Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue


Video: My Self-Esteem File

posted by Beyond Blue

I’ve mentioned my self-esteem file in previous posts. Of all my weapons employed in the war against negative thinking, this simple exercise is among the most effective and easiest.

So start one.

Now.

Follow these directions:

1) Get a folder (this might require driving to Rite Aid), and write the words “self-esteem file” on the front.

2) E-mail or call four of your closest friends. Say this: “As you may or may not be aware of, I need some affirmations. Lots of them. Because there is a voice inside of me that is constantly telling me that I am a worthless piece of animal waste. I’d like to believe otherwise. That’s where your job comes in. Could you PLEASE list ten positive qualities about me? Why are you my friend? (If you are extremely wealthy or famous, skip that one) Why do you return my calls? (If they don’t, skip that one) What would you say at my funeral (but reassure them that you have no plans of dying right now)? You see, I am starting a self-esteem file, and I’d love for your positive words to be among the first (of the millions of letters that will follow). If you have any. Which I’m sure you must. Right? THANKS SO MUCH.”

3) When you receive them, put them in your file.

4) If a week has gone by and you have not received your ten positive qualities, do two things: pester your lazy so-called friends that you initially asked to do this for you, and find four more responsible and empathetic friends to do it. Repeat number 2.5) Whenever anything (ANYTHING) positive is directed towards you (“Your nose is an interesting shape”), include it in your folder. If it’s a verbal compliment, write that baby down on scrap paper and throw it into the file. Take notes and quote verbatim like you are a reporter for the “New York Times.” (Note: You will become somewhat of an information hoarder, or clutter magnet like I am, but you’ll be a happier hoarder than you would have without all the scrap paper and Stick-Its on your desk reminding you that some people like you.)

Your self-esteem file may stay thin for a year or two. Like mine. But you’ll be amazed at how quickly it thickens and grows and balloons and swells and gets bigger. Before long, it will become the top item that you grab if your house catches on fire.

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  • Larry Parker

    As we might say in a non-Catholic religious tradition, I’m a little verklempt right now … :-) No wonder you were near tears during most of your vlog — we were, too.
    I have a wall-hanging that my then-wife gave me for my 30th birthday (only a year before we divorced, with sad irony) called “35 Reasons Why We Love Larry on His 30th Birthday.” Emily said at the time that she had so many submissions, she couldn’t limit it to 30.
    Frankly, I don’t know where my ex came up with the idea, soppy emotion was and is so unlike her, LOL. (And, perhaps predictably in retrospect, she made few contributions to the list.)
    But many people did. And even though I’m not in touch any more with many of the people who contributed (I came to know them through Emily), they still resonate today — precisely because they are about WHO I AM and not WHAT I DO, for the most part.
    Just a sample (none of which, so as you will not think I am simply tooting my own horn — although I guess that’s what Therese would allow us to do here, ironically — are 100% “positive” in the classic sense):
    “Larry has a great sense of humor and fun. He also can wrestle with the hard things in life.”
    “His laugh — ‘Yeah, right!’ — and non-combativeness — ‘Are YOU talkin’ to ME?'” (NOTE: I do a mean Travis Bickle impression, as some of you might have guessed already …)
    “His individualism — he eats dry cereal with a spoon.”
    “He’s quirky and laughs at my humor.”
    “The cute little way he snores at night.” (NOTE: It’s not so cute anymore, I had to start using a CPAP machine at night three years ago.)
    “He doesn’t like American cheese and neither do I.”
    “He’s the only person who could slam your head in the door but you’d still have to love him.” (NOTE: That was from my sister, and both she and my mother have been victims of me being too eager to “close them in the car.”)
    “His stamina for all-night news coverage of major events. A true news junkie.” (NOTE: Hmmm, wonder where I get that “stamina” from … sigh.)
    I’ve mentioned in the past having some depersonalization problems (not as a psychiatric diagnosis, but not far off, either) about Larry “B.D.” vs. “A.D.,” as Therese put it. These quotes come from the beginning of “A.D.” But here, I recognize myself “B.D.” as well, with all my complexities — genuine personal humility and curiosity about the world combined with an intellectual confidence bordering on arrogance; a sense of humor that is meant to stir laughter yet is sarcastic to the point of being caustic; a desire to help people learn when I still, as Socrates taught, have exponentially more to learn myself; a guy with a strong bearing who is completely mushy; my love of trivia and my agonizing difficulties wrestling with those non-trivial “hard things in life”; and my love for the world and those in it in general — and my fears of how much love, as the Beatles said (in a different song), I “get back.” (Numerous people in this testimony spoke of how much I loved my ex-wife, and I did; neither she nor her friends or family, tellingly, spoke of how lucky I was to have her love.)
    But as another, more famous New Jerseyan (Walt Whitman) once said:
    “Do I contradict myself?
    Very well then I contradict myself,
    (I am large, I contain multitudes.)”
    As do we all.
    Thank you as always, Therese.

