Treat Yourself With The Same Dignity and Respect You Give Others.
I do a very poor job in how I treat myself and this fortune reminds me of that.
Now I wouldn’t call this a fortune even though it came out of a fortune cookie. It is more of an affirmation or a positive saying or words to live by. Maybe the fortune is in living that life where you value yourself, even as you help others. This cookie reminds me of my lack of consideration for myself.
And this drives my unhelpful thinking.
Often, I don’t treat myself with dignity and respect. To do that, you must value yourself. I am just beginning to see that this value and respect is one of the underlying themes of my living a balanced life with depression.
Growing up, I am thankful my parents taught me that everyone has value.
I go out of my way to encourage and foster growth and positiveness in people’s lives. Sometimes, it is teaching without being preachy or condescending. I just enjoy seeing the light go on in people’s eyes when they “get it.” This drive to teach has been a life-long part of my interaction with others.
And I always treat others like I would like to be treated.
Yet, when the stuff hits, I do not apply this to how I treat myself. Or at least, I am not as consistent as I am with others. Now, I am not saying that I am perfect and that I always do this. But much of the time, I am respectful of others.
I cannot say that I am respectful of myself much of the time.
Again, that is not to say that this never happens. But my recent record of my own self-care is a testament to where I rank my own needs. And I am not seeing that my actions show I am important. I took a childhood concept of treating everyone the same, and morphed it into, treat everyone but myself the same.
Sacrifice is the name of my game.
But over the years, this strategy leads to anger and resentment from me towards me for not including myself in the dignity and respect department. And depression knows this and feeds on it. Depression can magnify this, getting me into catastrophizing and my go-to unhelpful thinking style, all, or nothing.
I know the drill; I have flown enough over the years.
Always put your own oxygen mask on before helping others. Instead of doing that, I am holding my breath and working as fast as I can to get everyone else’s mask on them. In the end, I must exhale and take another breath. If the oxygen supply is gone, then so am I. Not an extremely healthy strategy for myself.
So, the question then becomes, how do I fix this way of thinking?
When I was in the hospital last year, I was given a handout with 10 ways to challenge unhelpful thinking. I am going to get this worksheet out and look at this issue by asking myself those questions.
Tomorrow, I will share what I learn from this exercise.
My concealed depression is written under the alias “Depression is not my boss.” I have certifications in SMART Recovery and am a Global Career Development Facilitator.
Diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder last year, I am sharing what I learn. If you know someone who might benefit from reading this, please share.
I very much appreciate your comments.