Jul 27, 2018

I Rose Where I Fell

I spent years volunteering for every job placed in front of me. Church was the biggest abuser of my willingness to serve. One year my friend Debby and I made all the costumes for the Christmas pageant. There were a thousand excuses why no one could help, but plenty of criticism about everything from color of robe to length of belt. Debby and I worked until two and three in the morning sewing, adding trim, and researching the look of Roman uniforms to the ceremonial wear of the high priest. We wanted the clothing to look as authentic as we could produce on a nothing budget. People needed so I exhausted myself to the point of illness trying to fulfill whatever that need was.

Year upon year I pushed myself until I was literally empty. I slammed into that metaphorical wall and I was done. I realized I had to be my priority. I was tired of being tired from helping without help in return. I became my own protector. I learned to say no. I learned to say it without guilt. 

I Rose Where I Fell

I used to twirl
in everyone else’s dance
until I bled every drop
of my do into their won’t.

Pale as a sacrifice I rose
where I fell and drank
from the well of self.

Belittle, berate, I no
longer hesitate to
prioritize I before you.

©Susie Clevenger 2018