  • Wendi

    Well, now that I’ve stopped crying and can see the keyboard, I can tell you that I was really touched by this. First, I think it’s so terrific that you have such wonderful, supportive people in your life. Second, I think the SEF is a great idea. Third, thanks for being so open. I’m standing at the edge of the black hole, trying so hard not to fall in, and your courage and your vulnerability are inspiring me to keep going today. God bless you, Therese.

  • Anonymous

    This is why CBT never worked for me — If I had the confidence to call up 4 friends and ask them write 10 great things about me, I probably wouldn’t be so depressed!

  • Wisdum

    You are an absolutely amazing person Therese! This Life was never intended to be a rose garden, by any stretch of the imagination. For you to have come this far along this Road Called Love, is a testament to your fortitude and strength. It looks like you have crossed that line and have gone through that door labeled “The Truth shall set you free” and it also looks like you are not looking back, except a casual glance, and an acknowledgement of “All things are turned to the good, for those that Love God, and are called according to His Word” You are a shining example for all of us out there struggling to make a difference in this world…God bless you, and God bless you ALL.
    It has alWays been interesting to me that those named Therese, or the many variations of that name, have alWays been highly motivated people, and have chosen the not easy road in this Life … More power to you !
    LUV 2 ALL
    Wisdum

  • Cindy

    Therese, add this one to your self-esteem file. You are a marvelous human being, as you are helping others in spite of your own pain and suffering. You give hope and humor to all of us!
    Now, for my self-esteem file……I have no close friends, just lots and lots of aquaintances. I actually don’t have one close friend that I could call in a true emergency, other than my family members (but they don’t count). Just this evening, I told my husband, I’d love to take a chartered bus trip to New York City, as I’ve never been there. He said, “with who”???? I said, “no one, just me”. He just looked at me and barked “no”…”not by yourself”. (he’s been to NYC a zillion times and has no interest in going again). Anyway, I became so upset that I cried and locked myself in the bathroom, like a child. Since I moved to Maryland (some 20 yrs. ago), I’ve never connected to another person that I would call “my good friend”
    I often think, “what’s wrong with me”?
    I’m not writing this for sympathy, but writing the truth.
    Thanks for listening and God Bless You All
    Cindy

  • Christine

    You are truly amazing. God has chosen you to share your pain, your triumphs with others so they won’t feel all alone out there. But realize also that God is right there with you whenever you feel you’re in a Black Hole of Depression, holding you, stroking your hair and telling you how much He loves you.
    I’ve gone through all kinds of things in my life, depression being one of them, so I can sympathize with anyone who is suffering.
    I also read your article on 7 Ways to Calm Down. What amazed me is that the things you do are the things I do. In fact, one of them, going outside for a walk is so important to me that I am going back to Arizona because I miss that time alone on the mountains in the pine forest. (I’m in Florida…one big lily pad with 1.3 million people per square inch.)I love being near water and find it soothing as well as cleansing. There is something very healing about the natural landscape that God has provided for us. It is another way to connect to Him on a different level where towering trees are one’s cathedral.
    Christine

