In less than 2 years, I’ve had to stop working, 2 surgeries, a friend die, one of my sweet bunnies die, technically “homeless” status for 2 months, finally a move, and countless, endless tears. I’ve had about 6 medical appointments every week for months. And now I live at a place that offers me essentially PCA and related services for over 25 hours per week.
Honestly–and I know this isn’t true, and I shouldn’t tell myself this, and so-and-so has it worse… and even so–sometimes, deep down, it feels like I’ve hit the ultimate low.
No one has said anything rude, no one has said I should be able to clean my apartment by myself or not need cues to take a bath or weekly can’t I keep my place picked up better.
It’s just this voice deep down, telling me that people are worth more if they can contribute more. People will admire me more if I am independent. People will like me more if I’m not anxious and depressed. That voice is named Comparison, and it is crap straight from Hell.
People have sacrificed hundreds and even thousands of dollars for me to have what I need. The government (I know this is controversial, even in my own head, and it is what it is) pays thousands upon thousands of dollars for my medical treatments, my lodging, my food, my PCA help, and tons of other supports.
I think what touches me the most is when I zoom in on gifts that people have given me individually. This person paid my rent this month, and this person paid it the next month. This person took me to a medical procedure I was really scared about. This person sent me protein shakes in the mail, and this person sent me aquarium silicone, and this person said they would buy me $35 of things that I need, and this person took my dog to the vet for me, and this person bought me pet food. And then there’s the ministries and non profits– the one that let me fill a shipping cart with supplies for free. Or the one that gave me about 100 pounds of pet food.
And the list goes on and on.
And when I see that list, I think to myself, “Wow, I guess people think I’m worth saving.”
And then the Depression voice that tells me I’m worthless gets softer, and the voice of Hope gets a little louder and whispers, “You are worth saving.”
And it’s not like I needed all those things to tell me I was worth it. Jesus told me that when He died for me 2000 years ago.
Sometimes I need it screamed at me, above the deafening noise inside my own head.
And because of the past 2 years and all the troubles of all the years before that, I learned how to show other people that they are valuable, too. I learned how to give empathy and how to listen better and to be more humble and understanding. I’ve learned to be a better friend. I’ve learned how to give what I DO have or what I CAN sacrifice– time, a listening ear, wisdom, experience, a unique view point, love, loyalty, commitment.
So, would I change my past?
Sometimes, I do WISH I could go back and not have experienced some of the things that I have.
Even so, I definitely wouldn’t trade the better person those things have helped me become.