Sometimes, I write. And some weeks, I hours without thinking a single thought that could translate to paper. Today, however, I am inspired by something that I saw on Facebook. It was an article with an array of very truthful empathy cards and one of them made me tear up instantly. I cant explain why, maybe because I know exactly how the person who would receive that card feels, or because it makes me feel that I am not alone in this sentiment.
The card read “You’re not a burden. You’re a human”.
For most of my life, I have felt like the outsider in my family. In order to understand this, I think you need a little dose of who my family is. I have a mother who cooks everything, creates anything, and fixes all of my problems by hand. She is the most genuine, hardworking woman I have ever met and truly inspires me to be a strong, outspoken human being who is a force to be reckoned with. My father, on the other hand, is the CEO of his own company, which he built from the ground up 24 years ago. Not only has be created a fantastic life for himself, his wife, and his children, but he has also guided and helped most of our extended family as well. He is so wise and money-savvy and encourages me to think through scenarios before I act. My two brothers are also amazing, one earning over a 4.0 every year of high school aspiring to be an aerospace engineer, and the other an incredible natural talent in photography. He has already been hired for numerous prestigious gigs before he has even graduated his university. And then there’s my baby sister Sophie. She's 6 years old and the most innately graceful dancer I have seen in a while. Her natural motions are breath-taking, so much so that we ask for nightly recitals at the dinner table. She is also 4 foot nothing and the sassiest, take-no-shit little lady I have ever encountered.
So this is them. You've got the creative Inventor, the intellectual CEO, the brilliant Mind, the honest Talent, and the graceful Dancer. And then there’s me. I have no special talent other than being left-handed….which I’m actually pretty sure isn't a talent at all. I have never felt that I had extraordinary qualities or identifying traits that define me from others, or even my family. Next to them, I am bland.
Honestly, when I told my first therapist this, she really didn't understand. I couldn't understand why that was so hard to believe, or that I was alone in that feeling that I was an unnecessary tag-a-long.
If you know me, really know me, you have heard me use this word many times. Everything I do feels like a burden to others, hence why I am also always found to be apologizing. This, in itself, is confounding to me. I have had and continue to have very strong thoughts and opinions, and most of the time am not afraid to voice them. I feel that everyone DESERVES the right to voice their own words, yet why do I act so meek and silent in other aspects of my life? Why do I profusely apologize when I feel like I’ve inconvenienced someone even just a little? Why do I feel like it’s the end of the world when I keep someone waiting for a second? Why do I feel like a burden?
These are questions I continue to struggle, truly struggle, with and really don't know if I will ever find out why. Perhaps my Depression or Anxiety have caused me to feel like I am not worth the wait, the struggle, the inconvenience, the trouble.
I fear my family and boyfriend will get sick of the weight of my issues one day and leave me. I feel that my issues, my add-ons, my debilitating thoughts that infect my mind and cause me to act out are too much for anyone to handle. That instead of being brilliant, intellectual, or creative, I am simply a problem. I do not write any of this for pity, that is the LAST thing I want. I really just write this in the hope that the feeling I experienced today when reading that card helps someone else out there. That you realize that these thoughts are important and not to be ignored, that they are valid and could very well be due to your mental illness. You are NOT a burden. You are a human being.
This is my new mantra that I will be repeating in my head any time I have those inklings lurking in my mind. I will keep my head up and remember that regardless of whether I can see it or not, I have value and worth. These thoughts are burdensome and disheartening but certainly not true.
**All of these photos with the poppies were taken this past weekend in Santa Ynez on Grass Mountain!