Andy's musings and self-reflection thread

Discussion in 'Lighter Life Forum' started by SerenityValley, 2 March 2009 Social URL.

  1. SerenityValley

    SerenityValley Surgically happy.

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    Sorry to do this but I need somewhere to write - I need somewhere where I know people will read my thoughts. I do this in my head and on paper and while it still works, I need to be able to share with someone.

    I am an emotional and insecure man, who is frankly just discovering life now, after 36 years of hiding. The last few weeks have been worse and worse, because I've stopped self-reflecting - the one process I am able to use from CBT, and "right" myself.

    So I need to start doing that now. It will probably look hugely off topic but absolutely everything in my life is weight related somehow, and nothing will help me keep the weight off better than my self-reflection.

    Anyway, today's topic. My insecurity.

    I have to find out why I'm insecure, and why I take silence as meaning that someone doesn't like me anymore. I need to find ways to challenge these negative thoughts, as I have with many other types of negative thought.

    Why would I be so arrogant as to assume that because I haven't spoken to someone for a while, that it is because of me? Yes, it is perfectly possible for someone to decide they want nothing more to do with m, but the number of times I go through this, the insecurity I feel, the draining of my confidence and self-esteem is ridiculous, especially as in all but one case, I was proven to be 100% off the mark,

    The one case was a girl I liked and who supposedly liked me. I am not going to go into it - it's not her fault I became insecure, and she's gone from my life now - I've closed the door entirely. I'm no longer upset about her, and what I suspect was my worry that she was my only chance at finding someone who might like me.

    But it developed from there - I am insecure and worried about friendships, usually one at a time. This is a pattern and I need to break it.

    I have felt this way about many friends, if they have become busy - I come to expect them to drift away permanently and my ego is bruised for no reason. Yes, I was right about her. She didn't really want anything to do with me. But that was a very different situation. Since then, I have worried that several friends were either upset with me, or simply didn't want to be friends. And yet proven wrong, every time.

    Part of the problem is that I need constant reassurance. I know this to be true. I get reassured, then slowly my worries and fears grow and persist. Why is that? Why am I unable to be secure in myself. Is it because I placed no value on myself for so long, that I expect to find that actually, other people feel the same? Yet it can hardly be true - look at all the wonderful things people have said, the things people have done. The massive changes I've made to life and the fact that people get in touch with me. So there is nothing wrong with me. I am not substandard, I am not inferior. I am not underserving of the friendships that find me.

    How do I end the need to be reassured? Or at least reassure myself? guess that is the toughest question. I suppose the answer is probably time. I know that I am in most ways much better now than even a few months ago. The only area where I am worse, is in being insecure about friendships. And perhaps that is simple because I actually have some now, and the danger of losing them.

    Part of it is my trust issues. I have had my trust shaken over the years and even when I do trust someone, there is always a part of me that feels so unworthy of others, that they will surely leave.

    It also means I try too hard with people I care for. But I have always done this; it's part of the issues I need to work on - I take the blame for everything around me. But that's a post for another day.

    I'll need to ponder on this more but I think the key elements are there. If anyone has any thoughts, or experiences they want to share I'd appreciate them (here or by pm).
     
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  3. Blonde Logic

    Blonde Logic Yes. You can.

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    I can relate to much of what you said ANdy. In fact, I could have written some of it, and probably have somewhere or another in my diary thread.

    You mentioned time, and for me - that was what was needed. It seemed, as soon as I stopped chasing al the pieces in my life that werein the wrong places - as soon as I just stopped, and let time take over, everything found its place, in the time and order it was meant to.

    You have done so well, and we have witnessed your coming out of your shell.

    When we spend most of our lives, or at least our adult lives trapped in a body of fat, feeling nothing but hate and revulsion for ourselves - which I did, not saying anyone else did but i think a fair few of us have. when we do that, we hurt ourselves A LOT!!!! We SHOULD be our own best friend, yet we ended up hurting ourselves far more seriously then anybody elses words or looks, ya know?

    So it does take time. And some days just baby steps. BUt, it does all come together. And you will feel it one day, and realise it.

    Keep doing as you are - journaling is a great way to helpo get it out, and to discover things about you.

