I ate a sugar cube painted with watercolor in preschool. I still remember the hot shame that washed over me when the teacher saw me and chastised me. In elementary school I got my name on the board because I was looking at a map, trying to find Mackinaw Island (while sharpening my pencil) when the teacher called chair time. I actually cried, but told everyone I just had really bad allergies. These kinds of things stay with me forever. They run through my mind over and over again, for no reason.
Up until recently I would feel that wave of heat and humiliation pressing up and through me. I still occasionally run these episodes through my mind, but the rush of hormones that accompanies it has ebbed. I feel a sense of guilt and shame just thinking about why - for the first time in my adult life, I've chosen to medicate. I feel the guilt that I couldn't just buck up and make these feeling stop, that it took a crashing catastrophe to make me see the need was there. I feel shame that I 'need' to be on meds.
And yet. I feel good. I choose to be on medication. It's an adult choice, and the right one. I needed the help, and I took the steps to get it. As small as it seems, that's a big step for me. This has been the first time in my life that those waves of panic and guilt don't constantly press over me, threatening to sink me to the bottom. Beyond that I can see these patterns, identify that these feelings are irrational, rather than living in them. I can banish them with the emotional healing that has begun.
I have worth. I'm worth a twenty dollar outfit, or a new pair of earrings. I'm deserving of things that have form, not just function. I need not relegate myself to tatty jeans, the same three shirts, and over sized hoodies. I need not feel guilty about the beautiful (and functional!) leather boots that I bought on clearance, even if I spent a lot of money on them. I don't need to feel shame because I want to use make up (But hippies don't do that...). I can own my worth, and begin to hone and focus this new identity - this me.