Blog

Aug26
2019

I Exist, Therefore I Am Enough

By Eileen Holcomb

When I was young, I started to ask questions. Most of them were directed at my dad: Why does the water fountain follow us when we’re driving in the car? Why does it get dark earlier in winter? Why can’t I touch the sun if I jump? Some were questions I knew not to ask: Why is mom acting so funny? What’s in the big glass bottles that I’m not allowed to touch? However, there was one question that wasn’t directed toward anyone, but one that I came back to again and again: Why am I not enough?

I first asked it as a kid, watching my mom struggle with addiction, wondering why I wasn’t enough to keep her happy when all my friends seemed to be able to please their moms. The thought kept popping up, regardless of how hard I tried to beat it down throughout my formative years. Whenever something went wrong at home or someone called me a name at school, I questioned: What’s wrong with me? Why am I not good enough?

When I got a bit older, I started to think that instead of not enough, maybe I was too much. Maybe the reason I couldn’t get along with my mom at home and caught hell at school was because I was too weird, too fat, just too out of the ordinary for people to want to be around. I started self-harming at the age of 12, covering open wounds with band-aids and jeans in the middle of summer; disordered eating followed soon after. I dropped weight, and suddenly, I was pretty. People looked at me, complimented me—my mom was proud of me. Still, I felt like regardless of how much work I put into being pretty or how much I punished myself for existing, it (and I) would never be enough.

I fell deeper and deeper into a depression, to the point where not enough became more of an identity than my given name. The self-harm increased. And although I started eating again, I discovered purging. I gained weight and had daily weigh-ins with my mom where I was reminded of it. I kept purging. My teeth chipped. I broke blood vessels in my eyes. I couldn’t sleep at night, because I was busy with self-destructive behaviors and crying out to God, asking why I was so broken and unfit for the world around me.

People tried to correct my misconceptions. I’m sure God did as well. But until I stepped into a counselor’s office two years ago and made the conscious decision to fight back and unlearn everything I’d internalized, nothing stuck.

Over the past couple of years, there have been highs and lows, times I thought I couldn’t make it and times I have been thrilled simply by the notion of being alive. During the worst moments, I hold on to what I’ve come to know:

I am not too little, I am not too much. I am not too broken for love, kindness, or compassion; I am worthy of all of these things and more. Because a loving Creator sacrificed a son for me, even on my worst days, I am enough. I don’t need to be anything in particular; I just need to exist.

The same is true for each of us. Despite how messy we are, how broken we may be, by virtue of existing, we are enough. Even when we don’t want to take another step. Even when our hearts hurt. Even when it feels like the phone never rings and no one cares, we are enough.

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Comments (7)

  1. Katze

    Ugh that hurt.
    Every time I reach out to anyone – every time I write even the most unimportant text – I ask myself, “is this too much? Am I annoying them? Are they sick of me?” and then I don’t send it and then worry, “do they think I’ve been ignoring them? Do they think I’m getting full of myself of don’t want to be friends anymore?” so I write out the text again… and don’t send it…and worry…
    It makes me sick.
    I don’t think hearing that you are enough is enough. It has to go deeper. I have to internalize it somehow. God help me!

    Reply  |  
    1. TWLOHA

      Katze,

      We hope that you can find a way to truly believe that you are enough and that you are not a burden to your friends or loved ones — nor to us. Please know that we are here to remind you and hold on to that belief as long as you need us to.

      With Hope,
      TWLOHA

      Reply  |  
  2. Katie

    This was beautifully written, and so heartfelt. I needed to hear this – especially that 2nd to last paragraph: “Because a loving Creator sacrificed a son for me, even on my worst days, I am enough. ” Thank you. I needed this today. I’m copying it and posting it where I will see it again and again. I am enough.

    Reply  |  
  3. Karen woodruff stoeckel

    Eileen-I am so moved by your words and so happy I stumbled upon this. I’m also wondering if you are the Eileen I used to work with and think of so often in Vernon? If so please message me I would love love love to hear from you. Take good care, Karen

    Reply  |  
  4. brett

    Thank you for this. I needed to hear this today. I’ve struggled with this for years. I’m happy someone else understands.

    Reply  |  
  5. Elizabeth

    I’m 14 and I’m kinda going through that whole thing right now where that thought is constantly there and I feel I’m not enough for my mom. I did self harm a few times, I’m not proud to admit that, but my youth group is kind of helping cause I feel welcomed there. I happened to stumble on this blog and I think it was just what I needed at the moment.

    Reply  |  
    1. TWLOHA

      Hi Elizabeth,

      We’re so sorry to know that you’re feeling as though you’re not enough. Please know that you are, just as you are. But we are so grateful to hear that you are finding support through your youth group and that you feel welcome there. That’s amazing! If you want to share more with us, you’re welcome to email info@twloha.com. We would be honored to offer you some encouragement and support.

      With Hope,
      TWLOHA

      Reply  |  
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