I walked into the bathroom and gasped—my words were written in my eight year old daughter’s handwriting. “I AM good enough” was written in a black marker on a hot pink mirror. The words stopped me dead in my tracks and tears instantly flooded my eyes. Oh, no, my sweet child, has the idea that you aren’t enough taken your thoughts hostage, too?
A few years earlier I’d attended a women’s retreat through my church. During one of the presentations, mirrors and sharpies were handed out and we were encouraged to write a message to our younger selves. My mirror was a soft shade of pink and I’d written that same message to my younger me- the little blond girl with the chili bowl haircut and grin so big she could hardly see. That little girl had no idea what a roller coaster life was going to be.
At what point in life do we start hearing that still small voice in our heads that whispers ‘you aren’t enough’? And I don’t think it’s just a select few of us who have to wrestle with that nagging lie. I’ve done the research and, unfortunately, it’s the vast majority of us. I don’t know how often it affects men, but women fall prey to those words in record numbers.
Where is our evidence to believe such deceit? And why, when it comes to us in a whisper, do we give it the power of a scream?
Those words came ravaging through my thoughts, plundering every stitch of evidence to the contrary, and staking claim on the land of my mind in 2015.
I had my list of accomplishments but that wasn’t enough:
- Graduate from college
- Get married
- Start and run a successful company
- Have a family
- Earn doctorate degree
Even after all I’d worked for and accomplished, I was still battling the inner dialogue of never being enough.
What was next? Was it all about accomplishments for me? When would I ever be satisfied? Or, WOULD I ever be satisfied.
Next stop: Bottom.
I’d transitioned out of my daily responsibilities at work and gone back to school to get my doctoral degree. And now, the time had come where that journey was over—I wasn’t needed at work, my studying was completed, my degree sat in its envelope on my desk, and I sat with my second empty bottle of wine at 2:00pm; this was not a one-time event. This had become my life.
I lacked purpose. I lacked confidence in ever being enough.
I was trying everything I possibly could to fill the void—achievement, busyness, diversions, school, studying, and when I’d run out of options, wine was where I turned for solace.
I’d reached my end… and her childish handwriting on a hot pink mirror hit me in the face and took my breath away.
What the hell was I passing along to my young child? What was I teaching her?
That she’d never be enough? That she could try to fill the vastness of the lies with accomplishments? Or worse, that ‘wine o’clock’ was the answer to all her problems?
Would I allow alcohol’s devastation to continue to destroy my family, as many previous generations had already fallen under its curse?
After friends and family found the courage to talk to me, they finally convinced me to get help.
Thankfully, with the help of treatment and the support of those who love and support me I have found that I was – and AM – worth more than what I can accomplish, what I can do, my company’s net worth, and definitely more than empty bottles of wine at any time of the day.
I now know fully, and without question that I am a beloved, CHOSEN child of the Most High God.
May 29, 2016 was the date of my last drink of alcohol. I am grateful that I have gotten my life back. Some days are definitely harder than others and the last year has not been without difficulties, but I can see clearer now without the fog.
I am now secure in the fact that no matter what I do (or not) or accomplish (or not) I am good enough, just as I am. I am thankful for the chance to help my daughters—or maybe even you—realize that they—and YOU—are worthy, too.