A question has recently come to the forefront for me. It is one that has confounded me for what seems like decades. I don’t take the question or the answers that I have come up with lightly, nor do I think that my reality or the perception of my reality is one that is fixed. Life is fluid and life is messy but at the end of the day, I find myself asking this one simple question over and over.
AM I WORTH SAVING?
Now the simple answer to this is really obvious. Everyone has value and worth so of course they are worth saving.
But then we dive deeper into the question itself. Who is doing the saving? What version of you is being saved? Why are you worth saving? How do I save myself?
You see, deep down I know that I am worthy of all that I desire, but the ugliness of battling with distorted emotions and a low self esteem means that with every interaction that I have with people, I question if they are judging me on who I am presenting to them in the moment.
I am far better at being the best version of me that I can be on a far more consistent basis but there are times that I really wonder if I am worth saving.
I look to the second part of my deeper insight though more than anything.
What version of you is being saved?
When I look at myself in the mirror I am not always happy with who is looking back at me. There are dark days that I struggle to just get out of bed, this version of me I could stand to move off to Outer Mongolia and would not miss that version of me. Then there is the me that knows love, shares love and wants to embrace all that love has to offer…this version is definitely worth the effort and is more than worthy of being saved. Then there is the version of me who withdraws from the world, not depressed or anxious but just lonely and afraid. This is the version of me that I am not sure is worthy of saving.
I understand that I need to love myself, and the moments, hours or even days that I am all alone should be times that I can explore the inner most workings of who I am. Embracing that being alone is not a bad thing and not letting the feelings of loneliness become the consuming reality is a really difficult balance and this is the balance that I struggle with more than anything else.
The time that has passed since my diagnosis with Borderline Personality Disorder has been more than a little challenging. The relationship that I was in when the diagnosis happened was strained by many external factors. My sense of self was even more distorted by the same circumstances. I had my therapist telling me that it was not healthy and that I should end it…but it was this crippling fear of being alone that kept me going back for more of the same treatment for over 1 year.
Alone really hit me when my daughter headed off to college and I was faced with a truly empty house for the first time since my marriage ended almost 5 years ago now.
I at times saw that I was not only okay with being alone, but I enjoyed the do nothing moments. I would read, surf the web or just chill out with a glass of wine and watch Netflix.
But then came my need to fill the void that always seems to be just below the surface. I love to be loved. So I went back to the world of dating. The ups and downs of meeting new people, sharing experiences and low and behold sharing a bed with someone again.
I am now faced with how much of me do I actually share. Will I be judged? Will my sanity be brought into question? Will they try to save me, even when I don’t necessarily want to be saved? Can I be there for them, without losing me in the process? Am I really strong enough to be open and vulnerable?
Recently, this truly came into question in a profound way. I have been struggling with many things over the past couple of weeks and do see that I have become inwardly withdrawn. I know that shutting people out is not good for my own mental health…but I feel that I have overshared some of the realities of my life and that being open and vulnerable made me feel weak and unworthy. The words of my father that “Big Boys Don’t Cry” plays over and over in my head. That no matter what challenges I am faced with, a real man just gets through it. This internal replay of my life has driven me to fits of rage, unrelenting sadness and at times…incredible moments of passion.
So that brings me back to my original question:
AM I WORTH SAVING?
I see myself needing time to really understand some of the new realities that I face. I don’t want to be saved by someone…I want to save myself. I know that trying to be an island and do it all myself is not realistic, nor is it healthy. But I truly WANT TO SAVE MYSELF! To do this, I am faced with many decisions. Some of these decisions involve being alone, others asking for help and still others involve me really and truly building a support network that does not leave me being alone anymore.
This new reality for me though is tough. I know that there is a person not only willing, but is able to relate to me and my struggles that I am facing in this moment but as much as I don’t want to do this alone…I can’t wrap my head around being reliant on someone else for my own health. My struggles have been my own for so long, I just don’t know if I can really and truly let someone in. Am I being selfish or just pig headed when it comes to this. I know that I am broken, and it truly scares me to reveal just how broken I may truly be.
At this point, I just don’t know what I really need. But I know this, it is time to get some external guidance.
I may not be healed, but I know I am on a path and for that, maybe I do need to just go it alone and as much as I want someone in my life, I may not be ready to embrace the idea of a shared experience where two people become one. I know now that I am not ready to give up the wheel and let someone else take on my pain.