I am a really good starter of things. I start diets. I start projects. I start exercising. I start friendships. I start eating healthy. I start laundry. I have good intentions. Really, I do. But there a lot of things that I just don’t finish. I have been this way for as long as I can remember, even when I was little. When I was in grade school I started gymnastics, piano lessons, Girl Scouts. And I didn’t stick with any of them. As I got older I joined clubs in high school, I started college, I forged new friendships, I started therapy. And I didn’t stick with any of them.
One of my biggest regrets is not finishing college. I was a good student all the way through high school, and I was awarded a full academic scholarship to the local university. I went one semester. ONE. Then I quit and went to work. During the next several years I went back to school from time to time, but I never did finish. As the semester would end, or as I would finish a class, I would just kind of give up. Nothing horrible happened, I still had good grades, I just didn’t want to go anymore. So I didn’t.
I’m not exactly sure why I am not a good finisher of things. Is it because my parents never made me finish anything that I didn’t like? Is it because when the novelty of something wears off, I’m just no longer interested? I think that both of those things play a part. But as I think about it, it may have more to do with how I feel about myself than how I feel about whatever it is I’m trying to finish.
For as long as I can remember I have struggled with self-acceptance and self-worth. I am only now learning, at almost 42 years old, that I do have some good qualities. I am better able to speak the truth to myself about me, rather than feeding the narrative that I heard (or maybe even created) growing up. I know that I am smart, not just lucky, as I was told by my mother as a child. I know that I am not horribly ugly like I thought for most of my youth because everyone oohed and aahed over my sister’s beauty, but not mine. I know that I have a truly good heart, despite the fact that my family doesn’t find me loveable. I guess what I am getting at, is that, by telling myself the truth, I have begun to like who I am. Love may be on it’s way, but it’s not here quite yet.
So what does all of that have to do with me being a quitter? Well, I think that I haven’t ever really felt that I was worthy of accomplishment. I didn’t deserve to be a college graduate, I didn’t deserve to have friends that love me for me, I didn’t deserve to look fit and be healthy physically. I wasn’t worth it. At least, I didn’t think I was worth it.
Now that I have been in recovery for over two years, and I have really examined the parts of my life that I tried to avoid for so long, I have had to take a long, hard look at myself. What I have found is that I am worthy of those things. I am worthy of being happy and healthy, I am worthy of being accomplished. And I’m capable. I can do it. Without quitting. All the way to the finish.
PS-I have started a class, Contemporary Literature, and I will finish it. I have started C25K, and I will be able to run a 5K. More details to come….