  • Nancy

    No matter how down in the dumps you are there is always something positive you can do to remember who you really are…look out your window up to the sky, it was put there for you…look into the face of a child it was put there for you…look into your own face…and be thankful, that with just a little help from your muscles you too can smile…depression if not medical is a form of self-pity, you may ask why I would say that because I know about self pity…it’s what you tell yourself every day about why you don’t have in life what you want…there are numerous books on the market, to read to validate who you are…you are the one to validate who you are not anyone else…you were created to validate your own life…you are a miracle and with a little bit of positive belief in yourself you can pull through it…everyday, instead of condeming yourself…think of one good thing…God did not create dummies, so we all have talents in which we are good at…God did not create poverty, we are all rich with talents, gifts and a brain to make it all work…….

  • Patty

    HELLO, TERESE: HAPPY THURSDAY!!!! :-)
    THANK YOU for CARING ENOUGH about OTHERS, to SHARE, and to BARE YOUR SOUL, so OTHERS may be MOVED & ENCOURAGED to GET the HELP that they NEED, as YOU did!!!! :-) It takes GREAT COURAGE to be OPEN & HONEST with OTHERS, in AREAS where we are EXTREMELY VULNERABLE….
    I had NEVER EXPERIENCED DEPRESSION, although I have lived an EXTREMELY ROUGH LIFE, & DO have a very LOW SELF-ESTEEM, because of ALL I’ve BEEN THROUGH, UNTIL the LORD REUNITED me with my PRECIOUS SOUL-MATE, who DOES SUFFER from PERIODS of DEPRESSION!!!! The LINK that HE has USED to BOND US TOGETHER is UNBELIEVABLY STRONG; and, now, I OFTEN feel his PAIN, SICKNESS, & SORROW, which HITS me with SUCH a STRONG WAVE that it THREATENS to LITERALLY KNOCK me OFF of my FEET!!!! :-( I NEVER KNEW how OVERWHELMING & DECAPACITATING it could BE, EFFECTING EVERY ASPECT of my LIFE, until I can HARDLY FUNCTION; and, YET, I am GRATEFUL to the LORD for the PRIVILEDGE of being ABLE to SHARE his BAD TIMES, as WELL as his GOOD TIMES, so I can LESSEN his LOAD!!!! 0:-) I had been PRAYING for the GIFT of EMPATHY so I could MORE EFFECTIVELY HELP OTHERS, THROUGH HIM, and THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT HE BLESSED me WITH, in ORDER to HELP my LOVE, whom I “MET” on eBay!!!! :-) UNFORTUNATELY, we have YET to MEET in PERSON, because of his LIFE-THREATENING ILLNESSES, for NOW; BUT, we BOTH BELIEVE in MIRACLES, & have EXPERIENCED MANY in our LIFE-TIMES, BELIEVE that the LORD has a PLAN for US, when he is HEALED & STRONG again, and, even THOUGH we are OUT-of-TOUCH, & HAVE been for a LO-O-O-ONG TIME now, have INFINITE FAITH, HOPE, LOVE, & TRUST in the LORD, and FAITH, HOPE, LOVE, & TRUST in ONE-ANOTHER!!!! 0:-) THUS, we WAIT, on HIM, KNOWING that SOMEDAY, EVERYTHING will be MORE WONDERFUL than we EVER DARED to DREAM of & HOPE for; and, when HE RAPTURES US UP to HEAVEN, we KNOW that we WILL be TOGETHER UP THERE, FOREVER & EVER & ALWAYS, THROUGHOUT ALL of ETERNITY…. 0:-) In the MEANTIME, I READ things like YOUR ARTICLE, & WATCH things like your VIDEO, that will be HELPFUL to my DARLING, once we ARE back in TOUCH AGAIN: THANK YOU for ANOTHER IDEA which will HELP me to BUILD UP BOTH of our SELF-ESTEEMS, so we will be BETTER PREPARED to take ON all that this WORLD deals OUT to US, & so we, in TURN, can HELP OTHERS, THROUGH the LORD: HE is a MINISTER, & we BELIEVE that we will be able to MARRY someday, in the LORD’S GOOD TIMING!!!! 0:-)
    YOU are a VERY STRONG, WARM, CARING PERSON, TERESE, whom the LORD LOVES VERY MUCH; and, HE ALWAYS has his HAND on YOU, EVEN–&, ESPECIALLY–WHEN YOU feel ALONE, & as if NO ONE CARES: HE IS ALWAYS THERE, LOVING YOU, & WAITING for YOU to REACH OUT to HIM for HELP!!!! THANKS, AGAIN, for SHARING & CARING, TERESE: THANK YOU for BEING YOU!!!! :-)
    Have a SUPERFUNTABULOUS DAY, a BEAUTIFUL, LOVING, GROWING LIFE, and GOD BLESS YOU & your LOVED ONES ESPECIALLY GOOD!!!! 0:-)
    LOTZALUV & PRAYERS ALWAYS,
    Patty….

