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arak42


Sep 18, 2003, 2:44 PM
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Self Esteem
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[violet]So I know that this is a bit outside of climbing, but I just read something about this on another thread and was wondering if you all had any opinions, advice or experience you could share. Anything would be greatly appreciated!

I have a big problem with self esteem in that I have none. It is really getting in the way of a lot in my life. I am in an absolutely wonderful relationship, but it is strained because I don't think that I am good enough for him. It is getting in the way of school because I don't think I am smart enough to be in graduate school. It is getting in the way of climbing because I don't think I am strong enough for that 5.9 (yeah, I am only working on 5.8 right now) So my question is:

Have any of you ever gone to a professional therapist or whatever for help with your self esteem. I feel like that is the only choice I have left but I am skeptical of whether it would actually help me.

THANKS IN ADVANCE FOR YOUR REPLY!!!

K[/violet]


pehperboy


Sep 18, 2003, 2:59 PM
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I'll respond because this is not just an issue for women, though lack of self esteem seems to afflict women more. My first observation is that if you had no self esteem you would not have posted this question, you would not be climbing with an eye to moving into the 5.9 range and you wouldn't have a boyfriend and recognize the value of the relationship. Perhaps the issue isn't self esteem as much as your perception of yourself.
In answer to your question about a therapist, yes I would certainly encourage you to at least check it out. There are only a few rare individuals who would not benefit from sitting down with a therepist and working out their personal demons. But be prepared - you may be asked some very pointed and difficult questions about yourself and your life. The key to the process is being honest - more to yourself than a therapist. It also requires some commitment to succeed - once you embark on the process, it may take a number of years of seeing a therapist once or twice a month before finding a satisfactory resolution to what brought you there in the first place.
Best of luck!


unabonger


Sep 18, 2003, 4:15 PM
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Seek therapy.

If you don't click with one, find another. They vary widely in personality, ability, professionalism. Ask for recommendations from your friends. You may be surprised who you know that has used psychotherapy. When you find the right counselor, it will help you.

To understand the foundations of self esteem, look at the works of Nathaniel Branden.

Good luck.

The UnaBonger


robmcc


Sep 18, 2003, 5:52 PM
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I won't offer any deep insights. If you want to try a therapist, go for it. I think ultimately it's an issue of how you view the world. I don't know that someone else could talk me into viewing the world differently, but that's just me.

Relationship: He thinks you're good enough, apparently. Odds are very, very good that he's right, and you're just being overly self-critical. It's just easier to see what's wrong with us from the inside, and easier to see what's right from the outside. This is a plus. Life is good, you're with an outstanding guy! I like to say I'm in an ideal relationship. We both think the other got the better end of the deal. Of course, I'm right and she's wrong. :wink: It's funny...no funny's not the word. Unusual, unfortunate, and maybe ironic. Whatever. Anyway, I've known a fair number of people, a few come immmediately to mind, who are just extraordinary people and I'm pretty sure they don't realize it. I'm beginning to thing that's some eternal truth. The truly remarkable people in the world don't think they're anything special. Probably because when we meet them we never get around to telling them.I'm certainly guilty of that.

Climbing: The best cure for thinking you're not a good climber is to climb with me. You think you're not good? Ha! I'll show you not good! Shoot, just get me to try leading again and you'll get incontrovertable proof that all my nuts are hanging on biners. Not to mention this odd trend that people I climb with inevitably get to be better than I am. There's that perspective thing again. I *could* say, "Wow, I must really suck! Everyone gets better than me!", but I don't. I'm actually pretty happy about it. I must be doing something right. Not something that improves my climbing necessarily, but maybe something that improves theirs. I am, and always have been, much more proud of that than any climbing ability I may have possessed.And anyway, someday I'll be nearing the end of my life and I won't care that I could once climb 5.foo, nor will anyone else. I think what you do for others is the only enduring legacy any of us can hope for, and happily, it's the most satisfying to achieve.

Maybe some of it is who you're around, too. I think both college and being single (by which I mean unmarried, not sans SO) can challenge your self esteem due to the kind of competition it incites. We want to be "better" than others, which is equivalent to them being "worse" than us, rather than just striving to be our personal best. Again, that may just be my perspective based on my own experience.

I wish you the best of luck whichever path you choose. If you truly have no self esteem I can say without fear of contradiction that you are a more remarkable person than you know. Probably more than you will ever know, which I think is true for most of us. Maybe someone who knows you will read this thread and let you know.


calliope


Sep 18, 2003, 11:49 PM
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I've never sought therapy for this reason, but I did go a few years ago when I lost my job, boyfriend, and the lease on my apartment (roommate issue) all in the same week. I truly saw my life as one big stack of rubble and I didn't know which piece to start with. I went once a week for a few months and it was good. I learned a lot about myself. I'd go now if I could afford it, but then I'd have to stop buying climbing gear and we can't have that now, can we?

