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I've never had high self esteem. For most of my life until about age 30 it was maybe a 4 or 5 at best. Then up until a few years ago I'd say it improved to a 7 or 8. At that time I was taking lexapro, I don't know if that had something to do with it. The lexapro made me very fat, so it is surprising that my best self esteem came during that time.

But now, mid 40's, my self esteem is going down. I've always been unattractive, and now that I'm aging its getting worse. I know its very superficial to judge yourself on the basis of appearance, but hey, I can't help it. My lack of self esteem manifests itself in ways such as perfectionism, overachieving, anxiety, obsessive thoughts, etc. I know some people with self esteem issues don't get involved in many activities, but I'm the opposite. Always doing everything and having to do it perfectly, as though I have to continually prove myself.

Most of the advice for improving self esteem consists of things like "Don't compare yourself to others", "Concentrate on your accomplishments not your failures", etc. Well, obviously if I could do that I wouldn't have low self esteem. So unhelpful.

I just feel so immature feeling this way about myself. Its a teenager kind of feeling - I should have moved beyond this years ago.

Just wondering if anyone else has had a decrease in self esteem as they got older, and what you did about it. Thanks.

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I am right there with you. I'll be 45 this fall, and overcompensate for lack of self-esteem by trying to achieve unattainable levels of perfection.

I think now is a hard time for us as women, because of our youth oriented culture, and at this stage of the game, we start to look in the mirror and think, "Wow, i'm getting old." The physical signs are there. And there is no more denying it. No matter what else you felt you had or didn't have as far as physical beauty, now, no matter what, you're old. And it's not immature to be thinking about this, and feeling this way, it's reality based. Look at what surrounds us in the media. Youth. The image of beauty for women is the image of a pre-pubescent girl. Flawless skin, rail thin, and hairless. And these days, weird stuff happens to us on all of these fronts. No matter what we do, we will never be that again. Hell we're not supposed to be, but every second of every day the media tells us otherwise. "Fight signs of aging." is something you hear over and over and over again in commercial advertising. Or that ad where the women says she uses the product because "he thinks I am younger than I am." It's a sin to be old. in our culture.

I dunno, I guess it doesn't make it any better to know you're not alone, but you're not.

Unfortunately, I don't know where to even begin feeling better about this. I wish I did. It's really doing a number on me.

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It's a beast, ladies. I can't help you with the self-esteem, because I'm not a tdoc, but the aging part is something I'm experiencing every day.

My best advice is to take care of yourself in every way that you can. Eat healthy food, drink lots of water, take a walk every day, and get enough sleep. And it helps me to make the most of the "assets" I have. I get my hair colored every couple of months, and I try to wear colors instead of living in black, and I wear a modest amount of makeup. **shrug** I ain't no Cindy Crawford, but I'm just trying to keep from scaring small children when I walk down the street.

Goldfinch, I don't think people ever lose that desire to have self-esteem. I saw my MIL, at age 76 or 77, frantically running around the house cooking and cleaning because her sister was coming for dinner. I asked her why she was so upset, and she told me that her sister was always the "smart" one and went to college and traveled.......and my MIL saw herself as the dumb, homely sister who never left the small town. I was in my 20s then, and couldn't believe that someone THAT old would still care what other people thought of her, and would have so little self-esteem.

It's a very difficult issue your whole life.

olga

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Thank you both. It is comforting to know that others feel this way, makes me feel more "normal", you know?

I do try to take care of myself - eat right, exercise - and I dress well and wear makeup and have nice hair. I don't want to scare young children after all either. Physically that is all I can do, short of plastic surgery which I am avoiding.

Mentally, however, there must be a way I can avoid becoming the 76 year old MIL who is still worried about what others think of her. I want the second half of my life to be enjoyable, not a downward spiral.

Edited by goldfinch

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Mentally, however, there must be a way I can avoid becoming the 76 year old MIL who is still worried about what others think of her. I want the second half of my life to be enjoyable, not a downward spiral.

Well, my best suggestion is to take this up with your tdoc, assuming that you have one.

It's a tough issue, and I'm afraid I'm not too helpful on this one. I have an ego the size of Wyoming, so self-esteem has never been a problem for me. But I have a sister like you and I know other people---and I feel badly about it because they are people with talent, and kindness, and real worth as human beings. I just don't know how to convince them of that fact.

olga

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I'm a youngin' and perhaps have no business in this thread, but it reminded me of something that was talked about in the Meditation class I'm taking right now. Detach from the idea of self-esteem. Good or bad. Easier said than done.

I just thought it was an interesting idea. Still working on it, meself. ;)

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I'm 45, and quite "happy" where I am. (well, happy when I'm not depressed as hell about life in general). I wouldn't go back to my 30's or even 20's. BTDT. I have "wisdom" now (quit laughing), and I dunno, just feel more settled. But yeah, the wrinkles are a bummer. I have to admit, I'm searching for all kinds of ways to help ward it off (seriously, I use olive oil on my eyes at night). And like you said, exercise and good food... it's just a scary changing time, but take it slowly.

