#BEDN – Lists

11953016_844398979009578_5032759605449326613_nJust 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

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9 thoughts on “#BEDN – Lists

  1. Your list of achievements revealed you have achieved more then lot of people who don’t suffer from anxiety, depression and paranoia. There is no such thing as permanent low Self esteem unless it is what you believe. One’s self-esteem can be raised up, it takes work.

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    • Thank you. I think that is the problem. It does take work, and up til now, I have found it very difficult to find the motivation or energy to do that work. Some days I still don’t. I hate that that is the case, but then that is part of the problem of anxiety etc. It is a vicious circle which is hard to break. But it can be broken, and I will do it!

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  2. I like to think of myself as one of your closest friends – especially as you asked me to be godmother to one of your children! That said I do not see you nearly as much as I see some other friends or as much as I would like. I have always felt that you almost thought I didn’t want to see you – if that makes sense. Which led me to suspect there were MH issues – and I’m glad you cite paranoia as well as I think that’s part of it. So why am I saying this on here? Well because simply, you are amazing and I want you to know that. I love seeing you and the family and I hate that sometimes your job makes you seem so sad when it is such a valuable thing you are doing. Now I’m no therapist but I note that your achievements above are ‘certificated skills’ almost (I’m sure therapists have a much better word for it!) I would like you to add that you are funny – you wore wellies at your wedding for goodness sake!, beautiful (especially when not hiding behind your hair!), thoughtful and helpful. I would also like you to categorise a lot of the things above under one amazingly talented heading!
    So in summary call me more often, see me more often and laugh with me more often!

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    • Thank you so much Debbie. You are right about the paranoia. I did in fact spend the first few months of knowing you, thinking that you didn’t like me. I felt so amazed when I realised you did. You are also right that we really need to see more of each other because I think you are a fantastic friend x

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  3. Was reading your list, what is a GCSE? Pardon my ignorance, but have no idea what that is. You have a lot of accomplishments. Your children should be very proud of their mother! You have set a wonderful example for them to you follow!

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    • That is OK. GCSEs are the national exams in England, Wales and I think Northern Ireland at the age of 16. They used to be what you completed before leaving school, but kids now have to stay on til 18 and have to do A-Levels or BTEC courses or similar.
      Thank you, BTW!

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  4. Awesome post -really enjoyed it. Thank you so much for sharing. I could relate to so much of your post. I have also created some lists – for me it’s more about recording what I enjoy or what gives me joy so that when I’m low I have a record to come back to to remind myself (-see some of my early posts) but I love your idea of mind mapping it or turning it into a work of art or just a lovely pictorial record- I could see myself doing that as a form of art therapy/creativity. So thank you very much – great idea and I will try applying it & let you know how it goes….. P.S. Pretty amazing list of achievements too – well done. You write about talking small steps in terms of progress but you also have some pretty major achievements so see what your small steps have already help you achieve

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