July 11, 2014
Over the last several months, I’ve found myself in a situation where I’ve had less and less control over my body. I have needed to humble myself to ask for more and more help to function with daily activities. This resulted in allowing people who assist with activities such as cleaning, showering and getting dressed into my home, and allowing them to help me. My initial health issues had gotten better, and I was looking forward to returning to work, when my body became allergic to the medication I was on that managed my arthritis.
During this time, I’ve had to find ways to be comfortable with my situation that would allow me to find that I still had a purpose in my life. Since I’ve no longer been capable of doing the things I used to do in my life, I went through a major struggle with my self-esteem and self-worth. My initial response was severe depression with suicidal thoughts. I couldn’t see any ways in which I had worth. It was with very low and scary place in my life.
I talked with some friends and with my therapist about my worth. I was so depressed I couldn’t think clear enough to even see anything positive about me and my situation. My friend Kathy one day said to me, “Kristen, you help so many people by being there for them.” She followed on to explain how because I sure couldn’t see how I could be helpful. But that conversation was exactly what I needed to have. It got me to thinking, which I further explored with my therapist. How exactly can I still be worth anything when I don’t have anything to give?
In the end, I was able to identify that I’m a good listener, that I’m a great writer, and that I still have my mind even though my body is failing me. So I got together with my friend Kathy, and a few of our other friends, and together we created a non-profit that offers support to those who are struggling. That allowed me to utilize my writing skills in educational ways, and still be supportive to others through message forums.
Then most recently, I found 7 Cups which has been such a blessing. When I can’t do anything else, I’ve learned I can listen – at weird hours even. When I’m hurting too much to sleep during the night, I’ve found that it helps to log on here and listen with those who are hurting or lonely. I’ve found the opportunity to share through blogs here as well. So in spite of my struggles, I’ve found hope that I can continue to help people, and can continue to have worth, just in different ways than I used to do.
I want to encourage you. If you’ve been struggling with seeing your worth, think outside the box. Your worth is in who you are – and even if your body betrays you, you still have something to offer to others. When your job falls through, you are still valuable, and there is hope. When negative things take over your life, you can get better as you find new ways to cope.
I’d be honored to listen to you, to help you look at who you are in spite of your circumstances. Whether you are fighting to conquer depression or addiction, or you struggle with chronic pain or debilitating illnesses, I’m here to listen. Don’t fight these struggles alone. Allow myself and other listeners to walk beside you on this journey you are on.
Written By 7 Cups Listener: KristenHR
â€‹Photo Contributed by Listener: Pieta