I Was Afraid Of Myself

My battle with self worth has always been a tough one. There have been so many up and down moments in my life that I eventually felt, why feel happy and good when I’m just going to hit a down point again?

When I was five years old, I was sexually abused by my own father. Pair that up with the fact that he wasn’t really emotionally ready to take care of three young kids and he cheated on my mom with the woman who is now my step-mom… It can leave a gal feeling pretty worthless and unwanted.  

So years went by and I started to develop anorexia.  I had always been really thin and lanky to begin with, and I would get compliments from people like, “Oh you’re so skinny,” or, “I wish I had your body,” but then one day, the compliments started to dwindle and that automatically meant in my mind that I was fat. Those skinny compliments made me feel like I had worth. I set in my mind that I would do anything to get those compliments, even if it meant starving myself. so that’s what I did, and I still battle with it today. My anorexia became so out of control that all I could think about was food and how much I weighed every moment of every day. Because of it, my grades in school plummeted and I lost friends. Basically the complete opposite happened of what I thought would happen if I got skinnier. Again, I was left feeling unwanted and worthless: unwanted by my friends, unwanted by my family, unwanted by myself.  

More years went on and I started to develop a pretty serious anxiety disorder paired with very bad depression. I was having panic-attacks in school, my hands wouldn’t stop shaking, and there were days I just didn’t want to get out of bed because it wasn’t worth facing the emotions of the day. I became afraid of myself and my feelings because the waves of depression sometimes hit me like an unexpected punch to the face. The same would happen with my panic-attacks. Sometimes I would get them for no apparent reason. I was scared and embarrassed.  

I almost didn’t graduate senior year of high school with the rest of my class because of how much school I missed and at that point, I didn’t even care. I didn’t care what happened at all. I didn’t care about where my life was going.I felt completely helpless and alone. I then started to think, “Am I feeling the way I’ve been feeling all because of my father’s idiotic actions when I was 5?” If he didn’t abuse me, could I be “normal?”

There were many thoughts of me ending my life. I didn’t want to deal with the voices inside my head anymore. I wasn’t worthy of anything life had to offer me, but in the back of my mind, some little voice was still telling me to keep fighting. That’s what I did.

With the help of my mom, she got me to see countless amounts of doctors to help me better myself. I went off to college and was surrounding myself with people who I knew cared for me and wanted the best for me. I’m so blessed to know the people that I’m friends with today.

I was then introduced to So Worth Loving by my old pastor at the church I grew up in before moving down to North Carolina. He had seen a video I had made on my Instagram about telling other people their worth, because if anything made me feel better, it was showing people unconditional love and compassion; showing them their true worth. Kevin (my pastor) told me I should check out this company because he knew I would like it. I completely fell in love with everything So Worth Loving stood for and I realized that I was spending so much time loving others and showing them their worth that I forgot to love myself. This company has taught me that you can’t fully love others unless you have love for yourself. The phrase “You are so worth loving” has been shared in my apartment with my two lovely roommates, who at times struggle to see their own worth. We even have it written on our chalkboard right by our front door so that we see it every day.  

Exactly a month ago from today, I had the pleasure of meeting the So Worth Loving team in Charlotte, North Carolina at their pop-up shop. There was nothing more I wanted than to meet these loving and caring people in person and tell them how their work has saved me. I had to hug Eryn and thank her for being such a positive role-model. I am thankful for the conversation and the laughs shared that day. A trip is in the making next semester for me to go down to Atlanta and see them again.

I will now do anything to promote So Worth Loving and what it stands for. I have friends from all over the globe that I’ve met via social media asking me about SWL.  

I am still dealing with my struggles every day. It’s a constant battle, but I know that I am so worth loving. I am worthy of self-love and love from other people and you are too.

Stay strong, darlings! xxx

Kate Ashbrook