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The Major Aha Moment That Helped Me Stop Fixating on Fixing Myself

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“The real difficulty is overcoming the way you think about yourself.” ~Maya Angelou

On a July day when I had just returned from a dreaded summer vacation, my newest friend ended a three-month friendship. Her Dear Jane’s email read, “That’s me, not you.” When the lever was pulled and shaken, I thought, “Ha!” I have spent the last three months trying to help her solve her problem. I knew she had more problems than I did.

But then a loop of anxiety and obsession began. what does that really mean? How could it not be about me?

This wasn’t the first time I had lost a friend, so of course I had to diagnose, analyze and identify the cause of this unfortunate pattern. My anxiety was growing and something needed to be fixed before this recurred. So I made an appointment with a therapist named Dr. Mary.

After an hour’s drive through big city traffic, I arrived late and was shaken by that first treatment session.

Within 15 minutes, Dr. Mary helped me recognize the parallels between my friendship and my relationship with my mother. She also pointed out that she didn’t need to raise her mother because of her precarious mental health. I was disappointed but relieved to find that I wasn’t there to fix her mother’s narcissistic behavior, I was only there to fix myself. I paid her the $95 I owed and made her feel a little better.

Two weeks later, I drove the same amount of time for my second treatment session. I wasn’t prepared for what I was bringing home this time.

When I raised my mother again, Dr. Mary asked me why she needed to change. Couldn’t she just let her be?

i was confused. Isn’t it all caused by my mother’s problems? “If it’s not one thing, it’s your mother,” friends and I used to joke all the time. Is not it?

Dr. Mary slowly gave me this next concept. “Maybe you need to correct people so that you feel powerful, so no one will pay attention to your flaws. Maybe you realize how unloved you are. You may want to distract other people from what they are thinking.

This concept slowly hummed in my head until tears streamed down my face.

Eventually, I found a tissue near the sofa. And then we ran out of time.

“Are there any books you can recommend reading to boost your self-esteem?” I asked her as I paid her if she needed anything more to process this information. said, opening the door and sending out a different version of me from the one I had entered into the world.

My heart cried out as I was driving to meet my friends on a lunch date. Over a Cuban pork sandwich with mojo sauce, my friend Terry said, “Who doesn’t have low self-esteem?”

Apparently, my buried dysfunctional discovery was a matter of the new trendy life I’m living now. When did low self-esteem become a problem?

My head was full of angry bees as I made the hour-plus journey home. I wasn’t feeling well enough to be a parent to a child that night.

All my adult life, I’ve worked hard on self-awareness and self-love with therapy, self-help books, and humility! How dare she rob me of my self-definition and my purpose of showing others how to be okay. Who should I be now?

A week later, after reading page after page of my journal, I felt resentful and wanted to finish the marinade, so I crossed the grassy field to the library, intending to check out every single book on self-esteem. When I explained what happened, the librarian agreed that it’s hard to fill the self-respecting cup without knowing what the cup and its contents look like.

At home, I read, thought, and sat with a verdict of low self-esteem. And then, unexpectedly, I began to feel a new peace. My anxiety has decreased. dissipation. disappear.

If you were off the hook to fix shortcomings seen by others, you no longer need to fix shortcomings you see yourself. My low self-esteem and insecurities were forgiven. I could be where I was until I was somewhere else. I was in a new place where I could be okay and you could be you and judgment no longer served a purpose.

I’m still drawn to people who admit they need to make some adjustments in their lives, but I’m obsessed with ‘their’ recipe for success and what ‘they’ can do to fix it. I have not. I count each day as my healing.

Eventually, with the help of medication, my anxiety felt like a phantom limb. This is part of my memory that is no longer there, but it also requires occasional treatment adjustments.

All I had to do was stop fixating on the fix and acknowledge and own who I am and where I am. I want to thank you. And here are some very good books on self-esteem that I’ve read.

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