“I am not my inconvenience”

“When people ask me for favors or advice or a shoulder to cry on, I feel needed. I feel loved. There’s nothing more satisfying to me than watching someone’s frown turn to a smile because of something I said or did. Helping others sustains me. But it also breaks me.

I’ve lived so long like this that I’ve persuaded myself into believing that I am a fixer, and if have a problem, I am the only one I can turn to. I’ve convinced myself that sharing my feelings with others would put a burden on them, and I would simply be an inconvenience. And even if they did help, it wouldn’t be because they wanted to, but because they felt obligated, and that’s not what I want. I want to feel loved. Unconditional love. And if I don’t want to face my fears of rejection or judgement, I won’t ask for help. If broken Jackie just keeps all her thoughts trapped inside, eventually fixer Jackie will sort them out, right?

My friends will ask why I went on a long walk alone, I’ll say I just needed some air, but really I’m terrified to invite them. The next time, I think for a second, maybe I will ask someone to come along. But wait. What if they don’t want to go? What if I waste an hour of their time? What if they talk about me when I’m not there? What if they don’t even like me? What if they are using me? Do I even care if they are using me if it means I have a friend? The questions escalate, and I walk alone. Because the sheer thought of inconveniencing the people I love most sickens me. It physically hurts me. My brain tells me that I should be more sickened by the fact that this mind set has barred me from voicing my own opinions, and even forming my own opinions, but my stomach says no. Because what if someone I love disagrees with me? What if I hurt someone? Or worst of all, what if I let someone down, disappoint them? I live my life in constant fear of losing the relationships I’ve poured my heart and soul in maintaining. I ask negative “what ifs” instead of positive ones, because if I expect the worst, then I can only be pleasantly surprised.

My problems aren’t necessarily specific, sometimes I just feel sad. I can’t pinpoint why I feel that way, but I know what will fix it. I just need a hug. Sometimes, I need the people I love to reach out to me, to acknowledge that I am human, and realize that it hurts me to have to cry on my own shoulder.

I know I need to have more faith in people, and believe that when they say they care, they mean it. And I need to find it in me to love myself as unconditionally as I love those around me. These steps are easier said than done, but acknowledging them has set a little part of me free. I am not my inconvenience, I am worth so much more.”