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Day 18 Identify something you like about your personality

Sunday, October 09, 2011

This is incredibly difficult for me. I don't really like myself and the things that I used to like about myself are now things that I identify as being self-destructive.

What can I say? I have always worked even if it meant breathing in iron shards while working in a nail factory, or balancing precariously enormous trays waitressing in a Mexican restaurant. I've been a cashier, a home-health care worker who bathed strangers and changed their adult diapers; I've been a secretary and a medical records clerk. I've written a book selected as a choice of the Book of the Month Club and I've been generous with my time as a volunteer. But I've felt sorry for myself so often! If I need to earn money for my family and get up at 4 AM to drive 35 miles across the county to be there at 5 AM to change the diaper and give a shower to a woman who's suffering from Alzheimer's, I do it. But yet, there are parts of me that resent it. So that's not admirable.

What about the part of me that is quick to respond when somebody asks for a donation? Generous, yes, but then I start to brood about how I really needed the money for my own household. And then I can get angry if I am not thanked. What's the point of donating to somebody's cause if I expect to get thanked? On the one hand, is it wrong to expect a nice, quick thank-you if you are giving away money? On the other hand, why expect an acknowledgement at all?

I guess that I'm saying that the traits I have that could be construed as admirable--a willingness to work at anything; a willingness to donate money and time to good causes--are traits that I can also despise in myself.

My personality has become more negative and fearful over the decades. Some of the things I used to like about myself--a good sense of humor, intellectual discipline, a devotion to making my children happy--I now see have either disappeared or have not worked out.

Grrrr....there's nothing I like about my personality. Could that be one of the reasons that I've draped myself in a heavy mantle of fat?

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I agree with the other comments, especially with Lisa. Just because you have negative emotions about some of your choices doesn't mean that the traits behind those choices aren't worth celebrating.

    In additions to Lisa's tenacious, I'd like to add loving towards your family, generosity of time, money and spirit, proud for doing what you had to do to help your family, and courageous for admitting these feelings to yourself and sharing them with us.

    Those are all amazing traits that make you special. Embrace them - concentrate on the good things you do and let the negative thoughts/feelings about them fade to the background. Focus on the positive long enough and you'll actually become an optimist! :)

    3534 days ago
  • LE7_1234
    How would it feel if you were looking at these traits in someone else, not yourself?

    What if Jane Smith said the following:
    I like that I have a strong work ethic, so I will do whatever it takes to support myself and my family.

    I like that I'm not afraid of getting my hands dirty, caring for strangers who are no longer able to care for themselves.

    I like my generosity.

    Would you admire these traits in Jane? Does it make you uncomfortable if Jane states all these things "she" likes about herself?

    It's OK to see the negatives, too--understanding that you can't be so generous you have nothing left for yourself, understanding that you can't work so hard you have no energy left for yourself. It's OK to admit that sometimes you resent the fact that you have to work so hard at tasks that might not fit in with the "intellectual discipline."

    "But yet, there are parts of me that resent it. So that's not admirable. "
    It is still admirable, even if there are parts of you that resent it.

    Can I offer a suggestion?

    I admire the fact that you're tackling this particular task in the challenge, even though it's so hard for you. It would be easier to just throw in the towel and go away and not post here ever again. But you didn't.

    I like the fact that you're so tenacious.
    3534 days ago
    doulton-- i go through this kind of thinking process all the time, too.
    now i just tell myself 'nothing is as it seems' and get on with things.
    i try to give when necessary, take when i need, and behave as best i can for the best of all involved. of course, you can't please everyone all the time, and 'pleasing' people isn't always (or even usually!) the best! but acting constructively, even if only in small ways, is the best anyone can do.
    why do we get these 'protective' mantles of fat? many physiological and psychological reasons. whatever... make your decisions for yourself. keep it or lose it!
    actually i think you're a super person, my love and warm feelings to you. hope you can feel this all around your soul. and don't worry about 'why' or 'why not'-- the answer is: because!
    3534 days ago
    You're in Spark People for support. Maybe stuffing your feelings down has been what you've been doing, what you've used to do it is food. It's a way to bury feelings rather than just deal with them.

    Compliment yourself for surviving. Many of us have had to do jobs that frankly aren't stellar. You did them to survive and put food on your table.

    Compliment yourself for doing what you sometimes have to do. Perhaps working in a nursing facility and helping people with functions they used to manage themselves may not be glorifying but you are providing a service. The person you are helping surely would prefer to take care of their business themselves. Or did prior to their cognition leaving them behind.

    Outside therapeutic counseling is not a bad thing. Short therapy could be helpful. I am not a psychologist.

    Treat yourself better. If you don't, why should anyone else? Your friends probably treat you better than you do. I think it's a typical scenario for many of us here on spark people.

    You're onto something. Keep digging. You've not given up! That's awesome! Deal with your emotions as they come up. Don't eat food to make yourself feel better. I highly recommend Judy Becks book The Beck Diet Solution. I use the workbook. It isnt a diet. It's a cbt method for helping deal with the underlying issues we deal with when making lifestyle changes.

    Hang in there and keep blogging! You're amongst friends suffering from similar issues!


    3534 days ago
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