Ever been told that you are too much? Ever been told you’re not enough? My whole life has been both. I’ve spent my entire life trying to be enough. Just to always fall short. To be told by the love of my life, my children, and even society, I am still not enough. How does one ever be enough? How can a woman ever be beautiful enough, skinny enough, rich enough, or smart enough? I feel that I am on this hamster wheel. I am running at full speed in one direction, only to get there and realize I have run the wrong way. So I dart off in the other direction, and that is a dead-end as well.
I just want to scream. I want to scream at the drug-addicted mother from my childhood, the men that left my children, the love of my life that now wants out. I just want to scream at them all. I want to scream, “YES, I AM ENOUGH.”
But I do not even believe I am enough. I am functioning in life at a deficit. No one really knows who I am. No one really knows my struggles, fears, hopes, and dreams. At least not fully. Not even my therapist. Because you see, when you feel that you are not enough, and society is confirming over and over again that you are not, you function in that belief. The belief that if you just hide a piece of yourself, maybe it will be enough. Or, if you show the full part of yourself, you will lose the fragments of friendships you have.
I wear a mask more often than I would like. Not just a COVID mask- I have many different masks depending on the situation and the people that are in the room. I even have a mask that I hope will prevent me from losing it all. But today, I feel like I cannot even find the mask to cover any of it—a mask to cover the shame, guilt, and heaviness of feeling that I am never enough.
My therapist and my faith are my anchors. I pray because I have to believe that someone bigger than me has this all figured out. That one day, I can be, or possibly even feel that I am enough. I am not sure anymore who I am trying to be enough for. Is it my children? Friends? Colleagues? Or the love of my life? Or is it all? I have a pretty great record for losing people who find me too much (or is it not enough?). So I live with this invisible wound that you would think would be now de-sensitized to the salt periodically poured into it. I’m 42. I am telling myself that things will get better than this. Sure there are seasons where there is a celebration and what I deem as “bearable.” But now, hearing the love of your life feels you are not enough brings it back to the surface. That’s when it all comes crashing down again.
It is now that I realize the depth of normalizing mental health. I know I am not alone in this journey to feel “enough.” In a society that is defined by a “just keep swimming” mentality, with little room to scream I. Just. Cant! I am sure there are many that feel as if they are not enough. I am not negating the feelings of those around me who feel I can be too much. I know there are some deep issues that need to be ripped up and removed. I do not even know where to begin with mine, but I know I need to take a step. I need to commit to this journey that will take years, as I know it did not get this way overnight. But if it is going to end with my husband. And we walk away. I want to walk away whole. I want to know that I took the time to dig out the roots. I want to be at a place where I walk into the next chapter whole—no sense of carrying this baggage into 2022. Rather the next chapter is with him or alone. I want to be whole.