    Good luck Andy. You are a star. I thought that the moment you first joined the forum. I still do.

    xx
     
  4. peppa

    peppa Pwincess

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    ive read this andy but would like to re read it but wanted to tell you that you are by no means substandard, life dictates sometimes how our life evolves but that doesn't mean thats how it has to be forever. Self reflection is good, but not if overly done then it becomes obsessive in my opinion and i often end up being the one to blame even tho i know its not entirely me. Have you ever had CBT? I've briefly experienced some and it made total sense but i didnt continue(but thats a different thread)
    Weight issues and little self confidence sometimes go hand in hand and i think it takes lots of work for your mind to adjust to your new body and your new found confidence.Just look at what you've achieved how flirty and confident you've become lately. those pictures are showing a different man in mosre ways than you imagine. My p box is open if you need a chat x
     
  5. PurpleButterfly

    PurpleButterfly 16lb to go!

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    I'll testify to that! We're going to have to lock you up soon! ;)

    Seriously though Andy, the fact that you're getting impatient with feeling insecure really is a good sign. I reckon it's like when a broken bone is healing it goes really itchy for a while?!

    Trusting in friendships is a big risk to take, something I also struggle with. But I suppose what you have to know is that you are more than how others' behave towards you. You are worth more and Are more. That way, whatever happens in your friendship you can trust yourself that You are good enough, and can truly evaluate with a balanced mindset why things went wrong. Was it really Your fault or was it their issues and their fault? I know that you are a sensitive person and it can be easy to blame ourselves for things. But it really doesn't have to be like that. But when you genuinely like the person you are, if things go well then you can enjoy it and go along with it, if things go badly then you won't end up too bruised from it. I don't know if this is making sense at all.

    I know that valuing yourself is easier said than done. Maybe you can take to writing a list of all the things about yourself that you like. If you struggle to come up with anything by yourself, write it as if another person is writing it, maybe your best friends or your mum or someone else you love.

    And hun, keep at it :D
     
  6. EmVeg

    EmVeg Do a little dance!

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    Andy - firstly I think its great that you are writing these down, it takes a lot to do that.

    I think I'm echoing a lot of thoughts on here - but once again I really feel I could have written that. And I've come to realise that I need to focus on liking me first. How could I expect to believe other genuinly liked me, when I hated myself. Its not going to be an easy process for any of us - especially as we all have literally blanketed ourselves with a cover and made a friend out of food.

    But, Andy, once you can look at yourself and like who you are, or are comfortable with who you are then the opinions of others do not matter as much. Thet are always going to affect us - but it won't be the be all and end all.

    I'm still finding ways to boost my own self esteems - but once a day I have written down 5 things I've like about myself and why. And 5 things I haven't and why - then I have written what I think (not feel THINK - sorry telling myself off) other people think about them, then in reality what they really do.

    It sounds long winded - but its made me realise that the things I haven't liked about me arn't that bad and really don't affect others. It was just me thinking they would hate it too, and making their actions afterwards distorted in my head to back up my THOUGHTS.

    I'm sorry if this made no sense - but its how I've been going about it.

    Keep going Andy - you are a wonderful bloke.
     
  7. SerenityValley

    SerenityValley Surgically happy.

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    This is so wise and I'll be using this as part of reflecting on my fear of dating, etc. (That's for another day).

    Thank you everyone - I'll reply properly, but there is so much I want to reply to that it'd take so long - so I may have to do it piecemeal.

    But thanks you :)
     
  8. SerenityValley

    SerenityValley Surgically happy.

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    Am going to post more later but BL posted something in another thread, which struck a chord with me, about how there is always a pile of **** around the corner. And it's true.

    But it got me thinking.

    I'm an ex-smoker (how you doin' LS ;) ) and one of the things that helped me beat that was the realisation that the non-smokers around me were never stressed at the times I was - even if we were doing stressful things (say exams).

    It is the same with food. Look around - most thin people don't medicate with food. We probably all medicate with something but many of us here, medicate with food. I know I did.

    I can break that food medication cycle, because I believe that my dependence on food, is at least part of the reason why I felt worse about stresses and upsets. In some way those feelings were gratefully recieved as they meant I could do what I wanted with food (and often remove the guilt from the situation).

    I'm not phrasing this as well as I'd hoped. But basically - I am equating the eating of food, and the improvement in wellbeing, however temporary, with the same thing happening when i smoked.
     
  9. SerenityValley

    SerenityValley Surgically happy.

