If you're like me, you might have trouble accepting compliments. Today I'd like to talk about the simple steps I've taken to respond better when someone compliments me and how it's helped improve my overall self-esteem.
Impulsivity is a hallmark of my attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This impulsivity manifests in different ways: sometimes it means buying electric pianos from Germany; sometimes it means relocating from Ireland to North America; and, for many years, it meant flirting with the boundaries of outright alcoholism.
I have struggled with negative thoughts for as long as I can remember. Sometimes these thoughts have been about my views on myself, ill feelings about a situation or a person, or my thoughts about life in general. Hearing other people tell me to stop being so negative makes me feel as though my thoughts are invalid. However, through years of therapy, I have learned many truths about negative thoughts. Here are five lessons I have learned.
A part of being chronically anxious includes constant worry about what might happen in the future. But what I've also experienced is that along with this is not just the worry, but the fear of not being good enough, of feeling like you don't meet up to certain standards, and feeling like a failure.
The National Eating Disorders Association runs an annual social media campaign each June called #NEDAPride. I just learned of its existence, but I love it already. As someone who is both queer and in eating disorder recovery, this combination feels so poignant to me.
Until only a few years ago, I had no idea how difficult my life would become once I started sharing my story of being a victim of abuse. Although some people close to me already knew some basic information, I kept most of the details to myself. However, as I began my healing journey, it became more necessary for me to share my abuse story so I could move forward and leave my past behind me.
Not every case of self-injury is obvious. Whether you're talking clinically or colloquially, it can be hard sometimes to clearly define what counts as self-harm and what does not.
"I am innocent of the illness that befell me." "I am strong. I am brave." "I am worthy of self-compassion." These are a few of my positive affirmations, said aloud or in silence, to help (re)train my brain. When I started therapy to treat trauma-induced anxiety and panic, these words were hollow and represented nothing more than wishful thinking. As my treatment progresses, adaptive thoughts, similar to my affirmations, are integrating themselves into what I believe about myself.
Beyond the scope of a checking account, money and I have never been on speaking terms. I suspect attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is making me bad with money. When others speak of investing, 401(k)s, or, frankly, even savings, I feel the desperate desire for a Rosetta Stone to help me translate. I took four years of French in high school, and I can still remember "Le chien est sur la route!" in case there's ever a dog in the road, and I need to alert somebody, but Finance might as well be Ancient Sumerian as far as my comprehension is concerned.
Yesterday, I received a phone call about someone I love who is not well. I took this particular phone call while my dinner plate was in front of me. I pushed around vegetables with my fork, listening and processing the news. After the call, the evening went on. I covered a page in my sketchbook with watercolor stripes. I read Shel Silverstein's poems. I noticed I didn't feel the urge to scour the pantry for food to snack on as I had in the past. Sometimes binge eating disorder (BED) flares amid grief, and sometimes it stays dormant.