Project Self Esteem

where I am : bed bound listening to Taylor Swift

 

hullo, friends.

I am feeling really very sorry for myself – I had a very eventful weekend. what I thought was simply a cold / ear infection made me end up at an out of hours GP appointment at 9:30 on Saturday morning, by 10:30 I was sat in another hospital in a+e. oh the fun we had! so now I am bed bound, completely shattered but also, completely bored! I am pleased to report that I am feeling much better; drugs really are a wonderful thing, as is our darling NHS.

some of you may recall in my previous post that I mentioned that I was starting therapy to try to understand my triggers for depression – im happy to say that it does appear to be working as I feel ok currently, I know all too well it isn’t something that will go away overnight and I still have my bad days but I am in a much better place than I was a month ago.

 through some of the work ive been doing with my therapist it turns out I have low self-esteem – which is no shock to anyone around me but is apparently a shock to me. I really thought it was better than it had ever been this year… oops.

anyway, some of the homework I was given was to write something down everyday for a month that I like about myself.

simple right?

wrong!

ive written before that I struggle to accept a compliment – something that I am better at now– I used to always laugh them off or change the subject but now I try to accept them with grace. I don’t know if it’s the british in me but I always feel that, if I say im good at something, that im boasting a bit, and I never want to be that arrogant person. we are known for our self-deprecation after all. luckily I had some of my family and friends on board to help me out when I struggled (although I do think my sister Melanie confused me more than she helped)

so, on this day, I thought id share with you my list because im trying to remember that saying im good at something, or that I like something about myself doesn’t make me arrogant.

big love to those that helped me, id love for you to share with me one thing that you like about YOURself.

Project self-esteem , here goes.

I’m loyalsometimes this is to a fault. but if I got you, I got you.

I have a very contagious laughit makes people happy. (this one is credited to Denise, thanks pal)

I’m very accepting of people – I don’t judge (‘a very difficult quality to have – another one from Den)

I’m passionate 

I’m supportive

I listen (but like, really listen – thanks, Di)

I love hard 

I’m inquisitive

I’m not afraid to admit when I am wrong (I mean, I don’t like to be wrong but I can admit when I am ) 

I’m dedicated 

I’m fun – well, i can be 

I have standards 

I’m opinionated

I can laugh at myself (and do, regularly)

I don’t try and be cool I realised I wasn’t ‘cool’ years ago and have since stopped trying. I’d rather be a freak anyway.

I’m honest (sometimes too much)

I’m calm in a crisis (thanks, Melissa)

I write well (again, thanks Melissa)

I like to think I’m pretty chill, like, I’m pretty low maintenance

Material things aren’t my driving force in lifeyes, having nice things is a bonus but it isn’t the be all and end all.

I’m a glass half full kinda galI always try to see the silver lining.

I’m realistic with a dash of not so much

I can’t control my facial expressionssome people dislike this about themselves but I actually enjoy it

I have the ability to take something complex and be able to explain it in a simple way

I always want to be betterI never want to settle.

I’m good at keeping friendsmy best friends live all over the country, all over the world, but I still see them, I still talk to them as often as possible. distance doesn’t make a difference.

i’m stubbornagain very often seen as a negative but I like it! 

my imagination – oh it’s a wonderous place to be!

so there you have it, 4 weeks worth of things I like about me!

xoxo

M

 

 

The one where I talk about toxic thinking. 

Now before I finish this post, I’d just like to say I am not posting this for any kind of validation. I am not posting this so people can say ‘oh, Michaela you’re so great’ I’m posting this because this is genuinely how I feel and it is where my head is at 75% of the time.

I have, historically, struggled to open up about how I feel. My mum is constantly telling me how guarded I am, how closed off I am. When I started writing I started writing for me and then when I started to share some of that with the world I said that I would do my best to share not just the light hearted stuff but also the stuff that makes me feel uncomfortable, the stuff that people might read and say “WTF is wrong with her?”  

This is one of those posts and it is triggered by a couple of things that have been said to me in the last couple of weeks. 

The first was that I am, what is known as, a toxic thinker. I was talking to my boss about some stuff and this phrase came up. It’s really stuck with me. 

The second was that the world owes me some happiness. One of my friends said that to me; that I work really fucking hard, that Karma was the world’s energy and that when you are a nice person and always put everyone else first then yes karma should give you something back. 

I batted this back, naturally, by saying the world doesn’t owe me anything. I do believe this to be true, the world was here first. I’m lucky to just be living on it. 

I then thought back to the conversation about ‘toxic thinking’ and realised this reaction to someone saying something (that was actually really fucking nice) was proving the point. The thing is, until now I’d never thought of it as being a detriment to my own mental health and self worth. I never thought that me thinking that I didn’t deserve any kind of goodness wasn’t normal. I figured most people would react the same way as me if asked. Who knew I could be so dense? 

I was also so focused on wanting to be the best for other people, for wanting to cheerlead them in their lives that I always felt uncomfortable with people doing that for me. 

I never felt that I deserved anything that was out of this world in ways of praise, relationships, or love. People would tell me I deserved the best and I’d laugh. I never felt entitled. I have always viewed myself as mediocre at best.

“We often judge worthiness on what people contribute, and if you haven’t done much that is considered ‘valuable’ by society’s standards, you may not feel very worthy of any sort of rewards. You see how many people just get by, or live terrible lives, and you think what is so special about you..why do you deserve to get everything you want” – livelifemadetoorder.com

The standards I set myself are sooooo high and I might not meet them all the time. I can’t be the best at everything I do, I just need to learn to take the victories where I can. 

