Just a little random update

Some bits of randomness.

Stairs at a fishing spot in William B Pond Rec area
just taking one at a time. . . .
  • I contacted my doctor. 
    • If you are a vet and use the VA for medical care, MyHealtheVet is getting more sophisticated all the time. Once your account is verified (by bringing an id to your local VA), Secure Messaging allows you to contact your doctor(s) through email for non-urgent issues. Godsend, really. I’m MUCH more likely to contact people via electronic messaging than by calling. A few months ago, I could only contact my primary care doc, but FINALLY, my pdoc is on there – and he’s even more responsive than the primary care.
    • His response: Sorry to learn that you are not doing too well. Just a word of advice, while you have the right to appeal for increased benefits, it is important not to look like your recurrence of symptoms are not due to either job or financial stress, but only due to underlying mood disorder. I will explain in details when I see you.
    • Ok, so English is not his first language, but the way I read that is that he thinks my current issues are primarily because of my financial stress and if so, when that’s taken care of maybe the mood disorder would be more manageable. 
  • We’re getting closer and closer to C starting college. 
    • She went to an information session about work-study yesterday. 
    • I got something from the county Veterans Service Office for her fee waiver and she was supposed to take it to the school’s veterans office today. 
    • She is supposed to be writing her resume for work-study today.
    • She has a little over 7 weeks until she turns 18. She’s been talking about moving out. 
      • On the one hand, I think it might be good for her to stay home for the first semester, while she gets used to college and figures out how to handle her money a bit better. We’ve talked about her paying a little rent here to get used to it (and help out a bit). She’s also supposed to be taking over paying her own phone bill.
      • On the other hand. . . . if her stuff wasn’t here, the bedroom would be cleaner. I could get rid of the bunk beds and get my bed out of storage. Get at least one dresser out of storage. I’ve started kind of planning around this. Kind of feel a bit weird about that – like I want to kick my kid out – which of course is not the case.
  • Minor obsessions – I get obsessed about things. 
    • Right now, one of the obsessions is probably pretty good. One of my new duties for my contracting job has to do with social media, so I’m doing tons of research and trying to figure out what can help the company.
    • Another. . . *sigh* It’s an old obsession. I really do need to take a step back from it. It’s becoming another source of stress. I need to let it go. 
  • Business – I’ve made no move toward doing anything for the business in more than 2 weeks. But I’ve just sold another reading, so I really need to get to work.

But I still need shoes!

“I was sad/upset/complained that I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet” 

photo by Ishtar

A fairly common bit of “wisdom” (pseudo-wisdom?)

It’s supposed to be a reminder to be grateful for the things you have by realizing that maybe what you have isn’t so bad.

A brief aside:

In May, I mentioned a site where another person with Bipolar had a list of the “worst things to say” to people with mental health issues.

Number 2 on the list was

“There are a lot of people worse off than you.” 

Number 3 is

“You have so many things to be thankful for, how can you be depressed?”

To me, these are intimately connected, partly because of the “no feet” bit of common wisdom.

I “shared” a meme on my personal FB page today that said,

“Saying someone can’t be sad because someone else may have it worse is just like saying someone can’t be happy because someone else might have it better.”

A friend responded by saying it’s about perspective, and her life is pretty good even if she doesn’t have everything she wants.

And I get that. It’s great that she feels that way.

There are always things to be grateful for, and it can help to think about those things when you’re down. I’ve talked about working on Gratitude this year; I know it’s good psychologically and spiritually.

BUT. . . .

What if. . . .

Using the shoes/feet metaphor, my feet are bleeding because I’ve been barefoot so long.

So, yes, if I see the guy with no feet, I’m grateful I have feet, BUT, my feet are in still in pain. My feet are in danger of getting infected. I’m in danger of losing my feet.

And if you keep pointing the guy with no feet out to me, it doesn’t help me heal.

I still need shoes!

Continuing to show me pictures of people with no feet and telling me to be happy about my shredded, bleeding, cold, painful feet doesn’t help me, because I still need the goddamn shoes.

Am I taking the metaphor too far?

How about some Real Life examples?

I’m am extremely grateful that when I could no longer pay rent, my friend was able to let me sleep on her floor for 4 months, so I/we didn’t end up on the street. It was amazing that she did that for us, even though it put her lease in danger and strained our friendship at times.

But I was still in a position of being evicted from our home, having no money and no job and unable to see a way out at that time. I was still in a position of having no home for my daughter and trying to keep her in her school for some sense of stability. I am still responsible for giving my child that as a childhood experience/memory.

