You Are Enough
As someone who has struggled with depression my entire life, feeling like enough is a challenge that has followed in its shadows for, well, forever. Even now, I can still sometimes feel it lurking in the darkness, waiting for me to believe the next lie that my depression tells me so that it can jump out and try to convince me that I’m not good enough.
But what I have learned over the years as a trans/non-binary person and addict, is that we don’t have to do anything to become enough and there is nothing that we can do that can take our enough-ness away from us. I’m going to say that again, there is nothing that you can do that will ever deter from the fact that you are with a capital E, Enough. To all of my friends out there who are listening right now, you are enough. This is something that I still have to tell myself, sometimes many times a day. Here’s your reminder.
The thing about my depression that I’ve learned, is that it doesn’t make me feel like or even believe that I want to die. I’ve never actually wanted to die. What it does, is my depression makes me believe that this world and the people in my life would be better off without me in it because of the monster it’s made me believe that I am. And when I eventually start to believe that lie at the core of my being, the only other option then becomes suicide. This is an option that I have tried resorting to three time in my life, including most recently in November. My heart believed what my sick head was telling it, that sure you may be sad, but that you’d be far better off without me than you would be sad. It told me the ultimate lie loud enough, that I believed it. But I was believing something that was untrue and I needed help in order to hear my heart again. Asking for help and walking towards healing is no weakness, my friends. It’s one of the qualities I admire most in a person.
For me, it’s essential to ask for help in order to heal. I can’t do it on my own and need to walk through the darkness with professionals and others who have also experienced it. Those who’s morals have also been lowered by addiction or who believe the disease and depression and a special kind of understanding that has become necessary to have in my healing process. It’s these people, who are also healing and finding their own inner peace and joy, who I lean into the most.
I also want to take a moment to talk a little bit more about what I do to foster healing and how I get away from the lies that my depression tries to tell me. Before I do though, I want to be clear that for me as a recovering meth and sex addict, my life depends on what I’m about to share with you. I know that might sound dramatic if you’re not an addict or alcoholic, but please believe me when I tell you that it does. I also want to say that I don’t do any of these things perfectly or believe them all of the time. It’s a daily reminder and practice, sometimes hundreds of times a day. But life is never going to be all or nothing. It’s not necessarily about making these thoughts go away completely or forever, it’s how I listen to them and what I do when they do come around. Now they do quiet long enough for me to find moments of peace and joy and to be able to catch them leaving my head before they ever make it to my heart.
The most important thing I must do for my healing is to take care of myself. Self-care is what creates the space safe enough for me to walk though fears and acts more like an umbrella. If my tummy is full, I’m less fearful. If my body is well rested, I have more energy to face hard things. If I’m connected to others, then they can help me identify the lies my brain makes up. If I show my body that I care for it, then my body begins to believe my actions over the thoughts in my head. I make daily gratitude lists and have a conscious relationship with something greater then myself. For many people, this is God. For me, this is the spirits of my ancestors who surround me with white light wherever I go. The night that I wanted to jump from a bridge in Portland, you could have spotted me a mile away because I was surrounded by so much light and protection. I also have regular contact with peers and professionals. This includes a life coach (which I aspire to be one day), a doctor, therapist, acupuncturist, body workers and many many recovering peers who have what I want; to believe that I am enough, always and no matter what.
I also make sure to ask for help, a lot and often. Asking for help isn’t a weakness, but rather the opposite. In order to get to where I am in this moment, I had to ask for medical intervention and medication. Sometimes help looks like checking ourselves into a hospital until our brains are safe to walk though it alone again.
I can’t strongly or loudly enough express what I’m about to so please, listen closely. You, yes you, my friend. You are Enough. You where Enough when you woke up this morning and you will be Enough when you go to bed this evening no matter what you day looks like. You are Enough if you are in the hospital and you are Enough if you’re at home. It’s ok to fall into the beliefs that our sick brains try to make us believe sometimes, but don’t stay there there. Don’t get stuck in the muck, instead stay in your heart. You are enough and worthy of this life today and the same will be true tomorrow.
If you don’t think you can make it, here, take my hand and walk with me. I too didn’t think I could make it. But here we are, walking through this life hand-in-hand and there’s no where else I’d rather be.
If you are a LGBTQ young person struggling and reading this, I’m looking directly at you. This world not only needs your light, but it deserves it. You are so loved and there are so many of us here with you, even with you can’t see us. You are Enough.
As always with Wonder,
Danny (& Wilder)
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