loved before I got lost.

I remember a fondness for mysticism and witchcraft and the power of women.

And writing.

I made my intention. I wanted to write. To reach other women with my words.

I entered into what many would call a dark night of the soul. It lasted for two weeks.

I purged. I cried. I fought my impulses, and I met with my shame and my victim good.

I learned from them.

I learned I’m a woman who loves deeply and feels so much.

I saw my vulnerability. When I embraced it as something beautiful and pure strength instead of what made me weak and susceptible to running from myself (straight into the arms of drugs).

I had a hard childhood. My siblings and I helped my dad care for my sick mother. We lost her in August of 2018. My birth month.

I was loved, though. We all were. With an intensity, I can only now understand.

You see, I never had children. I couldn’t even look after myself, but what I have done is start to love my self.

It started with my wanting to feel peace. I wanted so badly to stop feeling bad.

Positive affirmations felt too much like lies.

The truth was I didn’t love or value my self.

But I was willing to try.

I became willing to forgive and accept that all of us are scared.

I found my compassion.

I started to see the similarities between other women and me. Instead of feeling threatened, I wanted to learn from them.

So I told myself (and the universe) that I wanted to respect myself. I wanted to actually begin and finish something.

So I wrote a book.

And another

Then another.

I’m not published yet. I still have much more healing to do and confidence to build.

But being willing is healing so much.

I’m now willing to speak to myself like someone I love and respect.

The results have been mind-blowing.

Starting with forgiveness.

Followed by my making an intention to become someone I could love and respect.

I started with 15 mins every morning and evening.

Affirmations of where I wanted to be and who I wanted to become.

What I was already grateful for.

I wrote to the now, the life I want to live.

For example:

“Money flows to me in unexpected ways. ”

“I am a published author.”

“I love myself.”

“I am safe and divinely loved and guided.”

Having something bigger than myself that I felt a part of helped so much.

I started reading tarot cards and built an altar in my living room; I dedicated it to the goddess of the moon.

Releasing my shame about being a woman and the collective fear and shame I refuse to feed into.

I am a woman and a powerful woman. I follow the ways of nature, and I’m deeply in touch with and proud of my sacred femininity.

I am divine, and I have guides and angels who love and guide me.

I balance that with knowing (willing to know) how much I am capable of and that I also have a balanced masculine side.

I will enjoy and revel in being a woman first.

I treat myself with the respect I will automatically, and without words, demand from others.

I am a goddess.

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