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Permission to not hate myself?


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So I'm waffling between a quick trip to the bottom of the pit of despair and self-loathing or pulling myself up by the mental bootstraps and stoically facing the repercussions of my irresponsible and selfish actions. I can't decide which way to go, though I know which way I'm instinctually leaning (pit). If my selfish and irresponsible actions are the direct result of my MIs, do I have permission to not hate myself? I know I can't dodge the messy outcome of my screw-ups, nor do I want to, but I'd like to do it with a little dignity and without using my problems as an excuse to inflict verbal abuse on myself.

I know this post is very vague, but I'm just not up to discussing the details.

I haven't yet reached the place where I can grant myself forgiveness. Any tips on how to accomplish this are welcome.

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Depression is a VERY BAD avoidance technique. The fact that you're aware of the possibility of sliding into another episode indicates that you've developed some good tools and self-talk that might be helpful. It's tempting sometimes to plunge back into depression, but take a moment to really think about it. Remember what it was like when bathing was too much of a strain, when paying bills was overwhelming, when you had to quit work because you couldn't concentrate or make decisions. Look back at the reality of depression instead of the escapist fantasy. It's far easier to face your mistakes while not depressed. Don't go there.

Greeny

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That really, really, really helps. Thank you, both of you. It strengthens my resolve to have someone tell me it's Ok to not beat up on myself. I needed that.

I really don't want to succumb to a major episode. I need to keep my wits about me and a modicum of energy to get things straightened out, and that's my primary motivation for keeping my head above water right now. That's not to say that medication and supplements haven't aided in keeping me in touch with rationality; I'm very fortunate to have hit gold with the first mood stabilizer I've tried. (My hair and skin are a mess, but gosh darnit I'm feeling so much better!) I can't take all the credit. I'll take a little ;)

Thanks again.

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Ella -

I'll do you one better: I forbid you to hate yourself. The voice in your head that says cruel things about you is a liar. Again, for emphasis - A LIAR. It lies. This illness feeds you false perceptions disguised as common sense until you believe it. Instead, next time you hear the voice whisper that foul bilge about worthlessness in your ear, turn right around, look it square in the face, and say, "I'm onto you, now. Like Quaker on oats. You're a liar, and I'm not going to listen to you any more."

Then turn your back on it and never listen to it again. Now you know the lies for what they are. NEVER let them tempt you to follow the path to the Abyss.

Speaking of which, lookit - we never turn anybody away down here at the Inn, but what with all the volcanic activity around the globe in the last few days, the deep-sea vents are belching out sulphur like billy-o, and every time that happens every frickin' nematode, sea-cucumber, brittle star and other oozy-crawly-no-see-um decides it's time to come indoors. It's not pretty down here. That, and Edward has gotten the idea that it would be fun to organize a marathon square-dance competition. Stay up there. Trust me.

LasiognathusSaccostoma.jpg

Edward

Cerberus

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I'll do you one better: I forbid you to hate yourself.
Yes sir! Since you are an esteemed authority here, I cannot in good conscience disobey.

The voice in your head that says cruel things about you is a liar. Again, for emphasis - A LIAR. It lies. This illness feeds you false perceptions disguised as common sense until you believe it. Instead, next time you hear the voice whisper that foul bilge about worthlessness in your ear, turn right around, look it square in the face, and say, "I'm onto you, now. Like Quaker on oats. You're a liar, and I'm not going to listen to you any more."

The Quaker on oats bit made my day. ;) Very cute. False perceptions as common sense, indeed. I screw up, therefore I am a failure, loser, worthless waste of perfectly good molecules that could be put to a better use, such as plugging up the hole in the ozone layer or whatever. Duh! It's just common sense, right? I've also got this complex that only a "bad" person would shuck off the self-deprecation, only a sociopath would allow themselves to feel good after making a huge blunder. Like the only righteous thing to do, the "good person" thing to do is indulge in some healthy self-flagellation and not let up until my psyche has been good and beaten to a pulp. I shouldn't be able to recognize my self-esteem afterwards or I'm doing it wrong. And doing it wrong is very anxiety-inducing because it rubs my perfectionist nature the wrong way. Forgiving myself is a personal sin! Only a ruthless, cold-hearted person would allow themselves to get away with so little punishment. That's what my mind tells me.