Having just finished grad school I know exactly what you mean about it. All of a sudden everyone is "one of the smart kids" and you have to find a new place in the pack. Grad school did a number on me, but it gets easier once you adjust...as long as you dont plan on sleeping during the semester.

Check it out in any case. It might help.


moabbeth


Sep 19, 2003, 1:01 AM
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In reply to:
[violet] I am in an absolutely wonderful relationship, but it is strained because I don't think that I am good enough for him. It is getting in the way of school because I don't think I am smart enough to be in graduate school. It is getting in the way of climbing because I don't think I am strong enough for that 5.9 (yeah, I am only working on 5.8 right now) So my question is:

K[/violet]

I have a love/hate relationship with myself at times. I'm not sure if it's self esteem, but I beat myself up over things I shouldn't. And I can allow the opinions of others influence how I see myself at times if that opinion comes from someone I look at as better than me. It's wrong, and I know it. And when I get in those places mentally I try to turn to people I know who think I am a great person, worthy person, people who won't tolerate me seeing myself as anything less. I've had some setbacks personally lately, and the power of positive thinking people who believe in the best in me is one of the main things keeping me positive and keeping my chin up.

Hey, you have a great guy. Hold on to him knowing that he cares about you for WHO you are, otherwise he'd be outta there. So obviously he's seeing something great in you. Don't let your doubts cloud it.


Partner philbox
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Sep 19, 2003, 7:16 AM
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Hey girlfriend I feel your pain. I have been there and done that. I felt that at one time I had the lowest of the low self esteem of anyone on this planet, I kid you not. You wouldn`t know it to look at me or meet me now but I was incredibly shy and introverted.

At about age 16 my uncle gave me on of the most amazing single pieces of advice that I have encountered in my life. He looked at me squarely in the eye and told me straight that he thought my problem was that I didn`t love myself. You cannot love others if you first cannot love this body that you live in. You need to start to think of how to love yourself. This is not a self centered me me love but a genuine apreciation of what and who YOU are.

This is one of lifes great conundrums, love yourself so that you can love others. Almost too simple eh and that is why a lot of people miss it because they try to overcomplicate their lives. Keep it simple it will do you the world of good. If you genuinely love yourself then any outside criticism will simply be meaningless. Note here that in no way am I implying a sexual love but I am trying to convey a much deeper meaning to the love that you need for yourself. Get that and you will have no trouble conveying a greater love to those around you.


unabonger


Sep 19, 2003, 2:15 PM
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Philbox:

What you say sounds simple but what if you believe you're not worthy of love? Simply saying it doesn't make it so. If you judge yourself according to values you believe are right, what if you don't like the answer?

Sometimes to gain self esteem one must change the way one acts.

Reminding yourself of your self-worth and self-efficacy can help overcome those temporary wanes in self-esteem that happen to everyone. But if one doesn't believe one is worthy and efficacious then more fundamental changes should be considered.

The UnaBonger


arak42


Sep 19, 2003, 4:16 PM
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I really appreciate all the replies! There is one person on this site who knows me (my climbing partner) and he would probably give me a swift jab in the shoulder, roll his eyes and bug me about when we are climbing again (don't you just love how sensitive guys can be!) if he reads this thread

Today is a pretty bad day again. I did survive the huricane though, but I don't have any power at home. Spent a great night at home with the boyfriend drinking a bottle of champaign by candle light.. heehee. Other than that though... I feel like crap. Its wierd, I have gotten the normal amount of sleep this week, but I can't seem to wake up.

Anyway, I have another related question:

Has anyone on here ever changed birth control because of the depressive effects of the one they were on? I hate taking it but I have awful cramps without it. But I don't think it is helping me feel good about myself either. If you have switched, which one did you go to and did it work?


calliope


Sep 19, 2003, 10:45 PM
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I was on Alesse for a while. It didn't make me depressed but the first two to three months I was on it, I was completely hormonal. My boyfriend at the time couldn't look at me without me bursting into tears. My body adjusted to the hormone levels and things evened out. Have you spoken with your OBGYN about the side effects?


alpinelynx


Sep 20, 2003, 6:05 PM
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re: question one - speaking from experience, I can only say that you can get a therapist, get on drugs, switch drugs, talk the ears off of your friends seeking validation, write Dr. Phil, or read a thousand and one books and unless you are a) ready to feel better and b) willing to make an effort, there is no way in hell you'll feel better. feeling bad is often safer than the unknown of feeling better. its also a habit and you don't think your way into habits, you behave your way into them. Its hard work, but worth it.

