You’re Bent, Not Broken: A Mindset Shift That Can Change Your Life

Bent but never broken; down but never out.” ~Annetta Ribken

My belief that I wasn’t able to fix myself was what I carried around for so long.

Rephrase that: I believed I was not loved, worthy, scarred and broken. You are a complete package.

The problem started early, and I didn’t feel good enough to do anything. My family was the average modern reconstructed one in eighties. I was the youngest and I didn’t know which foot to use. I thought it necessary to bend my left and right for love.

This was my baggage, my anxiety. I felt like nobody could make me happy. No one could be real with me. Nothing could make me feel worthless.

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As I entered my forties, it was so bad that I just wanted to disappear. I wanted to be different. I wanted to be dead.

That was all I could think of.

I believed that there would be more happiness in the world without me.

What I didn’t understand then is that by thinking I was broken, unworthy, unloved, and all the other awful things I told myself daily, I was pouring salt into old wounds that had no chance to mend until I stopped the self-loathing.

The more I believed I was flawed, the worse I felt. My self-deprecating of being unloved made me less likely to open myself up and love others. The more I told myself I was unworthy, the more I interpreted others’ words to mean the same.

I didn’t know what I could do. I didn’t know how to get out of the storm I was stuck in. I didn’t know what could help me live in the moment and stop hurting from the past or getting scared of the future.

Is it possible to stop hurting so badly that you would like to die?

Writing is for me.

That was all I could do.

I was losing friends left and right, closing up like an oyster, hurting myself and others with my words and actions—but my pen and paper were my salvation.

I shed tears and cried until one day, I felt like I could finally take a step back.

It was the same pain and feeling unworthy. I couldn’t even look in the mirror at myself, much less be able to love someone properly. As I played with the pencil, unable to find words to a survival poem that I had to write, I continued pushing it into its crack. The pencil started to break in half, as I kept pushing my nails into the surface.

No, let me take responsibility—until You Break the pencil into two.

I stared at the pieces in my hands.

I had played with that pencil’s crack until I broke it.

While my fingers hurt, I managed to smile.

This wasn’t me. This couldn’t be me. I really didn’t want this to become me.

I wasn’t two parts of one entity.

It was one.

And if I was still one, I wasn’t broken, I was just scarred. It was only that I was bent.

Everything changed from that point on.

I wasn’t broken, just bent. You can learn to love yourself again.

This became a daily mantra for me.

And if I wasn’t broken, just bent, then maybe I wasn’t unlovable but loved by the wrong people. And maybe I wasn’t unworthy but only surrounded by people who didn’t recognize my worth, or maybe I was blind to my awesomeness.

And if I wasn’t broken, if I stopped playing with my wounds, then maybe the healed scars could tell a story. If I was able to tell my story, and assist others, then maybe my years of pain, hardship, and anxiety could be more than just a feeling broken.

So maybe I wasn’t broken. Perhaps I was only bent.

While it was challenging to speak it aloud, difficult to explain, the relief I felt when I focused my thoughts on it made it easier.

I knew then I could rise from the traumas I’d gone through. Every single one of them.

It was possible for me to give myself another chance by sharing my journey and healing.

I wasn’t broken; I was made to break the shell of my past and show that if I could do it, you could too.

Here is the biggest secret of my life: I’m not one and everyone.

My story is similar to many of yours. I didn’t deal with my traumas, and they caught up. When I needed open heart surgery, I believed I’d dealt with my past.

Although I believed I could be loved as I was, I felt unloved.

My perception of myself as broken was based on the circumstances that were causing me to be twisted. I thought I was unworthy but I was capable of creating art with my scars and shining a light on the most common depression story ever to tell others they weren’t alone and could get out of it too.

So don’t tell yourself that you are broken.

Don’t think you need an extraordinary story to help others find their light.

Don’t believe you are no one, because we are all no one, and we are everyone.

I’m not a life coach, I’m not selling classes, I’m not even trying to save your soul. I’m just like you, trying to find a light of love and joy. We are all healing together and have our own stories to tell. This story is about how you can choose to view yourself as someone who has strength, value and purpose.

Get rid of the negative thoughts that are limiting your potential. See yourself as just bent, and don’t try to straighten yourself up.

Let yourself be flexible and allow the change to happen.

Broken can never be repaired.

Bent isn’t.

It’s not a big difference, but it might change your life.

About Gabrielle G.

Gabrielle G doesn’t know everyone. In addition to being the author of two poetry books and eleven novels, Gabrielle G also shares her journey through mental hell in order to assist those with mental disorders. Her poetry can be found on Instagram. She also shares her wisdom on how to find peace. Sign up for it at

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