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KarlaCommunity Moderator, iVillage.com
In my experience it does not numb me. Instead it makes life seem a little bit brighter so I can go about my business & start doing what is necessary. Now, this was only temporary for me, after about 1 year they actually started to work the opposite way for me & I had to get off to make myself feel better.
Now I believe mild depression does not need medication. Moderate may, mild, I believe making life changes will have a longer lasting effect.
Now for me, I've ALWAYS have known I have a low self-esteem. I just never knew what to do about it, figured it was life long. It was not until about 3 years ago. My H had hit his bottom and took me along for the ride. It is then I had to decide if I wanted to always be the victim.
Now, becoming self-aware is huge! But it's only the start of the battle.
I've come to the conclusion, to have a high self-esteem is a life-long process. If you ever stop to lift your esteem then you're in danger to slunk back off to where you've started.
Therefore, changes do not need to be drastic. Instead, make changes slowly, but always willing to take on a new challenge.
My first step was to quit smoking. I came to the conclusion one must hate self to smoke and I'd never get far as long as I was smoking.
But to make my quit successful I had to change my diet & start exercising.
Then I have been working on my anxiety. Learning to accept it, which means accepting life as it is.
So, for the past 3 years those have been in journey path and I'm still working on them. I've come a long way & sometimes I slip, but I get back up, dust of my knees and keep trying to experience life.
Ironically, not necessarily.
But I don't think self-esteem has to do with how one likes oneself. I know sounds like I'm talking in circles. But narcissism is in my family. So, in an exaggerated form, I do see how a person can think highly of self, while at the same time hate self.
So I guess you could I say I believe smokers have a battle within themselves of where there is a part of them is living to die.
Doh! I'm digging myself into a hole aren't I.
Nicotine does have it's benefits and it can be used as a way of self-medicating. I do believe that is how I myself became a smoker. Turns out if you suffer from what is now called 'Sensory Processing Disorder' nicotine dumbs down these stimuli so you can function in a more normal way. Scientists are now trying to find new ways to give nicotine to patients in a less harmful way. (There are other medical benefits of nicotine as well, but I believe the sensory is the highest.)
But in this day and age when science has shown how damaging smoking is to our bodies, then there must be a part of us who does not value our lives well enough to find a way to quit smoking.
I found by lifting my esteem is what I needed to quit smoking. As it's now been 2.5 years, while my H continues to smoke, and I don't miss it one bit. (This was after several attempts to quit previously.) If I get a physical twang of wanting it, I just go through the damage I do to my self & I quickly agree I want to treat myself with greater respect.
Instead I've found exercise, food, & relaxation techniques to help control the sensory processing .
So as with any addiction, be it food, alcohol, nicotine, drugs, etc. - if we know it harms our life so we cannot live it to its full potential, then, yes, there is a part of us that doesn't care about self enough to do something about it.
Sorry if I've offended anyone.
This is my belief standard which keeps me a nonsmoker.
My mother is narcissistic, me (not doc) diagnosed, and she finds herself a great asset to this world, though deep down she really does not like herself. In fact the more she hates herself, the more inflated she becomes.
My father abandoned 5 children & we were raised, so to speak, by her. I know she cares for us, she simply doesn't know how to show it because as Jewel sings, we are 'pieces of you'. So all 5 children have struggled to find our self esteems. It ended up killing one of my brothers, the other is slightly narcissistic himself. Then the girls, well, we are aware & work at it.
So yes, people can have what appears to be high esteems & have an inflated ego, but what is going on inside can show on the outside by how the self is taken care of.
To like yourself is to respect yourself.
I find it sad when inanimate objects receive more respect than one respects self. (As my H does with his clothes, car, computers, etc.)