Monday, April 10, 2017

Medicowesome secret project: Let's talk about low self esteem

What is the "Let's talk" project? How can I talk about depression?
Hello! This is IkaN. I suffer from low self esteem.

I know what you are thinking - IkaN? The creator of Medicowesome? The First Aid associate author? The mother of dragons? AND SHE HAS LOW SELF ESTEEM? WHAT?! IMPOSSIBLE!

So here's the thing about mental illness - It doesn't matter what you've accomplished.  It can affect anyone.

I have talked about self doubt and low self esteem before to a med student in this post.

Earlier I had self doubt related to being in medicine in general (I got in through luck, I don't deserve to be in this med school, what if I don't make it?)

Now, I have other demons (I am not loud and stern at my work place - People intimidate me, Other students have waaay better CVs than me - I am not prepared for the match, there's always someone who is beautifully dressed / speaks better than me / is financially well off - Why can't I be that person?)

My advice is - Don't let your demons stop you from doing things - I still go to work, I am going to apply for the match anyway, I will  work on my personality to become who I want to be.

I do not feel the need for seeking help right now. It's not controlling my life right now.

But looking back, I think I should have in second year when the self doubt and low self esteem was crippling. I missed several days of college, stopped hanging out with the new friends I had made at my new college, stopped studying and blogging entirely and starting wasting time on trivial things - But I did not know what I was suffering from at that time because I had such little knowledge on mental illnesses. (Which is why I feel the "Let's Talk" secret project is so important and which is also why I am being so vulnerable right now and talking about it to so many strangers on the internet.)

It is an awful negative feedback loop where your low self esteem prevents you from doing anything because you feel like you are not good enough. Since our identity and happiness is tied to our achievements and productivity, we feel worse. We end up being paralyzed in our beds staring at the wall or our phones. You have to break the loop - Talk to a friend, go to a psychiatrist and most importantly, talk to yourself. With kindness.

What works for me is gratitude. I wake up and say - I am grateful for the air I breathe, I am grateful for the water I drink, I am grateful for my eyes, I am grateful for last nights sleep (Even though it was for just 3 hours) so on and so forth... Till it makes me feel better. I have talked about how I even made a gratitude journal to make myself feel better in this post.

I say it, then I start believing it and it makes things for alright :)

Here's my favorite quote:
"You is kind. You is smart. You is important." - The Help

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