I have really sucky self-esteem issues, tho, so I have no real advice. Sorry.

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I think the only way I keep my self-esteem up is avoiding body mirrors. :) My face has not suffered the pull of gravity, but the rest of my poor body has *sigh*. Most people do not think I'm 41 when they meet me, but they see me fully dressed. ;) If they ever saw my wobbly bits, they would probably think I'm 89!

The aching joints don't help, but not much I can do about those... I just grin and bear it as much as I can.

Anyway, not much in the way of advice, more along the lines of "been there, and I feel your pain."

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Oh god, patheral, I creak every morning as I creep down the stairs. Every bone in my body is crackling. Gah!

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as a dude @43, let me say this about that...

(keeping in mind I've not seen comments from men: virility, hair loss, financial achievement, etc.)

for a thinking man (IMHO), women don't even get INTERESTING until they're AT LEAST 30-35.

men who are drawn to garish, razor thin tragedies of women with fake appendages, dressed in overtly revealing attire, etc., DESERVE the bimbos they get.

women in their 40's and 50's are hot.

soccer moms are hot.

moms in TV commercials are hot.

bright, well read, well spoken, EXPERIENCED women are hot.

and, I use the word HOT in the most enlightened sense possible.

Now. this is one man's opinion. I apologize if I have missed your point.

go ahead. tear me a new one.

but if you choose to do so, you qualify as self-determinate, independent, outspoken...

...and hot.

  • Like 1

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TechnoG ... if all the men in the world were like you, this would be a truly wonderful place where we women in mid life would not have to worry about all this change of life stuff.

i agree with another one ... you rock!

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Argh, Techno, I've been training son not to use the word "hot" in describing a woman! But if you really think my wrinkles are sexy, well... ;)

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I'll be hot! I'll be hot! heh

Thanks, techno---my husband happens to agree with you. He likes women who have done something interesting or have interesting political views or just read books and learn new stuff now and then.

But I do also agree with rabbit. I wish the kids could say "She's so smart" or "she's so confident" or something other than a comment on how sexy she is. (Assuming that "hot" and "sexy" are about the same)

olga

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I'll take HOT any time (might as well, already have the hot flashes). I am just happy my husband still finds me attractive-- and I ain't no MILF by any standards

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But I do also agree with rabbit. I wish the kids could say "She's so smart" or "she's so confident" or something other than a comment on how sexy she is. (Assuming that "hot" and "sexy" are about the same)
I've been kind of operating on the assumption that "hot" in the context above meant "attractive and magnetic or charismatic," which may or may not include sexual allure. Have I been hearing that wrong?

Mr. Silver, talking to a 45yo friend of ours who is dating a 22yo. "Yeah, Bob, but what do you guys have to talk about? I mean, did he even see Bill and Ted?" (No disrespect to the 22yo in the room. There's just a paucity of shared cultural and life experience there. Shared stupid movie references are important sometimes.)

"Most enlightened sense possible" = ;)

Rabbit: Mother I'd Like to, uh, Fool around with.

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Okay, <blush> wow, I have a 21yo, and I've never heard that before! I think I can rest easy, it'd be a pretty hard up kid to think that of me!!!

What I mean is, my son sees a girl that *is* pretty, granted, and he'll say wow, she's hot. what I'm trying to do is to make sure he doesn't put a label on a woman without getting to know her. Plus, the whole respect thing. A non-pretty woman is no less a decent, wonderful human being than a pretty one is.

Sorry <pulling off the wet blanket> Let's talk about hot guys!

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My husband is HOT!!!! He is overweight, thinning hair, 47 yo man--that treats me with love, respect tenderness and caring and still finds me sexy even though I am overweight, thinning hair, 39 yo woman!!!!

What could be better???

You make all go poke out your minds eye if you tried to picture that one!!!!! You have my permission!

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let's not mince words here

milf = mom i'd like to fuck.

and i've seen plenty.

come down off your ivory towers and embrace your hotness...

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as a dude @43, let me say this about that...

(keeping in mind I've not seen comments from men: virility, hair loss, financial achievement, etc.)

for a thinking man (IMHO), women don't even get INTERESTING until they're AT LEAST 30-35.

men who are drawn to garish, razor thin tragedies of women with fake appendages, dressed in overtly revealing attire, etc., DESERVE the bimbos they get.

women in their 40's and 50's are hot.

etc...

Men are pretty hot as they age too. I mean yeah, young'uns are fun to play with (but I'm leaving these college kids alone! I've seen where they've been), but the older ones are really hot. Esp intelligent older men. I like a man I can carry on a conversation with.

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Sean Connery, NOW , not when he was younger. I find him soooo attractive (some of his views on women suck), but my oh my the accent, the way he looked in Hunt for Red October...YUMMY!!!

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Okay, confession: Man oh man, Jamie from Mythbusters. He's just got that kinda little pudge (i.e., very soft to snuggle with), looooooove that moustache and goatee. Oh yeah.

Yes, my husband's hot too. He's nearly bald, I keep telling him to just shave it all off!

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