And then there was a great conversation with my therapist.

At the time, I was taking some hard classes and hanging out and studying with this one woman. She was smart, funny, and very hard-working.

And she was in a wheelchair.

I never asked what was wrong with her; I thought it was something neuromuscular, because she had some fine motor problems as well.

I was comparing myself to her.

I was trying to think, “At least things aren’t that bad for me.”

It didn’t make me feel better.

In fact, I felt guilty about trying to feel better about someone else’s misfortune.

I was talking to my therapist, and she told me to stop, just STOP comparing my situation with other people’s.

Yes, this woman had physical disabilities, but she also had a great support system that helped her with a lot of what she needed help with. At that time, my support system wasn’t all that strong.

Our situations were totally different.

And even though her life had challenges, so did mine!

By trying to compare myself to her, I was trying to minimize my challenges, minimize or erase my problems.

I was belittling myself for not being grateful enough for not being in that chair.

I was not honoring my own life, my own problems, my own path, my own feelings.

I was suppressing my emotions.

None of that is good or helpful for me.

Going back to the original statement that spurred this post:

“Saying someone can’t be sad because someone else may have it worse is just like saying someone can’t be happy because someone else might have it better.”

The point, I think, if I’ve got one, is

Stop comparing yourself to others!

That’s it.

Just stop.

Everyone has struggles, problems, bad things in their life.

You probably don’t know what they are.

Don’t be thankful that you’re not in as bad a position as someone else is.

Try not to be envious if you think someone else’s life is better (that one is so fucking hard, I know! Still working on it. . .)

Don’t tell someone else that they have nothing to worry about because so-and-so has it worse.

There is no better/worse.

There is only different.

Don’t tell me to be thankful that I’m not. . ..whatever. . . like so-and-so over there.

Don’t point out the guy with no feet.

Remind me of the good things I have, to help me think about those.

Remind me that my daughter is turning into a great human being.

Remind me that I *did* finally finish my degree.

Remind me of the times that I took risks and they panned out.

But don’t tell me to feel better because someone else has it worse.

Don’t point out the guy with no feet to try to help me feel better.

Because I still need the shoes!

The Jealousy: I Haz It

Right now, I’m fighting the Green-Eyed Monster on several fronts.

Writing

I think I’m a fairly decent writer.

However, I know a guy that can evoke emotion much more strongly than I do in his writing, seemingly effortlessly. I get more out there for others to read, and I proofread more, but he can blow me away with a turn of phrase or a strong emotion.

And my friend D. She writes these long, informative, researched and really good posts three times a week. She’s only been blogging since November last year, and she has only 20 or so fewer posts than I have, and she already gets more hits per post on her blog, has more readers.

I know how she does it. She’s consistent and she advertises it and sends messages and stuff to places and people where/who she thinks will be interested in her individual posts. (Although as I’m updating this for publication, I note she hasn’t posted in a month. I know she’s had some personal things going on, and hasn’t had the energy to write lately).

That is more than I do. I tend to only pimp posts I’m proud of, like the Compliments post and now the Intuition vs. Fear post.

But I could do more. And I’m starting to, now. But I feel as though I’ve been spinning my wheels staying in one spot too long.

I’m also jealous that she *always* has a point, and some research and/or quotes.

I *want* my posts to be more like that, but I tend to . . . whine about my life.

Health & Fitness

For awhile last year, I was doing really, really well. I was lifting on a schedule, counting calories, not only losing “weight” but reshaping my body, dropping body fat. There were so many great people that I connected to on My Fitness Pal that were doing the same things I was doing. And their results were way more dramatic than mine. 
I fell off the wagon, and I stopped connecting to those people. I stopped writing on my fitness blog.
Now when I get emails from the fitness inspiration people I signed up with, I feel guilty and just delete them without even reading them. 
To make matters worse, I’ve gained most of the weight back. Because I’m not lifting, my belly has grown again. I feel sluggish. I hate it. 
It seems like a lot of the blogs I read have this women who are in good shape. I mean, have you seen how hot Marie Forleo is?
Even those that aren’t slender, they’re all talking about eating organic, making green smoothies, going vegetarian or paleo, juicing, hitting the farmer’s markets. . . . and I’m just trying to keep food on the table which means a lot of rice, beans, potatoes (cheap and filling and lasts a long time). . . . 

