I’m not sure if I’m embracing this idea because I’ve matured and as a woman in my mid-forties, I honestly believe that what others think isn’t nearly as important to me as what I think, or if I’m far enough along in my mental health journey to finally understand this. I think it’s likely a combination of both but whatever the reason, it is incredible!
Like most women, I started worrying about fitting in around the age of 10. For me, that was when my body started to change and adolescence began. I always felt like I was too fat, or ugly compared to the girls around me. I hated the feeling of always wanting to be something I wasn’t and I spent the next 30 years trying to do that. First, I wanted to be the cool girl in school. And then the hip beautiful young woman in my early twenties. When babies came along, I wanted to be the perfect mom. I needed to be the best employee. The problem was, I didn’t know how to be me.
After enduring a psychotic break at age 32, I began a journey to recovery that has involved multiple hospitalizations and countless hours of therapy. When I broke, I shattered all of my facades, and had to build myself back up. But I learned along the way that it was important to build myself the way I wanted to be.
It hasn’t been easy and I have had setbacks along the way, but today I am more self-confident and accepting of myself for the person I am right now. I don’t need the opinion of others to justify my existence, just as they don’t need mine. I don’t need the approval like I used to – the only one who needs to approve of my choices is me.
I know that I will continue to accept myself for who I am and set goals that are important to me for change. I am the master of my path.