I need to remember that me having to bail on a friend doesn’t make me not worthy of their friendship. I need to remember that me not being able to split myself in 6 or achieve everything I want to at work doesn’t make me a bad manager (I am notorious for wanting everything done yesterday)

How can I have the life that I want if I don’t think I deserve it? The short answer is I can’t. Only I can change my perception of myself and in turn change my perception of what I think I deserve.

Is gonna be easy to change my thinking? I doubt it but I’ll give it a go.

Here’s to less toxic thoughts and more self love ❤️ 

Peace ✌🏼 

xoxo Micks 

Why can’t I take a compliment?

I was recently told that I put myself down a lot – something that a lot of people do, especially if you’re British; self-deprecation is noted as a truly British trait. However, I digress, I was recently told that I put myself down a lot, something which I had put down to my Britishness (is that a real word?) Seeking a second opinion, I asked a close friend and confidante if they agreed with the person’s observations; they did.

“You do it more than most, and you can’t take a compliment; you’ll either turn it into a joke or ignore it.”

“Well, I don’t want to seem arrogant. I know I’m nothing special”

“Taking a compliment and being arrogant are two different things. You can’t take a compliment.”

 

Food for thought for me.

It’s not a behaviour I can say I had particularly noticed in myself and it made me more conscious of it; and for the next while I made an effort to see if I did it that often. Turns out I do, even when I wasn’t meaning to. Jokes were made by me, at my expense. Any compliments I received were either ignored or turned into a joke, or deflected back on to the person that had given the compliment to start with.

 

“You’re hair looks nice today”

“I just couldn’t be bothered to straighten it”

 

“That’s a nice top”

“So’s yours, where is it from?”

 

“What make up do you use? Your skin looks nice”

“Behave, have you seen these bags under my eyes? Any bigger and I’ll be charged 5p for them”

Just a few examples there, there was never once a simple thank you. Then, being the over-thinker, over-analyser type of person that I am who is always looking for answers as to why people behave the way they do, I got to thinking.

Why am I like this? Yes, it’s one thing to make the odd joke at your expense (no one likes anyone who takes themselves too seriously) but the constant put-downs? Why?

When trying to figure out why, I came to conclusion that it was so no one else can do it. If I take the piss out of myself then no one else can use it against me. Basically I don’t think I’m enough. So I joke more than necessary, put myself down, deflect compliments so that when others see something they don’t like, or a flaw I feel protected. They may have noticed it, or criticised me but chances are I’ve got a joke ready so it won’t matter. I know I am not perfect, and I don’t strive to be, so why am I always on the defensive? Why can’t I just be like:

Screen Shot 2015-12-01 at 21.49.19

WHY GODDAMIT?

The majority of people who I come into contact with daily wouldn’t notice that way I am. They see the façade I put out there; confident, happy, smart (weeeell), chatty. Very few know me well enough to see past that, I still remember a conversation at work a while ago between Aud and Kelv. Audrey said I was confident and almost immediately Kelly said no, I wasn’t, that I was actually really shy and unsure. Of course, everyone disagreed with her but she was right. I really am shy and unsure. I travel around different stores, meeting lots of people and I completely cool and calm about it but, fake it until you make it has been my motto at work for a long time.

There are 2 moments that I can pinpoint that started me off this way. Both occurred during Secondary school (a traumatic weird time in everyone’s life).

First, Mrs Scott’s English class, top set. Discussing projects, and one of my friends had finished theirs early. Mrs Scott (the crazy bitch) overheard our conversation and promptly called me ‘an empty vase’, just as the rest of the class went quiet. Yep, she called me thick and all my classmates heard. They talk about having those moments where you want the ground to swallow you – this was the first one of mine that I remember. Ever since then I have only ever joked about me being clever. Ever since then I didn’t think I was smart enough.

Second. Now, before I write this I just want to say my sister probably doesn’t even remember this moment, nor meant what came out of her mouth, I think she just chose her words wrong. Nevertheless, it happened and is still a memory I have to this day, I can remember it as if it happened yesterday.

I was about 15, in town with my sister and her then boyfriend. She had run into Mcdonalds to use the loo (classy) and whilst she was in there her boyfriend got talking to some friends. They walked off just as she came back out, the conversation went like this

“Who was that?”

“Just Jim, Tom and Ads, some of the lads I used to kick about with”

“Oh, did they think my sister was your girlfriend?”

“No, I said she was your sister”

“Cause I was gonna say I bet they were like errgh

Like I say, I think she chose her words wrong, but I have always remembered that. I’m errrgh. I think that was when I really started to critique myself physically (luckily for me it was before social media). It makes it hard for me to believe it when friends tell me stuff like this:

FullSizeRender (4)

NB: we weren’t talking about my sister in this! Ha

 

Now, I haven’t written this to gain your sympathy or to encourage people to leave me compliments (that I’ll joke off, obvs) I wrote it to get it out my head and to hopefully change a pattern of behaviour, because now people can call me on it. Now, by airing it, I can hopefully start to realise I’m actually alright and stop being such a douchebag to myself. My new go-to song is Tori Kelly’s ‘Anyway’, as she sings “This is the only Tori that I know how to be…take it or leave it babe, I’m not gonna change…”

Here’s to all the eerrrgh empty vases out there!

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xoxo

Micks

P.S Check out Tori Kelly’s ‘Anyway” HERE. It’s a banger.