Money, Career, Business

This one is hard to talk about for a lot of reasons.
I’ve spent much of the last 13 years posting on a set of financial forums. I know how to manage money. But I need an income stream to do it.
And through those forums, I know people. . .  I know people that travel and live part-time in foreign countries. I know people that have the money to travel, that can take vacations, that have homes, and jobs and retirement savings, and horses, and . . .  stuff I don’t have.
And I know this one fabulous guy who deserves everything he has. He has a job that makes damn good money, that he’s really good at (if a bit overwhelmed at the moment), and he just bought a house. Not just a house, a HOUSE. One of those dream neighborhoods, in fact a neighborhood where the median income is $126,000/year – and he fits right in income-wise. This home is huge, gorgeous, lots of trees, a pool, more rooms than they need. . . He deserves it. He’s a genuinely nice guy, he totally loves his wife, he’s very involved with his kid, he works hard, has a great education. And he’ll be the first one to tell you luck had a lot to do with all of it.
But when he was house-hunting, he’d send me pics of these . . . . manors. . . and I’d look around my one-bedroom apartment (that I share with a teenager) and I’d be soooo jealous. I’m happy for him, I really am. And he is the first one to say that it amazes him that he’s arrived where he’s at. I also know that it wasn’t easy for him to get there, and the last two years before now have been pretty rough. But yeah, the green-eyed monster is definitely there.
And business-wise. . .  I’m just starting here. I know that. I’m just starting to sell readings, and I’m writing a couple of things to sell, and I’m trying to flesh out some talks I might be able to give in the future. I’m in the beginning stages.

But I’ve spent the last 6 months completely immersed in reading and listening to amazing people, mostly women, who are already doing some things I would love to do. I look at some of their stuff and say, “I could totally do that!” And I think, “Why haven’t I done this earlier?”

All of these years I’ve been un- and under-employed.  . .. I could have been doing this all along. I could have used some of these techniques for my tutoring business. . . I could have started doing readings years ago. I could have taken courses when I had the money to do it. . . .

The truth is, I wasn’t ready for this until now and I know it. But I keep thinking I could/should be so much further along.

And of course I’m jealous about being able to afford to have someone design a real website and everything. I own my domain name, but I don’t have my own host. I want to use WordPress.org because of all the fancy plug-ins, but I can’t because that costs money I don’t have.

I would so love to get deeper into some of the business courses I’m aware of, particularly Leela Somaya’s new Quantum Leap Your Business course, but I have no hope of being able to afford it.

And teaching. . .  One of the women that I did student teaching with, another math teacher, got a job at my daughter’s high school. If I hadn’t fucked up, I could have had that job, since I knew most of the staff already.

Stop whining, already!

There’s always going to be someone in a better position than I am. Even if I win the lottery tomorrow, someone else will have more than I do.
Someone will always be smarter, stronger, prettier, more consistent, better at something, etc.
That doesn’t mean I’m not good at what I’m doing. It doesn’t mean I can’t or won’t be successful – it just means I haven’t gotten there yet. 
And everything isn’t bad.
I won third place in a video contest and got access to Leela’s Diamond package. I have been able to make a few small investments in the business, and I’m slowly moving towards making it what I want it to be.
I finished one of the TPAs. I didn’t pass it, but I’ve had a conference with the dean of my education department to figure out how to fix it.
I’m on the Board of a fledgling non-profit that deals with addictions.
I was able to get my pet declared an Emotional Support Animal, and now I know that no matter where I move, even if there’s a “no pet” policy, I can have my fat cat with no deposit or pet rent because of that (and I handled that situation timely and well, which is good). 
I’m taking part in a couple of mastermind groups, which are helping me with ideas for the business.
My gorgeous, smart, talented daughter graduated high school last week, and I made a small step towards repairing a relationship with a family member last week.
Some things are moving in the right direction for me, and I need to concentrate on those things instead of comparing myself to others. 
When I started to write this post, a couple of months ago, I posted in one of the Wild Sisterhood forums asking how others deal with jealousy. Only one person responded and she is Buddhist and said that she doesn’t deal with jealousy often. 
I know everyone deals with jealousy from time to time. It just seems like we don’t like to talk about it often. 
Have you had to deal with jealousy recently? How have you dealt with it? 

Mental Health: How society treats Mental Illness

I started writing this on April 19, around the time of the Boston Marathon bombing.

I don’t want to think about a lot of the stuff that’s gone on this week, on the large scale (Boston, Texas, Waterton, etc) and on a personal one (Monterrey and tires – I’ll relate it soon).

