Just a few notes before I start this post: I have mental health issues. I have had depression and anxiety for a long time. I also have severe paranoia at times and suffer permanently from low self-esteem. Like many long-term illnesses, it comes and goes. Medication helps but doesn’t fix. Counselling helps, as does the support of family and friends. In addition, I also had ante and post natal depression with Maxi Mister and PND with Mini Mister. Like most sufferers, I generally keep this all hidden. It is still taboo, especially in my job, despite it being endemic. Writing this on here is a big step for me.
A couple of months ago I created a list for the Writing 101 course. Rather than just do a series of numbers or bullet points, I decided to be more creative and visual, and published it in the form of a mind map. I had great fun doing it, and think it would be an ideal way to cover other lists. Go and have a look.
One I know I ought to do is updating my project list, as I could even add little pictures to that mind map as I complete projects. Something to ponder on, I think.
But I had a counselling session on Monday night. It is one of only a limited few I am entitled to (not enough funding in mental health), and due to illness I have missed 2 of them. During the session I started debating with the therapist as I wasn’t sure that I completely agreed with where he was coming from. Indeed, I felt that I almost disagreed with a particular concept of hypothetical and factual things that could lead to worry and a deepening of anxiety. I felt that they could all, at a base level, be boiled down to hypothetical, because there is always a ‘what if…’
He explained again and after some discussion and debate, I can see where he is coming from, even if I haven’t totally bought into it yet. In the process of this discussion, we touched on the topic of self-esteem. I think that happened as I am beginning to make headway on how to deal with my worries and anxiety (slow, but a few steps in the right direction), however still have not started dealing with the depression side. And looking at my scores again, as we do every week, the one area that is not shifting at all, is the one linked to self-esteem.
The therapist suggested not trying to run before I could walk, not going to deeply before other areas have been dealt with, but that maybe it would be a good idea to consider a list of things I have achieved. Then refer to it when the self-esteem gremlins make an appearance.
I had a lightning bolt moment of an idea. I knew Lists were coming up on #BEDN, and I mentioned that I had already created a list for my blog. Maybe I should link the 2 and create a list of things I have achieved, publish it on here for everyone to see, and then I can’t deny that I have at least achieved something. Like my previous list, it can be a work in progress.
So here goes! It isn’t fancy and done as a mind map yet (give me a chance on that since I only thought about it on Monday and I have been busy with work since then), but it is a start:
Things I Have Achieved
- I passed my GCSEs. All of them.
- I have 3 A-levels
- I have an Honours degree, and it was a 2:1
- I passed my driving test on the first try
- I have 2 post-graduate qualifications
- I got a Distinction for Grade 8 singing
- I have conducted choirs at the Royal Albert Hall twice
- I gained my Masters Certificate (all 3 diplomas) in PME Sugarcraft
- I have made some good cakes and decorations
- I learnt to play the piano and recorder
- I can sew useful things
- I gave birth twice and have 2 amazing children
I need to add more. I think there may be more, but I am struggling to think at the moment. These are all facts. Can I include more subjective ones? Not sure. It seems weird seeing it all written down anyway. Drat that self-esteem gremlin!
What would be in your lists?
Featured image is from Anxiety and I’s Facebook page