I have had a rough couple of years. Actually make that three years. Then add on a decade or two. Whilst being blessed with an amazing (albeit slightly insane) family and the most wonderful and loyal friends imaginable, I have always had trouble being happy. To tell the truth, I don’t really know what happiness feels like, which is very sad and quite the annoying little conundrum. This unhappiness is not due to a terrible upbringing (mine was normal and loving and safe) or a precarious political or economic climate (Australia – it’s pretty chilled). I wasn’t born deformed, I don’t have a speech impediment or a brain disfunction (well…not a diagnosed one anyway) and I didn’t grow up in a cult (although I did love Bros in my teens and probably would have given up my life for them if they asked. Which they didn’t. Probably a good thing in retrospect). We weren’t rich but we had enough – I never went hungry, I never went to sleep at night not knowing where I would sleep the next – I wasn’t picked on in school (well, no more than anyone else) and I wasn’t abused or neglected by my parents.
So why so glum, chum? You may well ask (or not – you probably have your own problems) as you try to see what the heck I have to complain about and make me so sad. The answer is SELF ESTEEM, or, rather, the lack of it. I never had any. I don’t know where to get it. I don’t know how to hang on to it once you have it. I don’t know what it feels like and how you know you have it when you get it. It’s a complete mystery to me. Just like I will never wake up one morning knowing anything about physics or chemistry, I am also unlikely to wake up feeling good about myself.
I often think it is a gene that I just didn’t inherit. Some people get long legs or red hair or a big nose – I got low self esteem. So low as to be nonexistent or at least very very hard to locate. I do not possess the ability to say good things about myself or think them or accept nice words and compliments from other people. I don’t know why, but I am trying to do something about it.
Counselling. Sigh. I have gone down this route before and it has helped some but I don’t think I really gave it my best and proper attention. I think I did a lot of eye-rolling and agreeing with whatever the counsellor said. I think I zoned out constantly. I cried (a lot) and deflected ( a lot). I didn’t use the time wisely. Which is dumb but also a direct result of having low self esteem (don’t deserve help, don’t accept it and work with it). But I am going to try it again. I have to. Next year I will be 40 and that scares me. Not the age but the fact that I am the same person I was when I was 4 and 14 and 24. Scared and sad and hating myself. Which is a crummy way to be. And now it is directly affecting my relationships and my marriage and my life in general. And that’s not cool. It’s time to put a stop to it
So, I am about to start down the counselling path once more. I don’t look forward to it but I have to go there and make the effort and make myself a better me. Not just for me, but for those around me that have been affected by my self-doubt and unhappiness. Maybe one day soon I will be able to look in the mirror and say “You know what? You’re ok kid!”
I promise not to drag you down the mental health street. It is littered with whining and complaining and excuse-making. It’s not a great place to visit and you have no need to go there with me. I am writing this because I need to make a statement to myself and kinda have it witnessed. I am going to try my very best to get better. No. I am going to get better. At liking myself, at being myself and at forgiving and accepting myself. And possibly at ironing because I am RUBBISH at ironing 🙂
Thanks for indulging me. This has nothing to do with craft or cooking or anything even remotely arty or thrifty or creative. It’s just about me. And that me needs to change, for my sake and the sake of the people around me.
So here’s to a new me. By this time next year I may be so big-headed that I go around wearing a t-shirt that says “I am awesome!” and actually believing it. It seems unlikely (and possibly not really what I’m aiming for here) so I will settle for a little inner voice that tells me I’m alright and can achieve anything and have a right to be here. That’ll do.