And then I read this:

And that really didn’t make anything better.

For some reason, it reminded me of one of the (actually very few) negative reactions I’ve had when I disclosed my Bipolar.

I was in school, pretty early on, maybe my second semester at the university, so 2005? 2006? I was in a history class. The teacher was very strict on counting attendance as part of the grade. I was struggling with a bout of depression. One of my classmates, a young woman, was struggling with debilitating migraines.

We were commiserating about this and I talked about being bipolar. I also talked about about my daughter who was in third or fourth grade at the time.

The young woman said, “They haven’t taken her away?” or maybe it was, “Why haven’t they taken her away?”

I was shocked, stunned.

I’m ill, so “they” should take her away from me? More importantly, “they” should take me away from her?

My response to the young woman was, “Why should they take her away? She’s clean, fed, bright, does well in school, has clothes, etc.”

I wasn’t taking care of myself very well at that point, but SHE was taken care of. That’s where the majority of my energy went.

I don’t know if that reaction is better or worse than some of the other reactions I’ve had. The best is when someone starts to relate about about someone in their lives that has the illness or another big psych issue.

But others are like, “Aren’t we all a little bipolar?” I loved the nurse that tried to tell me to get off my meds and everything would be fine, that was good. There’s a great list of “things to not say” here.

Not sure I have a real point today, except I’m fairly frustrated at the way we as a society treat mental illness.

This came up for me again recently.

The new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Psychiatric Disorders, version V, came out this month.

The director of the National Institute of Mental Health, Thomas Insel,  “rejected” the new version as not scientific enough.

 Indeed, symptom-based diagnosis, once common in other areas of medicine, has been largely replaced in the past half century as we have understood that symptoms alone rarely indicate the best choice of treatment. Patients with mental disorders deserve better.

 I agree that we need better ways of determining mental illness.

Wouldn’t it be great to point to a blood test or a brain scan to say, “THIS is what’s wrong”?

But those tests don’t exist yet. There is research going on, but it’s not yet at a level where we can do that.

NIMH does not deal directly with patients, they fund research, so this won’t affect patients directly.

NIMH is apparently going to use their own criteria called Research Domain Criteria. NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) on the other hand has a more rational approach, along the lines of my feeling – It’s not perfect, but it’s what we have right now.

While we are better than mental hospitals of 50 years ago, we still have a long way to go treating mental illness, and those who suffer with it so that it’s on parity with “physical” illnesses.

Stuck-ness

I’ve started a million blog posts (well, half a dozen, anyway).

But I get them to about a hundred, two hundred words and I think, “This sounds so totally stupid, and what am I trying to accomplish with it?”

And I don’t know.

I wanted to write more posts for Mental Health Awareness Month. And I started a couple. Didn’t finish.

I did finally finish and submit TPA 3. Waiting to see if I passed. I should feel good about that but I don’t because I have one more to go and the amount of work to do on it is daunting. Makes me want to go take a nap.

I’m feeling a bit lost for a direction on this business.

The readings was a way to get started, start bringing in a little income while I worked on a couple of offerings. But every time I start to do something it feels stupid or like something someone else has already done/said.

I know that I do work in fits and starts, but lately the fits are less and less prominent.

This week, at least two days, I took “naps” in excess of 2 hours. Today, it was 4 hours. I mean, really, why does an unemployed person need a 4 hour nap?

I have a “to do” list a mile long.  And here I sit, going through my little ritual of checking certain websites over and over and over again.

Yesterday, I had a bad day, similar to today, and I did some free readings trying to turn my energy around. It worked, yesterday, but I can’t do unlimited free readings every day, and I didn’t carry the good energy over to today.

I feel like I’m drowning, even though I have some good things happening.

Turning in TPA 3 .. . . I’ve been putting that off for almost a year and a half. I should feel something about it. Relief? Accomplishment? Something. I don’t feel anything, except fear over the next hurdle.

I’ve been super nervous about not having enough money for the second installment of the pet deposit, but I talked to my doctor, and I’m entitled to an emotional support animal for my disability. Once I get the letter from my doctor, I should be able to submit that, and maybe even get the installment I’ve paid back and stop the pet rent.

That’s a good thing. And I’m not happy, I’m just nervous about not getting the letter in time.

This seems like I’m whining, and I’m not meaning to, I do have some stuff going on and I’m doing ok, I’m making progress, I’m just feeling like I’m starting to sink again.

