Just an old friend here wanting to address you on this post.
Phoenix, since ever we met, you have been standing on your head hoping others know your true sincerity ( which we certainly do!). I have never seen anyone try as hard as you to be of help to others.
What I DON'T see is a man trying hard to love himself unconditionally. You have, along the way in your life, been handed some overfull plates of garbage. You have had some things done to you, seen some horrible grief filling things and been handed a bunch of physical pain. In my very unprofessional, but very caring, way, I want to remind you that you were so not at fault for so many things but seem to hold them in you like pains that you deserve. I think there were circumstances that made you feel like "less' and that you have accepted that to a degree. No. No. No. These burdens that came about because of others must stop being burdens to your soul.
From my heart of hearts I am saying gently to you to stop looking for others to make you feel worthwhile. Yes, many of us appreciate you for your reaching out and kindness. Of course we do. But do you ever reach out and give yourself some of that kindness? Not that I have seen, Buddy. You tried to hide from some of the tragedy in your life in unhealthy ways, but in your own strength and character you stopped the unhealthy coping and pulled yourself up by your bootstraps. However, while the unhealthy coping has ceased, you continue to beat Phoenix up routinely.
Pull yourself up tall, my friend, and accept the past as just that... the past. Accept that you did not cause
many of the things that haunt you, but were the recipient. Grieve for the things that hurt you so. Perhaps the greatest lesson I learned in my own mental and spiritual agony was that I had never grieved for the things I had lost. Not just loved ones, either. I had to grieve for lost body parts, grieve because I had been so very ill, grieve for time lost. I needed professional help to understand that I could grieve for myself. I didn't even know how to grieve, but I learned and then, boy did I grieve. Then I learned to assess and acknowledge
to myself the many good qualities about me
. Like you, I often was a people pleaser in order to feel okay about myself. I still have a yearning to help others, but now also have a satisfaction with myself just because I am me.
I so want you to feel true happiness and joy in living. I really do. And it must start when you acknowledge your own worth just because you are Phoenix. Grieve for all the hurt... face it head on , grieve it, and never let it control you again. Learn to truly love yourself and experience joy in life.