I never really knew how much of a people pleaser I used to be until I faced PTSD.
Until grief and trauma stole me from myself and I had nothing left to give.
I didn’t mind going out of my way for someone, simply so they’d choose me. Putting their wants and needs before my own, just to find belonging. Saying yes to the endless requests, just to be the person they’d decide to hire.
I spent years trying my best to anticipate and meet other people’s needs and expectations, without thinking about my own.
It wasn’t until PTSD hit me hard and my throat completely shut down—we’re talking nine days of not being able to swallow even my own saliva—that I realized just how much energy I’d been wasting doing things I didn’t really want to be doing, not honoring my needs, and not using my voice. Just how much energy I’d wasted hiding my truth.
Suddenly, I could no longer hide what I was thinking or feeling… I had no choice but to put myself, my needs, and my truth first in every relationship and situation.
It was hard and heartbreaking, and I lost a lot of people and communities I loved during that time… but it was necessary. Essential to my healing, rising up, and coming back.
It’s what helped me learn how to put myself and my own needs first.