I never truly liked myself growing up. At one point in my life I thought I was cursed. I just did not like me. You see I have a neurological condition called CMT (Charcot-Marie-Tooth). I never understood it. I never understood what it meant or how it made me feel. I would use any excuse to be negative. Compare myself to others so I could say ‘I’m not good enough, I’m not beautiful and I’m just not worthy’. Friendships and relationships were always tricky. Either they were the wrong people (negative can attract negative) or I would push people away emotionally. I was not used to people caring. I mean what did they like about me. I never quite understood that. Equally I felt that people close to me would push me away. This reinforced the belief that I just was not good enough.
Was this a period of low mood or a period of depression? I still don’t know. I just knew that I was not a truly happy person. I just did not fit in anywhere really. Or that’s how I felt. The word loneliness is an understatement. One can be amongst a crowd but lack a genuine connection with others. In this situation, loneliness can still exist in the heart.
Despite this, deep down inside of me I had a little torch which would be burning throughout my life. The torch was my determination and strength.
I always had a passion for business. I always wanted to work for myself by setting up a business which empowered others. I remember when I was in my late teens and I attempted to set up a dating agency for people with disabilities.
However, my low confidence beat my determination hands down when I struggled to complete a business plan. I couldn’t possibly set up a business I would tell myself. This was despite the support I was receiving from a business mentor at the time. FAILURE would constantly stick in my mind and pour out in my appearance.
But the torch still burned. Nearly 10 years later, I studied for my social work masters degree. If I couldn’t set up a business, I still wanted to support others. I was suspended from a placement due to a conflict with a supervisor and my negative mind took over. As I sat waiting for a decision on whether I could continue working with the organisation, I would spend days holding myself crying. I recall thinking how much I messed up and not knowing what to do with my life. My torch took over and in the suspension period, I wrote a self-help book and I self-published ‘Therapy’ and the feeling was one of wonderment. I finished my course and set up another company called BlackHairBlackBeauty with a fellow student. My business partner at the time left the company but I felt like she left me. She was my best friend. Another kick in my heart. People in my environment told me ‘go it alone Sandra’.
I re-connected with the torch slightly and carried on. Don’t get me wrong, the business did not progress in 4 years. Opportunities would come and I would let them pass me by. Fear in my mind overpowered the torch in my heart many times. My physical health was beginning to be affected because of my lack of self care. Because of my CMT, I am supposed to be more cautious of what I eat than the average person and ensure I exercise regularly. It was crunch time for me as I was getting to be in a lot of pain and so I had to make a decision.
Read part 2 of Sandra's blog post next week Monday 3 October.
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