I learned the hard way that the most important relationship in our lives is the relationship we have with ourselves.
In March 2016, I dropped my daughter off at her dad’s and cuddled her for a bit longer than usual when I said goodbye. I thought I’d spend the 50-mile drive home in tears.
I didn’t cry, because I didn’t feel anything. I just felt numb. I drove home thinking that would be the last time she would see me.
I planned how I was going to do it. I’d spent hours and weeks researching how.
I had my tablets saved up from the doctors. I’d been saving them for weeks. My plan was to take them all with the hope that I wouldn’t wake up.
I thought I didn’t deserve to be loved.
I was worthless.
Not good enough.
I hated life.
I hated myself.
I hated myself so much that I thought my daughter was better off without me. I thought her dad could do a better job of taking care of her than me. I was in a deep, dark hole, and I didn’t know how to get out of it.
When I got home, I said goodnight to my dogs and shut myself in the bedroom. I got the tablets out and just laid there. I still felt numb. I still felt nothing.
All of a sudden something came over me. I couldn’t do it. I told myself I deserved better than this. My daughter didn’t deserve this. My childhood had been ruined. I didn’t want to ruin hers too. She needs me. She needs her mum. The tears came, and I started to cry.
I wouldn’t say I found strength. I certainly didn’t feel very strong. I can only describe what I found as self-love. Somewhere underneath all that hate for myself I found some love. Sounds crazy, right? I told myself I do deserve to be here. People need me. People love me.
That night changed my life. It became the night that changed everything forever. My turning point. I decided that this was the last time I was going to go through this. I told myself I would do whatever it took to make sure I didn’t end up in that deep, dark hole again.
Out of my pain, my purpose found me.
For a while, I felt really ashamed of what I nearly did that night. I nearly left my daughter without a mum. I felt more shame about that than I did my sexual abuse. My abuse left me with shame, guilt, anger, resentment, and a deep hatred for myself. But I don’t feel shame about that night now. One promise I made to myself is that I won’t beat myself up anymore. That I would be kind to myself. That I would live life without regrets. Because for me, living with regrets about what I did or didn’t do isn’t being kind to myself.
So why did that night change my life? I got the help I needed. I learned about working with my mindset and self-development. I came off antidepressants, which I’d been on for as long as I could remember. I always said that I could never see my life without them. But I did it. And when I did, I felt stronger without them. I started to like myself. I started to love and respect myself.
No one should live a life with negative emotions and feelings about themselves. That’s no way to live. It’s not living. We’re all here because we have a gift to give to the world. We’re her to live life to our full potential—to live a life that’s fulfilled.
So here I am. I’m not a victim anymore. I’ve spent my life wondering what my life would’ve been like if I hadn’t been abused. Wondering what I could’ve achieved. Now I see it as: what can I achieve because of my abuse. I not only survived, but I’m thriving. I use my abuse as something that moves me forward, not something that holds me back. I’m an overcomer. My experiences allow me to be empathetic; they don’t define who I am. I have an unstoppable wave of persistence. I have a fighting spirit that will never die.
If you ever feel down, if you’ve ever felt like this, please remember that your life is important. You are important. There are people who love you. There are people who need you. There are people who need your love. More importantly, you need to give yourself some love. Because the relationship you have with yourself is the most important relationship of all.
Everything flows from the relationship you have with yourself. You are a gift—a miracle. Act like one, and treat yourself like one.
We are happiness.
We are joy.
We are love.
People spend their lives looking for those three things. We already have them within us. We need to stop chasing something we already are and find these qualities from within. I love you.
Bonus: Tim Brod—King of the Bees.
Author: Terri Kearns
Image: Author’s Own
Editor: Travis May
Copy & Social Editor: Nicole Cameron