I have pulled out the Ganesh chant and a mini altar to help push through this time.

Mental Health Month: Bipolar’s Darkest Side

May is Mental Health Awareness Month . . . . .

Trigger warning – this post talks about suicide and suicide rates. For some merely talking about the topic can be triggering.

A couple of weeks ago, I came across this video of an interview with Stephen Fry (a British actor, if you are unfamiliar; and if you are unfamiliar look up Fry & Laurie, a comedy sketch show where he teamed up with Hugh Laurie of House long ago). He has been diagnosed with cyclothymia. Cyclothymia is technically a separate diagnosis from bipolar; the Mayo Clinic describes it as, “Cyclothymia causes emotional ups and down, but they’re not as extreme as in bipolar type 1 or 2”. Stephen himself calls it the most mild form of bipolar. They are certainly closely related mood disorders.

In the video, he calls Bipolar a “morbid” disease and then qualifies it as “morbid in the medical sense – it kills people.” (He has a lot of other good things to say, too, like the part about it being like the weather and the story of the guy who stood in front of a lorry (truck)).

And it does, in the sense that the suicide rate among those with bipolar is higher than in the general population.

2000 study indicates that 25-50% of those diagnosed with some form of bipolar attempt the act – up to HALF of people with some form of bipolar attempt suicide. About 10-15% of people diagnosed Bipolar I commit suicide (others suggest as high as 20%). A 2007 study indicates that the rate in patients with bipolar II may be even higher.

“. . . the rate of prior suicide attempt is higher in biplar II patients, and bipoloar II disorder is overrepresented in depressed suicide victims. Among patients with different clinical manifestations of major mood disorders (unipolar major depression, bipolar  and bipolar II disorder), bipolar patients in general and bipolar II subjects in particular carry the highest risk of suicide.”

People with bipolar II tend to spend more time in a depressed state. Some researchers even suggest that major depressive disorder and episodes are really on a spectrum of bipolar II.

And there is data that the clear majority of people who attempt suicide are in the grips of a depressive episode (78-89%), about 11-20% attempt during a “dysphoric manic” state, that is a mixed state. A mixed state can be either “dysphoric mania” or “agitated depression”.

I know, for me, when deeply depressed, I may think about it, but I don’t have the energy to actually DO anything. For me, a mixed state is much more dangerous. Having the energy and agitation of mania and the thought patterns of depression? Very dangerous.

So, what can you do to help someone? I guess I often assume that everyone has been exposed to information on avoiding suicide and/or other mental health issues, so it feels repetitive to me to post it yet again. But maybe someone reading this might need the info so. . . .

Warning Signs of Suicide

  • Talking about it. When someone is talking about suicide, they aren’t just being melodramatic, they are asking for help. When someone jokes about it, too. I used to make statements such as, “Maybe I should take myself out of everyone else’s misery.” (It was apparently a little subtle for most people to pick up on – but at the time, I was pretty serious.)
  • Gathering stuff that will help them do it, the examples given by the Mayo Clinic include stockpiling pills or buying a weapon.
  • Withdrawing from social contact.
  • Mood swings (which, you know, for a rapidly cycling bipolar would be ALL THE TIME)
  • Preoccupation with death
  • Feeling trapped and hopeless
  • Increasing use of alcohol and/or drugs (also known as self-medicated)
  • Changing eating and/or sleeping patterns.
  • Risky and self-destructive behavior.
  • Giving away treasured belongings and/or “setting affairs in order”.
  • Personality changes and/or being severely agitated or anxious.
The problem is, some people don’t show anything at all. They keep their feelings and thoughts to themselves. Those are the most dangerous, of course.
If you feel this way, if this is you, the best thing is to reach out for help.
Problem is, for me, that’s the time when it’s most difficult to ask for help.
There are hotlines you can call, family/friends and medical professionals you can reach out to for help.
In the U.S.:
Veterans Crisis Line: 800-273-8255 (press 1)
There’s a list of other numbers here.
If you love someone who is showing signs, you can also contact the above places for ideas on how to get the person help.
Stephen Fry’s The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive – Part 1, Part 2

Self Love: Feeling Worthy

A few weeks ago, Diana posted a fantastic post about feeling worthy. In it, she quoted a Facebook post by Paul Carter.

click to return to the previous page
photo from Unprofound.com
What seeds are you planting in your mind?

