Tag Archives: self-esteem

Trusting Others

We’re never so vulnerable than when we trust someone – but paradoxically, if we cannot trust, neither can we find love or joy. — Walter Anderson

I know I’ve talked about trust before, but I was provoked to think about it some more. Seems I don’t have very good radar when it comes to who I can trust. Matter of fact, my trust has been misplaced more than once I must say. So, how does one work on developing that sense that helps you determine if someone is trustworthy? I used to think that I could just avoid putting my trust in anyone. I had been burned in the past and thought that I would just avoid relationships altogether. That didn’t solve much as far as trust is concerned. I avoided one kind of relationship, but still wound up in a relationship that was not in my best interest.
Then I thought perhaps I should just be an open book and think the best of everyone. Not a good approach either. I found inevitably that I would be disappointed. This probably applies to relationships and other aspects of life (like work). So why don’t I get the red flags or some kind of warning sign that I am being too vulnerable? I’m sure it has something to do with self-esteem as well. I need to think more of myself and that I deserve better than how I have been treated. I need to find the middle of the road when it comes to trusting others. How do I question other’s motivation without offending? My nature is to help others (I am a nurse after all) but I need to be cautious in my dealings. People aren’t always what they seem to be…

Dog Therapy and More

My two dogs have been faithful companions throughout my depression ups and downs. They are always there to snuggle and give me unconditional love. I don’t know what I would have done for the past year without them. And I have not  been the best of dog owners either; not that they are abused or anything, I know they need to go out for walks, but more often than not, I have crawled into bed after work to veg. Not living really, but they put up with me in spite of it. So I am sure they are glad to see me in a better, more active state of mind and body. I’m sure it is a combination of factors, including med adjustment, better weather and trying to focus on positive thoughts. My sister says, “positive thoughts lead to positive feelings.” I’m not sure that any of us can think our way out of depression. But positive thoughts sure beat wallowing in melancholy.

So I am looking forward to a new job this month. I spent the past year teaching nursing at a local liberal arts college. While it wasn’t bad, I really didn’t have a passion for it (or perhaps the depression was interfering with my work). I am more motivated by clinical practice and hope this job fits me well. Practice pays better than teaching too. My therapist says this time between jobs would be a good time to establish a “routine.” She specifically means eat right and exercise. Ugh. I know I need to, but it’s a really tough proposition. I know I need to take better care of myself so I can be more effective in helping others. Sort of like the airplane speech about putting your oxygen mask on before assisting your children/family members. But it is so very hard, don’t you think?

Meanwhile, I have made great strides in taking care of my home and yard. Mowing and pulling weeds is good exercise (push mower, one-quarter acre). The yard has been quite neglected since last year when my Mother got sick. By the way, she has made a miraculous recovery from being near death. She has gone from being unable to walk, to driving and socializing with friends. She is coming to visit me too. Hope to do something fun with my few weeks off. All work and no play makes Jen a dull woman. Can’t have that.

So, I am completing some unfinished projects and have gone back to some creative pursuits (pottery, crochet, jewelry making, blogging). Positive activities boost my mood for sure. Staying busy!

Here Come the Holidays

It’s that time of year again…time to celebrate. Perhaps not for everyone though. I’m in a better place this year than last, but some people consistently find the holidays depressing. I think there are too many expectations, either societal or ones we set for ourselves.

Society tells us we should have the perfect holiday…from the decorations to the gifts to the shiny happy family around the tree. I don’t know who that reality belongs to, but I’ve never met them! Apparently if you have the money, you can buy the perfect holiday. Don’t think that is reality either.

My reality is that things aren’t perfect, and we shouldn’t have unrealistic expectations. You just wind up being disappointed and disheartened. And who needs that when you already struggle with a mood disorder. So my plan is that I will just take it as it comes. Perhaps tidy up a little and put up a few decorations. Not stress about getting the “perfect gift.” Enjoy some holiday music. And not let anyone else get me down. How about you?

