frustrated

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-22-2006
frustrated
1
Sun, 09-19-2010 - 7:37pm

Hi, my name is Peg and I am new to this board. I'm kind of stuck in a situation and I am hoping that someone can help me out.

See, I have a horribly low self esteem. This has been with me since childhood. History in a nutshell: I was physically, emotionally, and sexually abused up into my late teens. None of this helped my self esteem. So, I'm trying everything I know: counseling, CDs, affirmations, journaling, etc. but it never lasts. I might feel good for a day maybe two, but then something happens and I lose all of my confidence.

Now, to add to the mix, I have bipolar disorder. If I am depressed or in a mixed state, that seriously adds to my low self esteem. I am religious about taking my meds. I see a psychiatrist every 6-10 weeks. I work very closely with my counselor to deal with "baggage."

I just can't get this positive self esteem to "stick."

I was wondering if anyone happens to be in the same boat and if they had anything that works for them.

Thanks for listening.

Peg

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-12-2006
In reply to: beachluvinmom
Mon, 09-20-2010 - 8:17am
hey, peg - welcome to the board. could you give an example of
Avatar for firstglimpse
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2003
In reply to: beachluvinmom
Mon, 09-20-2010 - 2:12pm

Blah, that is tough, not only do you have to fight with all that you lived through in your past, but also a chemical imbalance which will fight with your rational thoughts.

Now, taking your meds religiously is good - I would say this means you've come into some sort of acceptance with your illness.

What works for me?
Wow, I've done so many things it's hard to say if it's one thing or a combination of things. I'll list some of what I do.

I suffer from anxiety/panic, perhaps PMDD. My H suffers from bipolar - so all research I do includes bipolar, he is not much interested in what I learn, but I have 2 kids & I hope if they get a MI that what I've learned will help them too.

I have come to a firm belief in 'you are what you eat.' Now, I'm not saying nutrition will 'fix' a MI, but I do believe food can work with medication. In my case medication made me depressed & increased anxiety to heights I could not handle. After several attempts I have found food to be my best advocate.

Here are some of my food choices (supplements).

Omega-3: This one proved best with my DS. His teacher was trying to tell me she thought he may be ADHD, after 1 week on an omega-3 supplement she changed her mind.

Oats: full of vitamin Bs (the best vitamins I believe for mood disorders) and other minerals which help calm the nerves. In fact, during my bad episodes, I use an oat extract (tincture) which can be found at most natural/whole foods stores and some vitamin shops.

Cinnamon: I think part of a mood disorder may be fluctuation blood sugar. Cinnamon has been found to control blood sugar.

* Oats is also being found to help people with diabetes. So I like to eat steel cut oats with 1 tsp of cinnamon & sunflower seeds to really help my mood for the day.

Water: I've read the symptoms of dehydration and it sounds a lot like my anxiety symptoms. So I've made water to be my #1 liquid & it is now my most preferred liquid. I really only ever drink coffee, tea or water.

---

As mentioned above, acceptance, to me is HUGE in progressing in esteem. Not just accepting an illness, but your past as well. My favorite quote is this (origin unknown),

"The definition of forgiveness is giving up all hope for a better past."

I read a book on "Acceptance & Commitment Therapy" (ACT)and felt what I was learning was close to what Buddha taught. I believe Buddhism can fit into any religion, as it is not a religion itself. The best place I've found to learn Buddhism is from zencast.org.

This also teaches to live in the present. Not to live in the past or the future, but to enjoy life as it is now.

---

Exercise is also huge. I've not been doing much lately, but then, maybe if I compared myself 6 years - when my anxiety was making me fearful to leave my own home, then perhaps I am exercising a lot more - it's just become part of my life so I don't realize how much I'm doing.

There is proof of chemicals released in the body in which helps lift our mood.

(Oh yeah - the aroma, not drinking, coffee is also showing positive effects on the brain. If I remember correctly, smelling coffee releases an antioxidant, which can only be produced in our body.)

Yoga is my all time favorite for anxiety & depression. Jogging, running and biking for pent up adrenaline. Walking for when I feel like I need to be alone and let nature bring peace into me (stop to smell the roses type of feeling).

---

Completing goals help too. They can be small goals, like, 'I will wash down the bathroom sink by 7AM every weekday.' Then when you come home from work & see the bathroom counter clean, you feel really good about meeting your goal. Give it a few weeks & you won't even realize you're doing it any more, but will still feel the joy when you come home.

As for affirmations, if you're doing too many or something so completely unbelievable to you, then they will not work. Start with something small. For me, I started with, 'I like my smile.' The more I said it, the more I saw myself smiling at myself in the mirror. Then, I started to notice other stuff I liked about myself. I still scoff what I see in the mirror a lot, but I'm also surprised at how often I walk by & feel myself noticing me in a positive light.

----

Now, talking of cleaning reminded me of something else I've been doing too. I have horrible sinus problems. This is what started my quest to start cleaning with more natural products, but I think this reduces inflammation in the body (which I believe is a cause in anxiety/depression). So for example, I've started to make my own general cleaning spray. I'm still using commercial (mostly because I buy in bulk), but I keep learning about different every day house hold products that work great as cleaners.

In fact! For years I felt my towels were stiff & smelled bad. Now, by simply adding vinegar to my bath towel wash I love the smell of my towels & they feel much softer.

---

I've got years of me working on me, so above are the things I can think of now.

Oh yeah! One more thing. I found I was self-medicating with cigarettes. I found my greatest relief when I admitted I was smoking to self medicate, then deciding I could never come to like myself while I smoke. So quitting was my big intro into taking care of myself. I think for my H it was when he quit drinking to self-medicate. He still smokes... but to quit drinking was huge for him.

