I am not sure if I have ever been sure of who I am. It is embarrassing to admit that so many times in my life I have felt insecure and had a low self esteem. I am still that little girl struggling to fit in and desperately looking for something. But what? I have the gospel and Christ in my life. But I am fighting for my life. I am fighting to keep standing. I think what I have been looking for are things that make me feel validated. Some people would call that needy but I would say that I was never taught how to challenge negative thoughts and so they kept coming. I kept looking for worth when I was accepted by others. First theses thoughts were like a fog rolling in and out in stressful times of my life. Then they became a dark cloud that hung over my head most days. Soon it was a raging storm within like a tsunami. How do you stand in the rain when you are getting pelted by so many thoughts or just completely knocked over by them? Pretty soon I couldn't stand anymore and I gave into the darkness of Depression. I was silent and isolated but screaming inside to be free.
5 years ago I thought I was free from Depressions clutches but it is still there and waiting to pounce when I am the most vulnerable. I am attacked by these negative thoughts everyday but I am sick of it! I do not want to be a victim anymore! But I have no idea how to be truly free from this demon. It is not just a bad day. It is a heavy weight crushing you! I want to stare it in the face and tell it that it has no power over me. I wish to but I am scared. I have seen and felt its power even over the last two weeks. I am winning more battles then I have before but the war itself rages on inside of me.
A friend of mine told me that when I feel overwhelmed I need to take a break from my deep thoughts. I may be surrounded by them like the deep sea but I do not have to look at them all the time. She said it is like I am in a submarine. I can use the periscope and look anytime I want but then I can close it up and not look anymore. Then when I am ready I can look again. I tend to want to look at the whole picture and by so doing, I overwhelm myself. I drown in my fears, insecurities and failures.
I thought that I had a good self care routine in place to take care of myself, but I really don't. It took me this long to realize that I am not nice to myself. I thought reading self help books and working on myself was what I should be doing. Instead it became and obsession. I worried and obsessed to make myself and my family better. I was really feeding a monster known as perfectionism. I am no where near where I thought I was and it shocked me. I really thought I was doing better but I was unprotected from myself and any attack. My fortifications were weak and not very effective. This realization blew me away! I keep getting annihilated by the enemy. My self worth has been destroyed and I didn't even know it. My life has been screaming that I have low self esteem and I missed it! I think that all of us at times in our lives don't see some of the warning signs. I have always been hard on myself but I thought that was good because it made me challenge myself to be better. Take a look at your habits and your thoughts. What are they telling you? If you find yourself like a deer in headlights with this realization too, don't worry , I think that means things will get better. At least I am hoping so! There is always hope!
With this hope I am going to do a few things this week to find out who I am. Make a list of things you might want to do or borrow some of mine. As we open ourselves to changes we can make it is like we are standing for the first time. I think I have been crawling or limping my way through my life just dealing with the pain. My sense of self is completely gone. So here is what I am going to do to take a stand and say I am not going to take it anymore! I am stronger than that and so are you! Let us be kind to ourselves and find the right ways to motivate ourselves to change. Down below I made a mind map of self esteem and all the areas that are linked to it. It was a good way for me to get a sense of the whole picture and where I am hurting myself the most.
- Make a self care plan
- Write a list of my strengths and what I am good at
- Write a list of all my past accomplishments
- Find ways to motivate myself