  • Terri

    That is a wonderful idea but what if you don’t have any friends or even close family (besides my hubby and kids)? Seriously, I have acquaintances (co-workers) but no real friends that would be able to do what you are suggesting. :-(

  • Diana

    This is a great idea Therese. I suggest to those who have few or no friends, have a family member or two give you some affirmations to write down. Or, give yourself some positives and write them down to re-read when you need them. To the people who say they have no friends, I am in the same category. I think this is a sad and important issue for us. Friends are important people to validate us and make us think outside ourselves. I lost my best friend 15 years ago to a tragic accident. Another close friend of mine betrayed me. And yet another used me primarily as her psychiatrist, telling me endless problems non-stop whenever I would see her. Plus she was a huge gossip. End of that “friendship.” It is hard to make close friends as we get older. Fortunately, my husband is my best and dearest friend, and I have a sister I am close to. God has become my primary contact in times of sadness and joy. When Pavarotti died and I saw the whole country mourn him, I realized there won’t be many at my funeral when I die. This may seem silly, I am not looking for fame, but it makes me feel kind of sad that I don’t have many true friends. To the woman whose husband wouldn’t let her take the bus trip to N.Y. alone, I give you alot of credit for being able to want to travel alone. Your self esteem was pretty good to be able to do that. You kind of blew it when you cried after your husband wouldn’t let you go. You should have told him either he goes with you or you are going alone. Maybe he’s hindering you from making new friends? Anyway, I definately think there is a correlation between having no friends and low self-esteem.

  • Holly

    Thank you for sharing this with all of us Beliefnet readers. It’s clear to see that the girl in the video is a peach!
    Like you, my lifelong best friend (from age 5 back in Indiana) also lives in Baltimore, while I reside in LA. We both grew up in troubled homes and managed to survive marriages that left us with only one truly fine accomplishment, our kids. (At least that we knew of.)
    A couple years back, that wonderful friend of mine attempted suicide. She is bi-polar and has walked a difficult path in overcoming that disease and its repercussions.
    Today, she has become a counselor and has given her heart to helping others. I have entered school to become a teacher and am leaving behind sales forever, Thank God.
    I guess I’m writing to say that I appreciate your sharing and how important those friends’ words can be to helping us get through not just one day, but many. She and I have been each other’s cheering section for 45 years now. I have forwarded this Beliefnet to her and have printed it out to leave on someone’s desk at work.
    Namaste,
    Holly

