Monday, 6 February 2012

Self worth.

It has been a long time since my last blog entry and I'm finding it difficult to get back into it.

I am having a battle with anxiety at the moment,  I thought it was coming from nowhere as I was not thinking thoughts of "I'm useless" or "I'm fat", but when I think about it as you do with CBT(cognitive behavioural therapy ) it seems to be coming with my issues with self worth.

How do you get any self worth when

  •               You don't work.
  •               You can't keep your house spotless due to physical limitations
  •               Your not the perfect Mother or Wife.
  •               Self image.

In the past a lot of my self esteem would come from work,  I loved going to work and doing a good great job, I felt I had a purpose, if I didn't do certain things it would have an effect on other people.

I know if I don't do certain things it affects my husband or son, so why does it feel different?  Why is it that I don't feel important?  Don't get me wrong, they try to make me feel important and loved but it's not enough, I need to feel it for myself.

I feel my brain is dying, I need something stimulating.  The trouble is I don't have the self discipline to sit in front of the computer and teach myself something that I feel is interesting.

I guess I need to work on the anxiety issues I have,  but it's hard to get passed feeling anxious to work on feeling anxious, if that makes sense.

I want to scream!  Maybe I should, it might make me feel better.  No it didn't just made my throat sore.
I find it hard to sit with anxiety, I don't know why.   It can't kill me so why do I try and avoid it.

How do you deal with anxiety?

  • A big thank you to Jeanne for the kind messages over the Xmas period.
  • Sorry for the messy post can't  work out how to use this format.


Raven/Missy said...

How do I deal with anxiety about being useless? Well I'm not sure. I used to deal with it by looking to other things I did well (such as take care of my kids as best I could, stitching, etc) but now that I am pretty much in bed all the time I'm having great difficulty seeing myself as "doing a good job" at anything.

So now I get online, I reach out to people and try to help them even a little bit to deal with their situation. Now that I think of it, that is a good thing.

I have to get creative to see the little things that I can still do and that I do well to get my self-worth. It is hard to make that shift because we are taught to see our jobs as our measurement for self worth not how we treat other people, specially our loved ones even though that is more important.

I am still thinking about you!


Jeanne said...


As I mentioned by email, I've been dealing with an offline crisis for a couple of months now. So, I haven't been commenting on blogs at all. However, I wanted to stop by and do so now.

While it's true that many people in our society tend to derive self worth from things such as the work they do outside the homes or their pride in their ability to keep a spotless house, I don't believe that either is a necessary component for building one's self worth.

Spending even a modest amount of time discussing this topic with people who are chronically ill and/or disabled made it clear to me long ago that many people who are unable to fit the societal mold (for doing the above) struggle with feelings of guilt or inadequacy when they are unable to "fit the mold".

Please always remember that it's not your fault that you are ill. Remind yourself that you're doing the best you can.

No one is the perfect mother or wife... or perfect anything. Seriously. In fact, be suspicious of anyone who looks/seems/sounds like they are perfect because they are more than likely just engaging in a really good acting job.

Self image can be a tricky subject because there are so many things that can undermine one's self esteem. It can take a great deal of time and effort to build self esteem up when it has been damaged (or when it has never really been strong in the first place). I have found that counseling can really help in this area.

It is possible to find another purpose when work can no longer be the source. What type of activity or cause might help you feel that sense of purpose without overtaxing your body and energy, I don't know.

For some of my online friends who are very ill (i.e. 100% home-bound... can't even leave the house to see doctors), networking with fellow patients online (and sometimes engaging in patient advocacy) can help to give a sense of purpose that seemed to have been lost.

Why it feels different when you do things for your family (vs. your former employer) probably has a lot to do with our society's messages about work - and the value that is placed on paid work (as opposed to the work you do around the house... for which you aren't financially compensated). I'm running out of character space. Stay tuned for part 2. LOL


Jeanne said...


Essentially, we're all socialized to buy into the narrative that we're expected to work - and that those who don't (even if they physically CANNOT) "should be" working. It's that stigma attached to "not working".

You know that you ARE working - but so long as you're not getting paid for what you do, society tends to under-value it.

It sounds like you need something that's just for you. Whether it's something artistic/creative (playing a musical instrument, drawing or painting, writing, etc.) or whether it's something outdoors (gardening, exercise, etc.) or whether it's something different entirely, you are probably the best judge of what might lift your spirits, feel rewarding, and just make you feel good/better.

What would stimulate your brain (as you had touched on)?

There is no rule that says sitting in front of the computer is necessary to learn something or do something interesting.

It does make sense that it's hard to get past feeling anxious. Here's the thing, though... You've already been finding ways to break through the anxiety and do things anyway. It sounded like you had some anxiety about starting a blog (and don't we all when we start out?) but you've gotten past it and made a go of it.

I'm sorry you felt like screaming and it can sometimes help. I'm sorry it didn't help the day you wrote this. It's not unusual to find it difficult to sit while experiencing anxiety. It's not just you. Just remind yourself that you're doing the best you can.

Just because something can't kill a person doesn't necessarily make it easy to do. Some very difficult, challenging things can't kill a person - but are really, really tough.

Some ideas for dealing with anxiety:

* Try to pinpoint triggers that are behind the anxiety. Reduce triggers where possible. Identify coping strategies for what can't be avoided. Avoid taking on too much. Learn that it's OK to say "no".

* Talking with appropriate medical providers to determine what might help or might need tweaking... (Would therapy help? Would medication help (or does it need adjustment)? Would acupuncture be helpful? Etc.

* Music... It can be amazingly soothing.

* Making time to talk with fellow patients who "get it" can be very helpful.

There's no need to thank me. I'm sorry you had a rough time during that period.

No one's grading format. :) It's getting your message out there (and any therapeutic value you get out of journaling it) that counts.


P.S. I agree with Missy that how we treat people (and that includes ourselves) matters more than any job ever could. Caring for yourself and your loved ones and treating people with compassion are far more important than any job title could ever be. :)