I never really knew how much of a people pleaser I used to be until I faced PTSD.

Until grief and trauma stole me from myself and I had nothing left to give.

I didn’t mind going out of my way for someone, simply so they’d choose me. Putting their wants and needs before my own, just to find belonging. Saying yes to the endless requests, just to be the person they’d decide to hire.

I spent years trying my best to anticipate and meet other people’s needs and expectations, without thinking about my own.

It wasn’t until PTSD hit me hard and my throat completely shut down—we’re talking nine days of not being able to swallow even my own saliva—that I realized just how much energy I’d been wasting doing things I didn’t really want to be doing, not honoring my needs, and not using my voice. Just how much energy I’d wasted hiding my truth.

Suddenly, I could no longer hide what I was thinking or feeling… I had no choice but to put myself, my needs, and my truth first in every relationship and situation.

It was hard and heartbreaking, and I lost a lot of people and communities I loved during that time… but it was necessary. Essential to my healing, rising up, and coming back.

It’s what helped me learn how to put myself and my own needs first.

We can only swallow our truth for so long… and I would urge you to start speaking up and honoring yourself NOW, not after your body finally begins to rebel.

Stephenie Zamora is an author and life coach, business and marketing strategist, and founder of CallOfTheVoid.tv., where she merges the worlds of personal development, energy healing, intuitive coaching, writing, and mixed media art to help individuals rise up and come back from the darkest, hardest chapters of life. She guides her clients through the challenging process of re-orienting to their lives, relationships, and work in a way that’s fully aligned with who they’ve become in the aftermath of loss, trauma, depression, and big life changes. After struggling with PTSD, grief, and anxiety from a sudden and traumatic loss, she navigated her own difficult healing journey, and has set out to help others find the purpose of their own path using The Hero’s Journey as a framework. She is also the founder of Stephenie Zamora Media, the author of Awesome Life Tips®, creator of Journey Mapping Sessions™, and is currently working on a second book, Unravel. Her work has been featured on The Huffington Post, Yahoo Shine, Elite Daily, Positively Positive, and many other publications over the years. Connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, or at www.CallOfTheVoid.tv.

Image Courtesy of Carolina Heza.