Learning To Like Myself After Mania

Learning To Like Myself After ManiaKnowing how much damage coming off my meds did to me and my trust in myself, I subconsciously started to believe I was unlikeable. It was so much easier to like myself during my crazy mania. But today, I owe myself an apology. Since the years after my last episode, I’ve been so hard on myself. Over the past 3 years, I’ve looked in the mirror with disgust. I’ve condemned myself for my lack of confidence, and in that act I’ve created a vicious cycle. You know, the one where you beat yourself up for beating yourself up. Ha.

Here is where the cycle stops. I’m going to roll out a list of how to gain back my self-respect. I hope if you’re anything like me, you will too.

  1. Be thankful. There is a strong connection between a thankful heart and a happy heart. I know this in my head, but now I need to decide in my heart and choose to be grateful for the things I have. Life is too short to forget Who gave me everything I have, and all He is.
  2. Speak positively to myself. I remember telling a resident I work with “You can’t expect to love others if you can’t love yourself first”. It can be as simple as telling myself scripture, or just complimenting myself for doing my best. God doesn’t condemn me, neither should I.
  3. Give unto others. It is better to give than get. How often I forget this. I have to get over myself and look beyond my personal comforts and satisfactions. The human spirit finds its purpose and fulfillment in sacrifice. Just as the writing experts preach, “reader first”, I need to realign my intent and think of others’ needs before my own.
  4. Choose life. There’s always a choice. I need to stand up for myself today, now and say to myself (and mean it): I am loved and I choose life. I choose because I am empowered to, and because of Jesus’ sacrifice on Calvary and the joy set before Him, I am going to obey Him, walk with Him, glorify and honor Him. This life isn’t about me. He is the way, the truth and the life.
  5. Forgive myself. I have to give myself a second chance. God did – I’m not above Him that I should refrain from forgiving myself.
  6. Ask myself “why?” I must face the facts. What’s the underlying reason I’m mad at myself and feel less than I am worth? Katie, why are you unhappy with yourself?
  7. Answer the question. And talk to my therapist to help reconcile with this.
  8. Observe my positive qualities. Taking inventory of my personal traits is something I haven’t done in a long time. Everyone ought to do it. Now I’m gonna go find my journal and start a list…

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