re: question two - Yep, done it. I found that the Depo shot worked best for me, but I would go to the doctor with all of your concerns and tell them the truth about the self-esteem issues and depression.


robmcc


Sep 20, 2003, 8:58 PM
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In reply to:
I really appreciate all the replies! There is one person on this site who knows me (my climbing partner) and he would probably give me a swift jab in the shoulder, roll his eyes and bug me about when we are climbing again (don't you just love how sensitive guys can be!) if he reads this thread

Hey! Guys are very sensitive. We're sensitive to our needs. We're sensitive to how things in your life conflict with our needs. We can even be sensitive to YOUR needs...if you're blunt enough. :P

In reply to:
Its wierd, I have gotten the normal amount of sleep this week, but I can't seem to wake up.

I had that problem. For me it was a matter of not enough physical activity. I started climbing and running again, and have been back to normal.

In reply to:
Has anyone on here ever changed birth control because of the depressive effects of the one they were on?

Oh, yeah! I was on this thing called "Abstinence" and it depressed me like nothing else! I switched to "Marriage" after a trial run of "Relationship" which has the same active ingredient as "Marriage", just at a lower dose. Careful, though, both "Relationship" and "Marriage" are habit forming. You can get off them, but the withdrawal symptons aren't fun. I'm just going to stay on the stuff as long as I can.

Actually the person I'm on "Marriage" with (it's an unusual therapy in that you have to do it with a partner) found some form of birth control to be a depressant, but she can't remember which one. Lucky for us, it also didn't work. :D If I can dig up the name of the stuff, I'll let you know. I think it was something with just progesterone (no estrogen) and at a somewhat low dose.


arak42


Sep 22, 2003, 4:32 PM
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In reply to:
Oh, yeah! I was on this thing called "Abstinence" and it depressed me like nothing else! I switched to "Marriage" after a trial run of "Relationship" which has the same active ingredient as "Marriage", just at a lower dose. Careful, though, both "Relationship" and "Marriage" are habit forming. You can get off them, but the withdrawal symptons aren't fun. I'm just going to stay on the stuff as long as I can.

[olive]Ha, now that's what I need to cheer me up! I had a great weekend. I went to a wedding with the beau and caught the bouquet even though I think I was the only girl there trying not to! ha.

anyway... I am going to head over to the student counseling people. At least they can give me advise about whether I should try counselling or changing my birth control. I do not ever want to get on any mood altering drugs (other than the ortho-tricylin that is) though and I have this notion that they will try to push prozac (or whatever the popular upper is!)
I do wish I had more time to climb. I went at the end of last week and I really did feel great afterwards. I wish they could bottle up that feeling and market it! I'd buy![/olive]


crotch


Sep 22, 2003, 4:47 PM
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In reply to:
I do not ever want to get on any mood altering drugs (other than the ortho-tricylin that is) though and I have this notion that they will try to push prozac (or whatever the popular upper is!)


In reply to:
I do wish I had more time to climb. I went at the end of last week and I really did feel great afterwards. I wish they could bottle up that feeling and market it! I'd buy!

You do realize that these two statements are at odds with each other, don't you?


enigma


Sep 23, 2003, 8:39 AM
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In reply to:
Philbox:

What you say sounds simple but what if you believe you're not worthy of love? Simply saying it doesn't make it so. If you judge yourself according to values you believe are right, what if you don't like the answer?

Sometimes to gain self esteem one must change the way one acts.

Reminding yourself of your self-worth and self-efficacy can help overcome those temporary wanes in self-esteem that happen to everyone. But if one doesn't believe one is worthy and efficacious then more fundamental changes should be considered.

The UnaBonger

There was a time when I thought others were better at whatever I wasn't confident of.
Now most of those things I have tried and was able to accomplish.
I truly believe if you let go of those pangs of insecurity and move forward, self-esteem will come. :P


arak42


Sep 23, 2003, 2:11 PM
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Crotch--> yeah, I know that... I was just being silly at the end there! I was kidding :!:

Enigma--> I do like what you said about letting go of those pangs on insecurity and moving foward, and earlier in my life I was somewhat able to do that. Just like lately when I am feeling down. Usually I have just been able to say to myself "okay, this is stupid to be sad, there is nothing to be down about, so snap out of it" and that would work. It seems that lately it is more than a pang of insecurity though. It almost seems like something that is constantly with me. That is why I am getting worried about it. I do feel a bit better this week than I did last week though! yippee!

Hey, i am going climbing tonight... what do I have to be upset about uh?!


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