Thursday, September 9, 2010
Self-Esteem 101 - part I
I don’t really understand it. I just know that I should have it. And that I should have LOTS of it and it should be HIGH rather than low. Over the past few years I’ve felt my supply of esteem dwindle to near depletion. Feeling good about myself has been a struggle since my early teens. The first obvious signs of this problem was when I became anorexic at age 13 followed by years of sporadic bulimia and chronic disordered eating. The bottom line is that self-esteem is something that I was able to cultivate now and again, but not for long and not on an ongoing basis.
Recently events occurred that led to disappointment. Although disappointed, I was taken aback by how quickly my sense of being and worth plummeted. Suddenly I went from mere disappointment to utter despair. My mind began its assault. Attacking me with comments like, “I’m a loser”, “I don’t deserve success”, “I’m fat and ugly”, “everybody’s life is better than mine”, “I don’t deserve to be happy”, “I’m a horrible parent”, “I suck”, etc. Mean things. The sort of things that I wouldn’t stand by and allow my friends or my child say about themselves, or anyone else for that matter. I know I’m not the only one in this situation. I have too many friends who also feel like this.
The incident got me thinking about how long it had been since I felt good about myself. How long it had been since I felt worthwhile and deserving of wonderful things. I decided that perhaps my true problem lay in a lack of self-esteem and did what any other smart, capable person who wanted to solve a problem would do. I did a Google search.
What I discovered is that there is a lot of information out there, but not a lot of information that is helpful. And before anyone decides to point out the obvious, yes, I have had counseling and read a substantial number of self-help books. I know I’m not alone in this. So I’m going to make my journey through this a series. I know my blog appears to be more about economy than psychology, but really, isn’t the most truly luxurious thing in our lives how we feel about ourselves. How we feel about ourselves cost nothing monetarily, but can be so costly to us when we don’t feel good about ourselves. I think it may well be the most economically luxurious thing anyone can have.