How is worth measured?

How Is Worth Measured? By: Jae Vel


Parts of me float, gravitating toward an existence long gone

Where I question my sanity and my worth.


How is worth measured?

Through torrents of tears that have stained my cheeks?

Through the labor of my physical body as it took on the lashes of life?


How is… worth… measured?

Through the actions of my mind?

The kindness in my heart?

The pain that’s lived inside of me?


Is it measured from overcoming obstacles that had me running circles in the dark?


Through a body so empty of emotion that self-destruction was the only way to feel?


Tell me, how does one measure worth?


Through the triumphs or the failures each step of the way?

Maybe through the hand that grasped the light and let it warm the soul?

Through a body terrified of touch that a wisp of a feather had the power to shatter a mind?

Through the healing and growth that gave way to the broken being renewed?


How is worth measured in your eyes?


By the hand that now reaches out seeking touch; a physical touch that once froze an entire being in stillness-afraid of the backlash, the ridicule and memories of unwanted advances?

Tell me now…

How is WORTH measured?

My story, the lessons I’ve learned, the message I bring forth, the pieces reconnecting in my mind

Knowing worth was always there hidden waiting for me to discover

I am not broken but whole

I am not caged but free

I am worthy!

Mental Health and me.

I wrote part of this on 12/9/2019 and I never hit the publish button. I didn’t finish my thoughts, at that time I was still healing: Today, I expected the same negative internal monologue that replays everyday, I expected a million thoughts to be colliding in my mind, a typical morning greeting for me, instead, I was greeted with silence. The silence frightened me at first, I didn’t know what was wrong, I wasn’t sure if I was truly awake yet, I had barely slept 5 hours, I didn’t expect utter silence. I rose from the bed after being lovingly attacked by my dog, as I went about my morning routine the silence in my mind followed me on my walk with my pup.I felt the cold breeze hit my face as I walked her, I looked around and actually saw without any running thoughts in my mind. The only thought that came through was “this is a nice walk, I love my dog.”

For anyone who has ever suffered with depression, anxiety, and PTSD like I do, maybe you will understand this phenomenon I felt today. I spent years trying to push away all the thoughts and pull forth what I needed to function in my day to day life, I refused to get help, especially medication help. I started counseling here and there, it helped some, but I was still closed off, afraid to let go of all the pain inside. A few months ago I was given no choice but to start on medication, I was going through major changes in my life and I was barely functional. I didn’t know what to do to fix it all, I found temporary fixes but it was short-lived, the darkness always took over, not always at bedtime, sometimes it hit me during work.



Monday, May 25th 2020.

I look at the Facebook memories from a year ago today, solely focusing on photos of me. I have been doing that every day since November 2019. Just looking back at photos of me, looking at my eyes, my smile or lack thereof. In some photos I don’t recognize myself, at least, it is not the person I am today.

Most of my life I have battled my demons that assault me in the form of depression, anxiety and PTSD. Now at the age of 38, I can freely speak of the darkness and pain that always lurked in the shadows of everything I did. I am proud of myself for fighting to live, the days where I struggled the most I pushed myself harder, I would not accept defeat. This has been my attitude most of my life, “I must keep going”. I kept going until I shattered, November 12th, 2019, I fell into the darkness and didn’t think I could come out of it.

November 12th 2019, a date I won’t soon forget. On that day, I could not tell you what was up or down, I didn’t know what to wear, I could not make my daughter breakfast. I began to hyperventilate and cry. I clearly remember the non-stop flow of tears, the pain in my chest as I fell to my knees and cried in the kitchen floor while my daughter watched. I could not stay strong any longer, I crumbled at her feet, even as I shattered I tried to comfort her and tell her I was “OK”. I clearly remember my words and her face, her words of comfort. It was then that I knew I needed help, I could not live with such pain and be the mother my daughter needed.

Today, I look back on photos, memories, and I’m thankful for the growth. I am grateful for peace, the stillness in my mind. I am living in the present and it is an indescribable feeling, I smile at the smallest of things, the birds chirping in the morning, my child’s laughter as she plays with our dog, I feel the warmth of the sun on my skin and I smile. I feel. I’m no longer numb, I have a myriad of emotions, at times I feel more than one at a time and it is eye-opening. In the past I would hold everything in, I would not cry, the only way I was comfortable expressing emotion was through laughter. Anger burned inside me and scared me, tears made me feel weak, and any other emotion I reserved. I held myself together for so long it was no surprise that I could no longer keep it together. My mind and body were at odds, I was in pain emotionally and physically from holding everything in. But,  I was afraid to fall apart, I always wanted to be the strong one for everyone, being a mom, a wife, a nurse, a daughter, a sister, etc, I tried. I tried to be superhuman and I realized I had a breaking point. I had to deal with my demons in order to truly experience life and be there for those I care about.

I no longer hold back, I speak my mind, I feel the emotions as they come and I have found a sense of peace. My body is no longer in constant pain. Self-care is key to keep me sane. I must put myself first in order to be there for others, my empath ways can make that task difficult but I have learned to recognize the signs of when I need to recharge. I have learned to use my voice. I am learning, evolving and I am truly happy inside.


I’m proud of myself. My journey is just beginning. I am worthy, I am a badass, I cry, best of all… I feel.