Hi! I’m Paul and welcome to my world!
When you start to really dig deep into the person you are something scary happens. You learn things that you don’t want to believe as true. One of my early discoveries was that low self-esteem was one of the root issues in my struggle with depression and anxiety. When I could finally accept that truth, I could begin to move forward.
I had always tried to portray myself as a tough-guy introvert. One who for the most part kept to himself but would rush into battle with a vengeance if need be. I threw myself into my work with the belief hard work, knowledge, and experience would get me ahead. If I could control every situation and the world around me, my life would would be required to go according to my plans. Any challenge to said plans played out in my mind would be met with frustration and rage.
Living with uncontrolled anxiety and depression is pure hell. You are stuck dwelling on the past and the millions of ways you have been wronged, mistreated, and plotted against (depression) all the while fearing the world will come crashing down on you at any moment (anxiety). This causes your present moment to be filled with irrational thoughts that not only sucks the energy out of you, but also influences the environment and people surrounding you. It is no wonder I lost so many people close to me along the way.
Many people confuse low self-esteem with simply not liking yourself. In my case I liked myself just fine, it was my internal feeling I was not good enough. I did not care so much what others thought of me, but I was my own harshest critic. If I could just tweak this aspect of myself or control that outside stimulus, then my world would have to improve. Anyone or anything that challenged my beliefs would be met with my wrath.
When I finally was able to accept the fact I needed help because I was unable to continue living this life on my own I was prescribed Prozac to quell the symptoms of my depression and anxiety, Lunesta to help with insomnia and to quiet the mind, and began seeing a counselor on a regular basis.
Early on in my counseling sessions it was evident I was angry, frustrated, and had major control issues, meaning I need to feel in control of every situation I was involved in. I could easily own the premise I was angry and frustrated. I’ve owned that aspect of my personality for quite some time, but control issues— it was the world that was against me, not the other way around!
The early days of my journey were not easy. I was medicated so my body was adjusting to that. I was paying a stranger to listen to me talk about my feelings which was awkward. I had a lot of free time on my hands since I didn’t have a job to go to everyday. My motivation to exist on a daily basis was across the board, so I began to focus spare time and energy on one of the few things I remembered I enjoyed—learning.
One of the early books I read is titled The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer. I credit this book for being one of the first to introduce me to learning about my own mind. It provided a gentle balance of psychology, philosophy, and theology which in turn reignited something within me wanting to dig deeper, and deeper, and deeper.
I began to accept the premise there was more to me than the story I told myself and others. When that really began to sink in, things got interesting.