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    It's funny, because I have said so often, to so many people, that they need to treat themselve swith love and kindness yet I so often deny it to myself.

    Awww! *loves Blonde Logic*

    I agree about self-reflection but in my case I only do it when it's something where I'm already struggling emotionally with. I don't reflect on anything else - so little danger of taking something I feel ok about and turning it into something else.

    I've had CBT and I found it difficult - I felt under a lot of pressure from the theraapist. But I am able to use the challnge techniques very well if I write them. It doesn't work so well in my head.

    Thanks :)

    Hmm. Sounds kinky.

    Hmm, you may be onto something there. In the past I would not even be trying to move forwards. I'd have stepped back.

    This is very wise. And speaks to one of the core issues - I never used to believe I was anything but the sum of what people thought of me and this is possible why it still has so much power over me. As I continue to grow, I'll find it easier to fill my own self-esteem.

    I suspect you're asking because I have shared more with you regarding that situation than I have here, and you know that yes, she shares some of the blame. I have taken the blame for everything taht ever goes wrong around me - including many things that have nothing to do with me at all. And I know that part of the reason I stayed living at home till I was 34 was because I felt a sense of responsability toward my mum.

    I have drawn a line under that situation though; the friendship with the girl is completely over and I'm finally in a place where I wouldn't allow her back in. So I think it best at current for me to accept that her issues were her issues, my issues were my issues, and move on, without hard feelings (or any other sort of feelings).

    I have done this before, but lost the list - I shall definitely write a new one and that will be posted here at some point :) Thanks hon xx

    *hugs* I am sorry you have been through that. My issues stem from a relationship I had for 10 years, where the withdrawal of love was punishment for any offence. It's why I find it hard to trust and why I don't expect to be loved. But I am improving in that regard.

    This speaks to me - this is exactly what I need to do. I need to develop that whole "well stuff them" attitude. Not in a bad way - just in a way where I take that power away from them, and if they are mad at me, well, stuff them. Adults talk about their problems.

    It's funny - I have always felt that I walk down the street the subject of much staring while being totally ignored. My brain tells me both things at once. I expect no one to see me, yet I expect everyone to look and make judgements. When the truth is somewhere in the middle.

    I'll cover this in my post about my fear of dating. It is my primary worry - that I will not be secure enough, that I will be needy and unhappy. This is why I am not ready to date yet. I need to feel secure.

    I like this idea and will give it some thought. Thank you xx.

    Yep, this is so true. If we treat ourselves cruelly, then other people will follow our lead. All my life I have made self-deprecating jokes and it's been a struggle but I have mostly stopped now.

    While it is wonderful when people give us affirtmation, I agree - what people think has too much power. In my case obviously I worry too much about negative feelings, but I give too much power to their affirmations too. I need to be able to fill my own cup.

    I like this idea and will do so now.

    1) my sense oof humour.
    2) My compassion and empathy.
    3) My love of animals.
    4) My loyalty to the people I love.
    5) My drive to lose weight.


    *loves emveg*
     
  10. daisydoll

    daisydoll Gold Member

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    Andy
    only just got round to reading this properly.
    just to say what you wrote and the answers given by everyone make really interesting reading.
    i won't go over things already said, but just wanted to say that you are on an incredible journey here and i have every confidence you can be whatever you want and your insecurities will fade away as you get more aquainted with the new confident 'you' that is emerging.

    stick with it, you are doing great
    daisy x
     
  11. SerenityValley

    SerenityValley Surgically happy.

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    Thank you Daisy :)

    My five things I like about me for today:

    1) My eyes.
    2) My concern for other's feelings.
    3) My ability to be vulnerable with others.
    4) My intuition.
    5) My ability to find so many ways to waste time lol.
     
  12. peppa

    peppa Pwincess

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    sounds good andy
     
  13. annaphylactic

    annaphylactic Guess who's back...?

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    **HUGE HUGS ANDY!**
    You are a very special guy - and not in a 'there, there, pat on the head kind of way', haha. You have been there for me through some tough times, and I'm a nobody really - just some girl on a weight loss forum. I will put money on the fact that all your 'real life' friends consider you a total gem, and wouldn't be without you for a second - you just seem to know the right thing to say and are a very loving man.