Edward has gotten the idea that it would be fun to organize a marathon square-dance competition.

Aw, I think that would be fun. :) It's a been a long, long, very long time since I've square danced--I grew up in the boonies and people were into that kind of thing; sick, eh?--but I'll gladly join Edward and gang in a do-si-do. Please don't hold it against me if I don't stick around afterwards, Ok? I don't go willingly into that dark abyss. Except for a square dance competition. Yeehaw! Are you making fried chicken and biscuits, too?

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I hear you.

Just had a long talk with new tdoc, on theme of my "realization" that what was most standing in the way of my healing was a lack of self-respect. An acquired lack (mostly). THAT I figured out was the very bottom-most inner obstacle.

This was based on a kind of neat "healing service" at our synagogue, where the rabbi asked us to try to visualize what was most standing in the way of our health, of whatever type. (He probably gets his sermons off the net, but it was still a useful exercise ;) ).

Then,just when the time was almost up, I thought some more. Why, though, DO I kept tripping myself up and stopping myself from even the simplest tasks which could rebuild my self-respect?

EUREKA! I realized it was trickier still (and I am even more doomed)..

I have condemned myself to death (or humiliation/shame - whatever).

Why?

Because of self-loathing. I DO NOT DESERVE TO FEEL GOOD.

(This is not rational, of course)

But it sure is there. And that's much harder to deal with.

When you're your own worst enemy (and a good military strategist). (not that it takes much)

it's damned hard to come out ahead.

Anybody here besides me, identify with Kafka's the Judgment? Of course, that was much more family dynamics.

rt

(Feeling like I might be better off investigating Catholicsm where at least, there's the Confessional and the possibility of Absolution...Jews NEED to feel guilty. Why else were we Chosen? Because we were bad little boys and girls, that's why! :) )

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Well done on the insights and awarenesses. Untangling them is the next step. And the most challenging, as you recognise, and as I know, from my heart. I'm there and still moving through....

Remember you're not a bad person.

I've not read "The Judgement" but I did "The Trial" and "The Castle" at Uni....And, yes, I had a lot of identification there...

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Just had a long talk with new tdoc, on theme of my "realization" that what was most standing in the way of my healing was a lack of self-respect.
I wonder if I'm the only one who does this: I view self-esteem and self-respect as two entirely different entities. Self-esteem is the term I use for how much value is attached to the self, and self-respect is the term I use to denote my people-pleasing threshold. My self-esteem is lower than it used to be, but my self-respect has flourished. My self-esteem is dependent on external factors: my financial worth, ability to function socially, pursuit of goals, involvement in society; self-actualization and distinguishment in short.

My self-respect is a measure of to what degree I'm unwilling to sacrifice values, identity, and dignity in return for acceptance and validation. I might not think very highly of myself, but there is much I would not do or put up with that others with a high degree of self-confidence would.

I have condemned myself to death (or humiliation/shame - whatever).

Why?

Because of self-loathing. I DO NOT DESERVE TO FEEL GOOD.

(This is not rational, of course)

But it sure is there. And that's much harder to deal with.

When you're your own worst enemy (and a good military strategist). (not that it takes much)

it's damned hard to come out ahead.

I'd like to add that in my case, at any rate, I was raised in a family of martyrs, so self-flagellation comes naturally to me. I totally get that "I do not deserve to feel good" bit. Everyone in my family was constantly being victimized or victimizing themselves; there was more than enough self-inflicted and pain and suffering to go around. I realized early on that life was a cross to bear, not a journey of growth with plenty of stopovers for celebration.

Feeling like I might be better off investigating Catholicsm where at least, there's the Confessional and the possibility of Absolution...Jews NEED to feel guilty. Why else were we Chosen? Because we were bad little boys and girls, that's why!
There's always the CB confessional. ;) I would use it, myself, but I'm always too ashamed to admit I've screwed up! Maybe I'm more perfectionist than martyr.

Well done on the insights and awarenesses. Untangling them is the next step. And the most challenging, as you recognise, and as I know, from my heart. I'm there and still moving through....

I think I would give anything to make it easier. I feel like I should be busy living, not having to straighten out my head so I can get busy living... Doesn't seem fair. *grunts under the weight of this cross*

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