Self-esteem and My Recovery

Normal. Where is the line? When do faulty beliefs become pathological?

Spiralling into an eating disorder at 12 years of age, I’d crossed the line into the unhealthy zone. I didn’t know that. My parents watched me derail weight loss, cold, amenorrhea, exercise compulsion, obsession with food … It became unhealthy.

The epilogue of that experience, scattered ideas, metaphors and images scrawled in a notebook. I think better on paper than on a computer screen. I wanted to crystallise what I’d gained from my unhealthy association with my inner critic. What was the root cause of my ED?

I’d lost myself.


Self-esteem issues.

That’s it in a nutshell.

Easy to read but hard to accept.

Me! Are you crazy? No not me.

That happens to other people, those ones out there somewhere.

Denial. It can be larger than life.

Okay but it’s normal to have a flaky opinion of oneself sometimes. Isn’t it?

It’s normal to be critical of one’s efforts. That’s how we excel, right?

It’s good to be humble. Only narcissists talk about their achievements all the time.

Everyone feels that others are better sometimes, better writers, better cooks, better parents …

The angel and the devil live in my head, negative self talk is normal. Everyone does it.

I feel responsible for things even if I don’t own them. That’s empathy, right?

Compliments, no I’m shy. Please don’t embarrass me.

Where is the line?

To see how you really feel about yourself, read the following statements aloud?

  • I am enough.
  • I am worthy.
  • I am lovable.

Now try it again louder. And again in front of a mirror looking yourself in the eye. How did it feel?

For most people the exercise becomes uncomfortable at some point. Self-esteem issues can be addressed by recognising faulty beliefs we hold about ourselves. The state of our inner world is private, most of us don’t share that stuff. It’s way to personal. Low self-esteem seems like another flaw to a perfectionist but being honest and gently unwrapping faulty beliefs is the only way to change them.

Be gentle with yourself. Be honest with yourself. Own it. Remember there is hardly anyone living on the planet with robust self-esteem. Work on it. Everyone’s esteem can do with a little polish now and then. There are many excellent resources available online.

Dove Self-esteem Project

Better Health Channel

Health Direct

Leave your thoughts. I’d love to hear from you.


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