What is really hideous is the fact that my self esteem is massively better than it ever was. Over the past 12 years I have worked hard at improving how I feel about myself and where I fit in the world. I try to be kind to myself and work hard at not letting other people treat me badly. Most people see me as confident, assertive and friendly. What they don't realise is that it takes loads of practice and its not actually how I feel.If you could read the mantra of my heart, you would see a different me.
The people that I know who suffer with low self esteem don't want to be that way. Its not false pride or martyrdom, but a genuine sense of just not being good enough. Its horrible really and fills you with a distrust of people and constantly attacks your confidence. You question yourself and your abilities unceasingly, and its exhausting and demoralising. Here are some typical thoughts I have had about myself :
I'm just not good enough
People don't really like me, they just say that to be polite
I'm a crap parent
I am ugly and truly unlovable
People don't really love me, they say that to placate me
Everyone else is better than me
If I try harder maybe I'll be average
Now I could go on, but its not the best, looking at yourself in type and seeing how shite you feel about yourself. The thing is with low self esteem is that you create little rules for living that you hope in your heart, will stop the dreaded feeling happening. I am a perfectionist. I avoid conflict. I will constantly put myself down with self deprecating humour, but what it hides is a genuine dislike or lack of acceptance of self and stops you getting in there first. I'm a sad little git really, but lay off the pity as I'm taking a big bus ride away from the dammed internal dialogue, sprinting joyfully to the fields of glee where imperfection, failure and doing things half arsed is acceptable .
If I now take a snap shot of my disordered and colourful life, the way I am put together is a bit like a ragdoll. I'm a mish-mash of bits, but although I'm a bit duff, I'm interesting to look at, good to cuddle and play with and a bit more unique than a cabbage patch doll. Yes, that means you normal people with your autonomy and moulded joints and matching outfits! Actually, that is just my perception. You know the one in which I see all the women who drop their kids off at school as alpha parents who do absolutely everything right and are perfect. I am soon to learn that this is something that I do - its called wrong thinking. I generalise about situations, I filter what I hear, I categorise everything as black or white and I am hideously self punishing. I would LOVE to take a day off from being me - I really would.
Welcome to the CBT course on self esteem.