Well, not really, but I’m trying to work on believing I am.
*First things first, I’m putting in a disclaimer: I am not writing this post to get my ego stroked in the comments. Feel free to leave me a comment, but I am writing this post (as I should write all my posts) because I want/need to, not because I want approbation. Not that ego stroking is a bad thing. :)*
Okay, here’s a bit of back story:
About 2 months ago, when I was having a really, really hard time with my mom’s death, I called up my company’s Employee Assistance Program and they hooked me up with a counselor. For free. (I love you, workplace! And I bet your company has a similar program too, you just have to ask!) I felt supremely idiotic trying to whisper into the phone at work to tell the guy why I needed a counselor, but I did it. Though why I was whispering, I have no idea; it’s not like grief or depression is anything of which to be ashamed.
So I met with the woman assigned to me and she is great. And very helpful. And reassures me that I am totally normal on the whole grieving continuum.
By the end of the second session ((Out of 5 I am allotted, in case you were wondering. Work will pay for some counseling, but not a year’s worth of weekly sessions, unfortunately.)) things had morphed into more of a “Why do I have such low self-esteem?!?” thing and less of a “Why do I miss my mom so much?!?” thing. My homework coming out of that session and going into the one I went to today was to come up with a list of affirmations and to write them down and refer to them frequently.
I will admit – I had over 2 weeks to write my list and I dragged my feet for at least 10 days. I think this wasn’t due just to the fact that I honestly had a hard time thinking of things for the list, but also because it feels so attention-grabby and braggy to write out positive affirmations about myself. Doesn’t our society teach us that no one likes a braggart? Isn’t self-effacement more prized than self-promotion? And since when did liking yourself and being proud of things that you’re good at become a bad thing?
Today, I had to give my counselor lady my list. I could actually only come up with 5 items and was, of course, feeling terrible about that. I was sure all her other clients had double columned lists that would beat my list no problem. However, 5 or 6 items is (according to her) the usual number most people can come up with. Per M, I should keep my list in purse or some other place where M sure to see it frequently and remind myself of all the things about me that don’t suck. And since I am on the blog
all the damn time frequently, I thought I would post my list here.
Here’s my list of affirmations:
-I am a really good wife.
-I am a really good mother.
-I am a really good nurse.
-I am very considerate of other people’s feelings and always try to make other people happy.
-I am funny.
Okay, I’ll admit that my original list didn’t have the adverb “really” but I’ve decided that it applies, so I’m adding it.
The funny thing is, since writing my list, I do feel better about myself. I’m not saying I’m suddenly the most self-confident person on the planet or even in the room, but when/if someone compliments me, I don’t immediately negate it in my head.
For example, the other day a patient told me that my pre-chemo teaching was excellent, and I didn’t think to myself, “He’s probably just being kind.” Because you know what? My pre-chemo teaching is excellent. Because I am a really good nurse and I am passionate about what I do.
I know I will still have bad days. I will still have days that I worry everyone will suddenly see the real me and realize that the good/nice/worthwhile me has been an act all these years. And then they will abandon me because I am not worth loving. And I’m not saying that to garner sympathy or impress you with just how low my self-esteem is at times. I’m saying that because its the truth and I don’t believe that I’m the only person out there who feels like that sometimes.
So make your own list. Type it up or write it out with a fancy fountain pen or post it on your blog. Share it with your spouse or keep it secret. Know that it won’t fix you forever. But hopefully it will help you feel like you, too, are the shit.
Because each of us is absolutely awesome at something. And we should all celebrate that.