Self Care

Hustling for Worthiness

By Robyn Cruze

Robyn Cruze, MA, is the National Recovery Advocate and online community manager for Eating Recovery Center. She struggles to overcome adversity everyday while in eating disorder recovery.



Something happened to me yesterday. The details of the situation are not important. But I will say that the situation left me feeling small and useless. I beat myself up over it (a common story), and then, I got really sad.


What matters is that, once again, when something doesn't feel good to me, I go straight to feeling unworthy. My brain flat-lined when I tried to name things that I have that are of value. I started a list

"I'm good at…." Nope. Nothing. I cried.

Standing on the stair landing of our home, I looked at my hubby and blurted out through my constricted throat:

"I'm not sad about what happened. I'm sad that I still don't have my own back. I want to be the person that tells me it is okay. After all the work I have done on my recovery, why do I still get to a place of feeling unworthy when the poop hits the fan?"

He didn't need to answer; I already knew. Usually, when something happens that has me feeling uncomfortable, I go immediately to trying to fix the problem instead of just feeling it. I work on doing, being, and acting better. Hustle, hustle, hustle.

Well, I'm not going to do that this time.

Today, I'm still feeling that messy, ugly feeling, although, I do feel a little better. I've decided that I am not going to try to change the situation this time. I’m not going to try to figure others out in an attempt to hustle for my worthiness. I know I will feel better soon. I know that, eventually, more about the situation will be revealed to provide a clearer perspective.

I've come to the conclusion that if I am looking outside of myself for my sense of worthiness, then I'm looking in the wrong place. It's like going to an empty well for water. So I'm just going to sit here a while longer with only my tiptoes in the rabbit hole.

Sometimes — (oh, who am I kidding?) — ­all the time, resting, feeling the yucky feelings, and refusing to hustle are the best things we can do to show ourselves that, although we may have lost our short-term memory on our own value, hustling for worthiness only prevents us from seeing our true value.

"Most of us think, 'I'm pretty worthy of love and belonging -- but I'd be super worthy of love and belonging if I could lose 15 pounds. Or I made partner. Or if my wife doesn't leave. Or if I stay sober,’ or whatever our thing is. 

You are imperfect...but you are worthy of love and belonging."

–  Quote by Professor and Author Brené Brown

robyn cruze
Written by

Robyn Cruze

Internationally-recognized author and speaker, Robyn Cruze published Making Peace with Your Plate (Central Recovery Press) with Espra Andrus, LCSW, which will enter its second edition in February…

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