Being a teenage girl was one of the most uncomfortable times in my life. I was going through puberty, testing boundaries, starting to date, and overall an emotional train wreck. I suffered from extremely low self-esteem. To this day I have no idea why because my parents always told me I could do or be anything I wanted to in life. I also had a lot of supportive friends.
Being shy and having low self-esteem is a dangerous combo for a woman especially a young one. I could never say “no” because I was so scared of offending someone or being humiliated.
One time a boy asked for my phone number and I finally had enough courage to say no and he said, “I wasn’t trying to hit on you. Relax, I can’t believe you think you’re that important.” Jerk. I was so embarrassed. From that day on, saying no was not an option.
Over the years I became addicted to drugs and alcohol and my life spiraled out of control. I did things I didn’t want to do, said yes when I should have said no, and hung out with questionable people. I had lost my identity and was crippled with low self-esteem.
After a few months in rehab, the fog left my brain. I was back into society, had my cell phone, and started creating a life. Men would ask for my phone number and I would give it to them. It then started weeks of me making up excuses and ignoring texts. I hated it. Why didn’t I just say no? Why was it so hard?
I started seeing an amazing therapist who saved my life. She coached me through dating and love in my early twenties. I had recognized my problem and told her about it in one of our sessions. She told me to just say “no!” and that I didn’t need an explanation. I promised myself that the next time someone asked for my phone number I would simply say no. No explanation.
I also decided that I would say no to things I didn’t want to do. It sounds harsh but if an unstable woman asked me to hang out, I would say no. I had to realize that keeping myself mentally healthy was going to save my life.
Saying no has made me feel empowered as a woman. I feel like I am in control of my own life and have been setting healthy boundaries.Read more in Being HER