Lookin’ Chipper :-)

Surprising to me too, but I was actually told that I looked chipper. I suppose that is a good thing, looking better than you feel. Compliments always make you feel better too. So I guess I must be feeling better as well. As Martha says, “It’s a good thing.”

So perhaps I need an attitude adjustment; start thinking positive and feel better. I think I’ll work on that.

New Environments

I have been incredibly busy the past six weeks with my new job, hence the dearth of blog posts. I must say this is the very first job that I have had that has been such a positive, uplifting experience. I look forward to each day (despite my lack of morning person-ness) because I know I am going to work in a positive environment.

My boss is the biggest influence on the work environment. He always greets me with a big hello and a smile. Work is about collaboration, not subordination. I feel he respects me and values my opinion. And he is generous with feedback and tells me what a great job I am doing. I don’t ever remember being in such a welcoming environment over my entire 21 year career. Sometimes I think I’m dreaming.

Some people say it’s easier to work for a male boss, which may be true. But being a highly sensitive person, I think it is more than that. We share similar values about work, we interact effectively, quality is important to us and we want to help others in a meaningful way. I hope to learn much from him, and I also hope I can share things with him as well.

Hey, the glass is half-full for a change, and I must say I’m quite pleased about the whole thing. It has made a great impact on my mood as well. My boss sees me as a positive, likeable person, and I’m glad to be feeling that way again. It means all that hard work is paying off.

Now if I can make some progress in other parts of my life….

Have I Given Up Things?

Most people say that as you get old you have to give up things. I think you get old because you do give up things. —-Theodore Green

I don’t know who Ted Green is, but he got me thinking…have I given up things? I believe I have, but always rationalized it somehow. Thought it was part of growing up and being mature, the trade-off for having a family, etc. Was I supposed to let things go? Does everyone let things go? Do women just let things go?

Still having some deep discussions in therapy, a lot surrounding my career and choices. I have let things go because I made this career choice of nursing and thought I had to do certain things to be “successful.” Let’s just say I’m a high achiever, went to a high achieving college and nursing program and being “just a nurse” was not enough. I felt like I was expected to represent my high level of education and achievement by leap-frogging into management or something. So I did. This of course left little time for other pursuits as I was juggling being a single parent and fighting with my ex in and out of court. So I gave away little pieces and parts of what I enjoyed and had pursued before nursing dominated my life. Like ceramics and photography. Like needle arts and sewing. There were many things that I gave up along the way that I am slowly trying to retrieve. But now I am wondering if one of these things or perhaps something else altogether should occupy my work time instead?

More than halfway down the road and I’m questioning EVERYTHING. Doesn’t make for day-to-day stability. Some days I just want to escape and not have to think about any of it. I feel like a big goof. But then I think, I don’t hate nursing, I just don’t have a passion for it like some do. I’ve done a lot of good things during my career, and I’ve touched a lot of lives in a positive way. I am proud of that. It’s not a total wash. I don’t regret what I’ve done so far, although it has been a rough road at a number of turns. I just wonder if it’s time to take the road less travelled. Mr. Frost says it will make all the difference.

Making Mistakes

If you have made serious mistakes, there is always another chance for you. What we call failure is not the falling down, but staying down.—Mary Pickford

I know as a depressed person and a perfectionist, I take my mistakes way to seriously. Actually I do everything I can to avoid making mistakes, perhaps by not taking risks that could be beneficial. I HATE TO BE WRONG. I feel like it is a personal flaw to be found in error on something, that is how hard I take things. I know I shouldn’t, but I do. I’ve tried to adapt and be more accepting of constructive criticism over the years, but it hasn’t been easy for me. I worry that if I’m down, I won’t be able to get back up again. I often wonder if anyone else has the same feelings?

I’ve worked at trying to adapt the  mindset that mistakes are a learning opportunity, but I am much kinder to others in that regard than I am with myself. I might be holding myself to an impossible standard that no one could realistically attain. I need to work on being kinder to myself. I am likely the only one keeping me down with my skewed views of myself. Just one more thing to work on this year.