This year, my principal asked every staff member to pick a word to guide us through our year. There were no guidelines, outside of the reminder that a single word can change a life.
My colleagues all took this and ran. They picked things like adventure and perseverance and courage. They chose words like faith, empower, evolving. Everybody picked a word that truly meant something to them. And it was beautiful to behold. It was amazing to watch everybody get on board. I can’t wait to see how their years are shaped by the words they picked.
My word? Enough.
Growing up, it always felt like I wasn’t something enough. I wasn’t smart enough. I wasn’t fast enough. I wasn’t skinny or strong or fast enough. I wasn’t handsome enough.
I never felt like I had enough. I didn’t have enough money or enough courage or enough confidence. I didn’t have enough time or enough sleep.
I felt like whenever you added all the parts of me together, they didn’t equate to a full human being. I was never enough. And it was something I struggled with into adulthood.
Sometime in my life, that changed. There came a time when I began to realize that the person I am is exactly who I’m supposed to be. That didn’t mean that I was through changing and growing. It just meant that I was done doubting. It meant that I was stronger and ready to face the world and everything it had in store for me, good or bad.
At some point in my life, I also realized that part of that feeling, part of that voice in my head that told me I was never enough, was a real problem known as depression. And for a long time, admitting my depression was hard. Because I was embarrassed. Because people around me had so flippantly made fun of people on antidepressants. Because I lived in a society that didn’t understand mental health issues. I lived in a society that believed depression was an affinity for being sad.
Depression is a liar.
When I finally allowed myself to admit that I was struggling with depression, I learned something very important. That voice in my head that had always told me I wasn’t enough was a liar. Depression is a liar. I wish somebody had told me sooner. I wish I hadn’t wasted so many years of my life doubting myself, believing that voice in my head, and avoiding help for the situation.
I can’t change my past, but maybe I can change somebody else’s future. As I navigate this school year and beyond, I’m going to remind myself and everybody around me that we are all enough. We are the entire person we are meant to be. We are always changing, always growing, always being. And we are enough.
You are enough.
Don’t let depression lie to you. Don’t let fear become weakness. Don’t let yourself believe you are anything less than worthy and amazing and beautifully, wonderfully made.
Don’t ever let you or anybody else convince you that you are anything other than enough.
The Plucky Reader