Something occurred to me the other day that I’ve been passing about in my head since trying to make sense of, and I think I’ve now done it.
To a certain extent, feeling either good or bad about yourself is a choice.
Now I know that sounds awfully condescending and dismissive, so let me explain before you all grab your pitchforks. What I mean is that (in my case) I find I can torment myself endlessly by thinking about subjects that are painful or dwelling on comparisons between myself and others that I know make me feel inferior. So the choice, I have found, is to not think about those things.
I’ll explain my instance.
For a few months last year I was constantly receiving anonymous emails from someone containing photos of my boyfriend with a girl who wasn’t even an ex, just an encounter that didn’t go anywhere. Said girl is very attractive. The emails also went into venomous detail about how much better she was than me and how much better of my boyfriend would be if he was with her, because I’m so plain and boring that the amount of down-dating is just painful. To top it off, I then got the same less than pleasant opinion from someone who up to that point I had considered a good friend. So to say I have a few self esteem issues surrounding this is to make a rather large understatement.
However, I’ve found in the last couple of weeks that I can choose to change my attitude and the way I think about it. Sure, she’s attractive, but looks nothing like me. I can choose to leave the comparison there - we look nothing alike. I don’t *have* to torment myself on how much better looking I may consider she is. I can make the decision for myself to look at it in a more healthy light.
Similarly, I have some self image issues as a result of the illness. I can torment myself into feeling that I look disgusting and that I shouldn’t leave the house, or I can choose (I’ve found) to accept things as they are and say “I’m a strong, capable, intelligent woman regardless” and move forwards. It doesn’t make the illness any more pleasant, but it makes the mindset much healthier.
I’m not saying this is easy, nor am I suggesting that you can pick it up just by being told by another person (me or anybody else.) It’s something you discover for yourself. However, the discovery is more than worth the wait. :)
Something to remember - you are unique. Sure, other people might have different strengths, but they will have weaknesses in areas in which you are strong too. You may think someone else is more beautiful than you - they could be looking at you with the same frame of mind. Choose to look at the positives more - it’s hard, but nothing worth having was ever easy to come by.