The greatest gift you can ever give yourself is the undying belief that you are worthy. Someone who doesn’t value their own self worth cannot fully accept anything gifted to them or anything earned.

If you do not believe you are worthy of someone’s love, you will never experience it. If you do not believe you are worthy of adoration, you will never experience it. If you do not believe you are worthy of adoration, you will never receive it. If you do not believe you are worthy of being strong you will never know it.

Inhale and grok* the belief that you are worthy of things both gifted and earned. .  .

There is a lot here.

We’ve often heard that if you don’t love yourself, you can’t truly love someone else. But this feels .  . . more. . . somehow.

How do you change your belief in yourself so much that you feel “worthy of adoration” without becoming completely narcissistic?

And if you don’t believe it, deep down, what kind of damage does that do?

Diana talks about not liking it when her friends don’t have a sense of self-worth, when they are down on themselves. I totally understand that. When people I care about do the same thing, I can’t stand it.

For example, when C starts being down on herself, it’s really hard to watch.

Here is this exquisite, beautiful, smart-as-hell, strong, strong-willed, talented, kind, good with small children, energetic, fantastic human being. And she will get down on herself for not being good enough, pretty enough, smart enough, good at martial arts enough. She was raised with a lot of positive reinforcement, and she still has all the same emotional fragility a lot of us have.

And nothing I say helps, because it’s coming from inside.

I know I do this, too. I talked about it a little in the compliments post, learning to just say, “Thank you,” and not add qualifiers or things that diminish the compliment.

When I look at things, particularly the last 10 years, I have not believed that I was worthy. It appears that deep down, I don’t believe I deserve good things. I create crises to ensure I don’t get good things.

I do things that make my life harder. There was a point where money was a big concern, and I missed a deadline for financial aid, and lost money that I needed. It created an even bigger crises.

And I continually do things like that, create situations that turn into crises

I didn’t believe I was good enough for the dream job I had.

I didn’t believe I was smart enough for my major.

I didn’t believe I could be successful.

I didn’t believe I deserve good things.

I am still struggling with these feelings.

Every time I make a step towards something good, some success, financial security, emotional support, anything, I do something to make that thing move further away.

I can tell that I’m changing a bit now, that the inner work I’m doing is starting to bring some success. But it still feels like. . . two steps forward, one step back.

I think one thing that’s helping me is hearing all these successful people talk about their fears and insecurities. Even Oprah!

The show has taught me there is a common thread that runs through all of our pain and all of our suffering, and that is unworthiness. Not feeling worthy enough to own the life you were created for. Even people who believe they deserve to be happy and have nice things often don’t feel worthy once they have them. 
There is a difference, you know, between thinking you deserve to be happy and knowing you are worthy of happiness. . . . 
What I got was we often block our own blessings because we don’t feel inherently good enough or smart enough or pretty enough or worthy enough.
Read more: http://www.oprah.com/oprahshow/The-Oprah-Winfrey-Show-Finale_1/6#ixzz2QUhF9Kfk

So, how can we turn it around?

I think starting with Louise Hay’s exercise of looking in the mirror and telling yourself, “I love and accept you just the way you are.”

After all, if you can’t do that, how can someone else?

One of the things, besides Diana’s post, that brought this up for me was this TED talk, with Amy Cuddy:

Pay particular attention to what she says about “Fake it until you become it.”

I’ve always hated, “Fake it til you make it,” advice, mostly because I know people who are or have been suicidally depressed and no one around them knew it. They were certainly faking it every day.

But I love her story about her experience with impostor syndrome, especially when she was approached by a grad student with the same feelings.

If you are already doing some kind of daily (or regular) writing exercise, such as affirmations, gratitude/blessings, or just journaling, what about adding to it just a little bit? Add in one sentence with something you LIKE or even love about yourself.

  • I made someone laugh/smile today. 
  • [Name] said s/he thinks I’m awesome.
  • I figured out something important today
Whatever you can think of. I don’t think it’s easy. I’m still having trouble coming up with something to be grateful for every day. But I am adding this to my daily (well, near daily) writing.

What seeds are you planting when you talk to yourself?

What have you done to find a sense of self-worth? What have you done to help someone else feel better about themselves?

*grok – For those unfamiliar, the word comes from Robert Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land, a tale about a human child/man raised on Mars by Martians who returns to Earth and tries to figure out human society. In the book, it’s a Martian word that doesn’t translate well into any human language, but sort of means to understand something so completely that you feel it in your bones, you know it instinctually.