---

You are medicated, and that helps, but you've decided you want more from life. You're not done. I believe this shows you do care about you and you do have some esteem inside and with that seed you can grow something beautiful. And if you want to keep it beautiful you will need to continue to feed, water, and tend to it for the rest of your life.

Peace






"Only when we are sick of our sickness shall we cease to be sick."


~ Lao-Tzu, from The Tao Te Cheng



"Only when we are sick of our sickness shall we cease to be sick."

~ Lao-Tzu, from The Tao Te Cheng
Community Leader
Registered: 10-22-2001
Fri, 10-15-2010 - 2:43pm
firstglimpse wrote:

Blah, that is tough, not only do you have to fight with all that you lived through in your past, but also a chemical imbalance which will fight with your rational thoughts.

Now, taking your meds religiously is good - I would say this means you've come into some sort of acceptance with your illness.

What works for me?
Wow, I've done so many things it's hard to say if it's one thing or a combination of things. I'll list some of what I do.

I suffer from anxiety/panic, perhaps PMDD. My H suffers from bipolar - so all research I do includes bipolar, he is not much interested in what I learn, but I have 2 kids & I hope if they get a MI that what I've learned will help them too.

I have come to a firm belief in 'you are what you eat.' Now, I'm not saying nutrition will 'fix' a MI, but I do believe food can work with medication. In my case medication made me depressed & increased anxiety to heights I could not handle. After several attempts I have found food to be my best advocate.

Here are some of my food choices (supplements).

Omega-3: This one proved best with my DS. His teacher was trying to tell me she thought he may be ADHD, after 1 week on an omega-3 supplement she changed her mind.

Oats: full of vitamin Bs (the best vitamins I believe for mood disorders) and other minerals which help calm the nerves. In fact, during my bad episodes, I use an oat extract (tincture) which can be found at most natural/whole foods stores and some vitamin shops.

Cinnamon: I think part of a mood disorder may be fluctuation blood sugar. Cinnamon has been found to control blood sugar.

* Oats is also being found to help people with diabetes. So I like to eat steel cut oats with 1 tsp of cinnamon & sunflower seeds to really help my mood for the day.

Water: I've read the symptoms of dehydration and it sounds a lot like my anxiety symptoms. So I've made water to be my #1 liquid & it is now my most preferred liquid. I really only ever drink coffee, tea or water.

---

As mentioned above, acceptance, to me is HUGE in progressing in esteem. Not just accepting an illness, but your past as well. My favorite quote is this (origin unknown),

"The definition of forgiveness is giving up all hope for a better past."

I read a book on "Acceptance & Commitment Therapy" (ACT)and felt what I was learning was close to what Buddha taught. I believe Buddhism can fit into any religion, as it is not a religion itself. The best place I've found to learn Buddhism is from zencast.org.

This also teaches to live in the present. Not to live in the past or the future, but to enjoy life as it is now.

---

Exercise is also huge. I've not been doing much lately, but then, maybe if I compared myself 6 years - when my anxiety was making me fearful to leave my own home, then perhaps I am exercising a lot more - it's just become part of my life so I don't realize how much I'm doing.

There is proof of chemicals released in the body in which helps lift our mood.

(Oh yeah - the aroma, not drinking, coffee is also showing positive effects on the brain. If I remember correctly, smelling coffee releases an antioxidant, which can only be produced in our body.)

Yoga is my all time favorite for anxiety & depression. Jogging, running and biking for pent up adrenaline. Walking for when I feel like I need to be alone and let nature bring peace into me (stop to smell the roses type of feeling).

---

Completing goals help too. They can be small goals, like, 'I will wash down the bathroom sink by 7AM every weekday.' Then when you come home from work & see the bathroom counter clean, you feel really good about meeting your goal. Give it a few weeks & you won't even realize you're doing it any more, but will still feel the joy when you come home.

As for affirmations, if you're doing too many or something so completely unbelievable to you, then they will not work. Start with something small. For me, I started with, 'I like my smile.' The more I said it, the more I saw myself smiling at myself in the mirror. Then, I started to notice other stuff I liked about myself. I still scoff what I see in the mirror a lot, but I'm also surprised at how often I walk by & feel myself noticing me in a positive light.

----

Now, talking of cleaning reminded me of something else I've been doing too. I have horrible sinus problems. This is what started my quest to start cleaning with more natural products, but I think this reduces inflammation in the body (which I believe is a cause in anxiety/depression). So for example, I've started to make my own general cleaning spray. I'm still using commercial (mostly because I buy in bulk), but I keep learning about different every day house hold products that work great as cleaners.

In fact! For years I felt my towels were stiff & smelled bad. Now, by simply adding vinegar to my bath towel wash I love the smell of my towels & they feel much softer.

---

I've got years of me working on me, so above are the things I can think of now.

Oh yeah! One more thing. I found I was self-medicating with cigarettes. I found my greatest relief when I admitted I was smoking to self medicate, then deciding I could never come to like myself while I smoke. So quitting was my big intro into taking care of myself. I think for my H it was when he quit drinking to self-medicate. He still smokes... but to quit drinking was huge for him.

---

You are medicated, and that helps, but you've decided you want more from life. You're not done. I believe this shows you do care about you and you do have some esteem inside and with that seed you can grow something beautiful. And if you want to keep it beautiful you will need to continue to feed, water, and tend to it for the rest of your life.

Peace






"Only when we are sick of our sickness shall we cease to be sick."


~ Lao-Tzu, from The Tao Te Cheng

Your post was simply amazing.

<3

Nightangel