    I had a long time of feeling incredibly insecure - I thought all my friends were purely tolerating me, and then if i heard about them going out just once without me, that was it - there was a massive conspiracy and they all hated me and had gone out of their way to plan something without me knowing.

    Even the most apparently confident people think this way some times - it's human nature. Since losing the weight my confidence has shot up, but my worries are still there.

    I have suffered with major anxiety problems for about six years - not leaving the house, not wanting to drive anywhere incase I got stuck in a traffic jam (or even at a traffic light!!), not wanting to be somewhere with loads of people talking, crowds etc. I know that this was a full blown medical issue (Panic Disorder), but it's all rooted in the mind - as LS says - the mind is a wonderful and terrifying thing that controls everything else.

    Telling yourself five things daily will be a great tool - I should probably take a leaf out of this, umm, thread - and do the same - I'm GREAT at putting everyone before myself. Hmm.

    Anyway - gotta shoot now, sorry to cut this post short. Thinking of you, and glad you put all your feelings down on here - you have helped us all during our various spills, it's about time we paid you back! :D

    Mwah xxx
     
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  14. SerenityValley

    SerenityValley Surgically happy.

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    Not so much with the diet but just my life in general.

    I'm worried about my gallbladder op (Tuesday), I've made arrangements for my rats to be cared for if anything goes wrong, which has helped but I can't say it's pleasant having to think of my own mortality now that I actually have somethign to live for.

    I'm shattered - I'm not sleeping well and I'm not convinced I'm getting my diet right yet - nutrients wise. I almost started week 5 a day early but stuck it out today. (RTM folks know the significance of that). In reality you could say I shouldn't officially start it till friday,. as my meetings are/were on a thursday but I have always treated thursday as the first day of a week, so nopthing is happenign "earlier", if you see what I mean.

    There have been plus sides - 3 times in 9 days I've had a normal visit to the bathroom. I should soon be able to put the "magic pills" away for good.

    I'm emotionally overwhelmed at times. Have not turned to food, but have noticed some "creepage" (not in weight - I've held steayd at 12st 8lbs).

    I'm not happy that my self image has not improved - it's hardly a week since I felt c onfident I could try maing moves towards findign a date but to be honest I've lost all that again. I see a pretty girl and my automatic thought is "she owuldn't be interested" and it's clearly because I find her attractive. I suspect it's partly a holdover from my self-defense mechanism.

    But it's not JUST that - because how can you challenge an automatic thought that you truly believe? I lose faith so quickly because I don't honestly see how it will change.

    Mostly I'm just exhausted and fed up. I've done so well and I'm as determined as ever to make sure this finishes it's job and stays finished. But I'm still worried about both the changes in my life and the lack of changes.

    Still, at least Tuesday is only a few days away - one less thing to worry about.
     
  15. SerenityValley

    SerenityValley Surgically happy.

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    My typing is always bad but god would you look at that last post. That's how tired I am - I can't even be bothered editing it out.
     
  16. peppa

    peppa Pwincess

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    self confidence is a hard thing to come to terms with andy, ur weight still holds baggage for you. I think you still see andy at his biggest when we see an attractive man at 12st8.
     
  17. Serena A

    Serena A Can't think of a title

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    Hey Andy

    Just wanted to say good luck for your op next Tuesday, and at least you know that even if you feel a bit run down you are still in the best possible health that you can be for it.

    As for the self-image thing you're not alone - it's tough to get your head around isn't it? For me, although I knew that my self-esteem wasn't totally wrapped up in my obesity, once the weight was gone then so did the warped security and "hope" that being fat gave me i.e. "if I lose weight then I will feel so much better and more confident." I've found it really hard being left with just...me.

    Once your head starts to catch up with your new body you can start to put things into perspective - I've realised that losing a few stone can't sort out my lifetime's worth of insecurities and that I need to put as much effort into tackling my self-esteem as I have into tackling my obesity.

    Hope you feel better about things soon.

    xx
     
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  18. slendablenda

    slendablenda Gold Member

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    Good luck for the op Andy

    One thing at a time. Don't forget you have been hiding behind that fat for years. It is scary "coming out". Self esteem will come, but one thing at a time. Next step is the operation and good luck for that. You are bound to feel vulnerable and frightened. You woulkd if you were fat or thin. Some of the feelings are prefectly understandable. Try not to be so hard on yourself. We are all sending you positive vibes.
    :vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes:
     
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