So, I left a physical therapy appointment a couple days ago and driving home, I was struck by this odd feeling spreading throughout my body. I realized with shock that it was joy.
Joy, because I'm taking care of myself.
For a long time (ever?) I don't think I even knew how to put myself first. And when I left my long-term relationship, doing so was like ripping my Velcro-d soul from a bond that had existed for years. I don't think I ever believed I was worthy. Plus being with him was like being with the president: how could my meager existence matter in comparison?
The other part is the huge amount of guilt I felt. Leaving didn't mean I didn't hurt too, that I stopped caring, or that I wanted to cause pain. I was full of knots that I'm still untangling. I still have to fight thoughts about whether or not I deserve to be happy. So that feeling of joy -- hey, I matter too -- took me by surprise.
A hearty thank you to those who believed in me anyway. You don't realize this but your conviction held me as I went fumbling in the dark for my self-esteem.