  • Yen

    Dear Therese, I just started reading your writings, blogs, etc., about a week ago, and already you have become part of my “support system.” I love the positive and inspiring messages you post! I, too, have been treated for severe depression–6 hospitalizations–but have been stable now for a couple of years. Your idea of a self esteem file of positive comments–unsolicited, solicited from friends, and self-generated–is a wonderful one that I shall use in my volunteer work with other depressed and bipolar people. There are so many of us who have been criticized by parents, ourselves, and others, to the point of feeling we are worth very little. Everyone needs to feel valued! And this little suggestion, if carried out, will have far-reaching consequences–more productivity at work, better relationships with others,and most of all, a happier LIFE! Thank you!!! Yen

  • mz

    Therese
    Years ago, when depression first hit me, long before I knew what it was, I would sit in amazement at how crappy my life was going. Nightsweats, loss of weight, difficulty in concentration etc. all the stuff.
    I began a log, in effect, written prayers to God, always starting out with thanksgiving to Him because I believed this was “sent” to make me stronger. As I began to feel better, I would write myself notes so that when and if I ever fell ill again, it would remind me of bad times that turned into good times. Eventually, I began to add special inspirational articles to my log, called “Black Dog Days” and then notes from friends and things to boost my self esteem.
    Thanks for sharing about your file and reminding me that I have one too. Also, thanks for pointing out that your self esteem is not related to your professional output or success. As a man with a family, my biggest fears revolved around loosing my job, unemployment, not being able to provide for my family etc. My greatest pain/satisfaction came after 23 years on the job when I realized my company wanted me out. I remember spending a whole night without sleeping, just praying to God for strength. At the end, I told God I would accept whatever he sent me. “”let go, let God” as the bumper sticker says. The following day, I came home and my wife handed me a slip of paper with the phones of two people that had called me that day. 2 Recruiters called me that day out of the blue, one of which landed me my new, higher paying, lower stress job. When people ask me if I believe in Miracles, I pull out that little piece of paper from my wallet. Whenever I stray into a “sin zone” I don’t stray long and run back to God. Not because I’m afraid but because I’m thankful to Him for having revealed Himself to me via a little slip of paper.
    God Bless and hang in there

  • Nancy

    To Those Whom Claim They Have No One To Assist:
    I took Therese suggest about a self-esteem file but added a different twist to it.
    Instead of letters and such from family and friends (didn’t want to have to explain it to them) I took 3×5 cards and found a box the cards would fit into.
    Since I tend to read daily inspirational “quotes” from several books I own and also will hear someone say something inspiring during a conversation I jot it down and transfer it onto one of the cards.
    When I am slipping into that deep depression and have that attitude of poor me and no one cares I will sit down with that box and keep pulling out cards until something finally hits me that makes me feel better.
    So far it has helped greatly and I truly appreciate Therese suggesting the self-esteem file.
    Nan

  • Elizabeth

    Then talk to those “acquaintances”. Ask them in a half-kidding manner (with a smile) say you’d be happy to return the favour for them…that it’s an exercise you want to try out and would they mind indulging you. You’d be surprised by how easily an acquaintance can become a friend. I’m always a bit concerned when someone says they have no friends other than their spouse and children. If you have no siblings, parents (or none to whom you feel close), you must come into contact with people (or did, once). Making a happy life for family doesn’t preclude being a whole person outside of the family, i.e. making and having friends. Many times a wife will consciously or unconsciously not allow others to get close due to a wish to please her husband..who may be giving out the signals of keeping her attention exclusively on him. I’m not saying that is necessarily the case with you, but I’ve seen it happen to friends of mine. Take a good look at your situation, and ask if anyone in your work environment could possibly become a better friend, if you chose to: smile and spend a few more minutes in conversation; share a coffee or lunch break, or even just a few minutes walk with them? A friendly smile goes a long way to breaking down the barriers. I was extremely shy and timid as a child, but for some reason people have always gravitated towards me, so always been lucky to have had many “friendly acquaintances”. My good and close friends, though..those whom I would call “family”, are only a handful. I’ve allowed other friendships over the years to fade, though we could pick back up where we left off, without recrimination. It’s the nature of life and moving away. Perhaps you could also connect with other parents through your children’s school, or play dates? Just taking a walk in your neighborhood..and smiling at those you encounter/holding a door, doing small niceties…can go a long way too. Begin your “self-esteem” file in the meantime, by asking your husband to give you a list of what HE finds affirming about you. If your children are old enough to understand, ask them too. Heck, YOU make a list of your own good qualities. I guarantee you they’re there…you’re just not recognizing them in yourself. Are you a good mother? Protective of your children’s well-being? That’s a big one. (my mother wasn’t). Do you kiss a boo-boo? Keep their clothing clean and fresh? Do you read to them at night? Sing nursery rhymes? Your list will be as long as your arm before you know it :)
    BTW,I’m not religious at all, don’t believe one has to be in order to live a good and uplifting life, and to love thy neighbor. My self-esteem has been nurtured and grown considerably in these last few years by some incredibly good and understanding friends after a horribly abusive childhood and some other traumatic events I won’t divulge here. There’s always something new around each corner. Life is good!

