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Shame for no reason about my life
February 9, 2007
1:52 am
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DonQuixote
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Hello. I'm sure this may come off far more docile and sedate than some people's threads, but I really just need to talk. I have recently had a large amount of my past come down upon me and I cant help but feel bad about it. There are so many things that I have yet to accomplish that it is eating away at me. I realize that by normal standards I am just starting my life, but all the time I have wasted so far haunts me. I dont know what it is about my past that makes me hate it so. I dont know what it is about me that makes me hate me so. I know I have low self-esteem, but I dont know why. Every time I am asked to make a list of things I like about myself and things that I dont, I always get far more don'ts than do's. I'm not sure if anything/anyone can help. I just wanted to post and see if anyone here might have some ideas. I can elaborate: I feel as if I am unworthy of someone else's love. How can I be loved by someone else if I can't even love myself? For all of my life thus far I have tricked myself into believing that I was useless, that I was sub-human. And while I realize that it is not true, I don't know how to change that view. Despite the efforts of those around me, I am innable to accept any positive feedback to my life as true. For some reason I can only see the negative aspects of me. But recent events have brought to light the error of my previous beliefs. And this new conciousness has helped, but it keeps me from sleeping and from being at rest because I am constantly faced by the lies I have told to myself for so long. If anyone here has any suggestions, I would love to hear them. Thank you for any support you may have.

"Est deus in nobis" - The is a god inside us

February 9, 2007
2:22 am
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sad_female
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Hello DonQuixote! I can feel your pain. I too have a low self-esteem and I wish I had a solution to build it up. I have many complements from people but I just always think they are just being nice. I guess there comes a point where you have to say hang on, no one is better than me. Everyone has different qualities that make them special. Im sure you do too. I suggest you throw out your list of things you dont like about yourself.. only keep your good list.

Also my self esteem is more built up when I stop thinking about me and start thinking about others and little things I can do to help other people or to help friends or my family.

I dont think there is an instant cure for feeling good about yourself. I think some people are born with that happy go lucky attitude and some people arent.

I dont know if I have been any help here, but Id be interested to see what other people suggest. Take care, and keep your chin up 🙂

February 9, 2007
7:31 am
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doubledilemma
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Don, I think sad's response is good and if you are starting out and you realise this, then that is fantastic!

I did have a sneak preview on google for something else and came across this concept of "biological unhappiness", as if some people seem to be naturally inclined to be unhappy, whereas others seem to be happy-go-lucky. So perhaps it is an inherited thing or something hard-wired into our brain, much like my OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) which no-one has been able to cure for over 15 years.

There are cultural factors too. My sister-in-law, who is an aid worker, said that of all places where she has worked (and she only goes to the neediest places in the world) said that Afghanistan was remarkable for the capacity of people to laugh at their woes!

Perhaps there is something or someone more deeply troubling you which you have not yet told us about as it still buried in your memory. Something someone told you about yourself or something that was traumatic which you have buried. Try journalling it out for a while and see what comes up as you post on here.

D_D

February 9, 2007
2:59 pm
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DonQuixote
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Thank you all for your comments. Sad, I have noticed that when I am with others I feel better and that when I do things for others I feel better. I am trying to find other ways to feel better about myself when no one is around.
DD, I have also heard of that belief that some people are just born "unhappy". After talking with my mom about my life several times recently, I got that feeling about myself. I thank you for your help.

As to ellaborate upon my life to try and find a root cause, here goes:

I'll start at the current end, because it is fresher and more relevant to my recent change in mental state. I just turned 24 not to long ago. A couple months ago I went to hangout with a friend of mine and we wound up going to one of his other friends houses. I met someone there that changed my life, and yet I don't know exactly why. She was smart, funny, interesting, calm and beautiful. The next day, my life kinda crashed in upon me. I realized that I had been lying to myself for the past 23 years. I had always believed that I was above normal human emotions, that I didn't need anyone else in my life to feel normal, that life was something to be dreaded and loathed. But I realized that that was just a lie I had told myself to make it easier for me to be alone. When I realized this, I crashed. I sat and cried for a good 30-45 mins. But then I called up my friend and asked if I could come over to talk. He heard the pain in my voice and eagerly welcomed me. My roommate went with me and by the time I got to his house I felt better because I had talked about it on the ride there. I spent the rest of the night just hangin out and relaxing with my friends. I have since been forced to come to grip with the fact that I am now 24 and have yet to ever be in a relationship. I had tried for so long to shelter myself from sorrow that I have hidden joy from myself as well.
Going back further, I can't see any one instance where I started this low-esteem cycle. As far as I can tell it came about do to my fear of failure. When I was younger my family would cheer and encourage me on, I was rather bright for my age. The more they encouraged me, the less I wanted to fail. But as everyone knows, you can't win the all. So at some point I had to face failure. At first I took it in stride, saying "You can't make an omelette without breaking a few egg" or some other addage. But a fear grew inside of me. What would happen when I failed again? And again? So I just kinda stopped trying. I figured,if I don't try I can never fail, so that would be the ultimate answer. Just stop trying. The less I tried, the less I felt. Eventually I built an entire belief structure around why I never succeded, even going so far as to blame "God" for my inadequacies. But I have now realized that without effort there can be no failure OR success. That life is more than just being alive, its about living. Feeling. Succeeding and failing.

I apologize for the length of this post, but its me in a quick nutshell.

I realize what I have done wrong, but unfourtunately I don't know how to fix it. I trained 23 years to become what I was and not once did I see it as the wrong thing, so I don't see how to do it differently. So I ask any who may read this and understand, could you help me please?

"Aspirat primo fortuna labori"- Fortune smiles upon our first effort.

February 9, 2007
3:08 pm
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thumkin
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I think a good first step would be what you have already done. Admit you made a mistake, as a human we all do that. Use that mistake as a guideline on what not to do as you work to build your life into what you want it to be. Take baby steps. Throw away that bad list as suggested. Highlite the good list somewhere that you can see it everyday and build upon it. Journal Journal Journal, if it works for you. Force yourself to try until it becomes habit. Take a chance and feel how good it feels just to take the chance whether you succeeded or failed it feels good to know that you tried and did your best.

Hope this helps. Not a guaranteed answer but it could be a place to start.

February 9, 2007
3:51 pm
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on my way
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DonQ...you are very intuitive and intouch with yourself. You seem to understand where you have been and where you want to go. So you aren't 'LOST', you do have some direction. It sounds like you are moving forward, but it seems as if you feel you do not have the power to do so? That could be because once you get going, your focus reverts back to you, and how you esteem yourself, and fear. Guess what? All of those things could be untruths! It could be learned behavior, it could be fear of the unknown, which if you think about it, logically, can anyone truly fear what they do not know? Call the lies for what they are, when thry creep up...say something to yourself like "HANG UP THE PHONE!!! click!!" Try to recognize fear for what it is...fear is good if it keeps you safe...i.e. skydiving without a parachute for an offbeat example, but in the wrong light fear is your enemy. Face it and move through it. Take control by NOT feeling for awhile and just DO IT. And pray. If you beleive in God, pray.

YOU CAN DO THIS! Souns like you have a jumpstart at least, and sounds as if you have a support system and great friends. It is OK to be 24 and not have had a serious relationship, but when you are 40, 50, 60...you don't want to look back on your life and run through the 'IF ONLY's". Take your time, have fun, and choose wisely. It will happen at the right time. You are actually valuable and special enough that it will happen if you want it too.

July 12, 2007
10:17 pm
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Drawing1
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I feel ya, I'm ashamed about alot of things. The percieved unforgivables that I've done in the past while drinking. I'm not guilty I am ashamed. I'm a bit of a liar. Not here but out in the world I exzaggerate myself to, at times, comical perportions. I'm a bit funny I hear. I try to be as honest as I can. Mostly through humor but the crux of the matter is that I don't like myself. I've been neglected and the jury is still out but a bit abused. Nothing too sever, which leads to more shame. It leads to the thinking that "Well, its me. I'm bad. Thats why daddy doesn't love me, or why moms so sad or why my stepdad despises me." It of course simply cannot be true. In either of our cases.

July 13, 2007
10:11 am
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StronginHim77
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Drawing -

I would strongly encourage you to seek out counseling or therapy for what you are experiencing. It sounds as if you family utterly failed to help you feel loved and accepted, while growing up. AA can help you get a handle on the drinking; counseling/therapy will help you understand WHY you have these shame feelings and shaming behaviors.

- Ma Strong

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