  • pauline

    Therese,
    I really like the idea of a self esteem folder. but my problem is the couple of friends I do have don’t really know I have low self esteem. I’m a good actress when I’m with others. I guess. If they know they never have said.
    Inspiritual quote don’t help I have them up in different places and I read them alot, they just don’t seem to work for me.
    Any other suggestion?

  • Chris*

    Therese,
    I want to THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart, for having the courage and determination to share with all of us your story. You are truly a woman whom I greatly admire. I believe you are a “Special Gift from God” to me, personally–and I’m sure to many others. I’ve never read about depression before from someone’s personal journey like yours. I am truly amazed at your determination. Not to mention, helping all of us in the process. (I wish I was a tenth as strong as you!) I just started reading your blog not that long ago and it was SO COOL to actually SEE you on the video. It makes you so much more “real”. The care and concern that you have for everyone who battles depression is beyond words of appreciation. The illness of depression is only understood by those of us who have it, which is so sad, because the lack of understanding is hindering all of us from getting the help we so desperately need and want more than anything. May God Above Bless You for all you do–and may He continue to inspire you so that you remain such a Blessing to all of us.
    With Great Appreciation and Admiration~
    *Christal*

  • Dylan

    The internet is such a big help for depression. I was depressed too, for a while. The thing is I’m young, I’m 20 now, going to college, living my life, having fun with friends. Before this year, I was always thinking about how my life wasn’t as good as I want it, and neither was my girlfriend. I also kept feeling alone inside, when I was alone, feeling I was wasting my time, being by myself. It was like nothing was making me happy, when really it should have been.
    In this past year of 2007, I’ve had no real girlfriend, but have become happier than I’ve ever been. Don’t get me wrong, I do like girls, but being alone has really allowed me to open my eyes to everything. The reason the internet is such a big help, is that there are so many people out there, who think the same way you do. With the internet, we all really get to see that. The reason is, people don’t have to hide their emotions, they’re just another random person out there. That’s why people on the internet seem so insiprational, compared sadly, to some of our closest friends.
    Beating depression is really about beating the fear of being alone, of being weak, and of being worthless. How do you do this? Realizing that you, as a person, are extraordinary. Why? Because you can think, read, watch, learn, and dream. After seeing, and reading, so many inspirational videos, blogs, movies, etc., I’ve realized that true happiness come from within your mind, just as true depression does. You have to learn, that being able to learn, is such a reward, allowing you to see points of view you never thought of before. Seeing amazing things for the first time, from a video online, can create a spark of joy, and hope. Look up wingsuit on youtube, that’s a great one for me. Dreaming at night is amazing when you think about it, and appreciate it. Sometimes your able to fly. Sometimes you can meet new mystery people, run from something frightning, or fly down a mountain on a snowboard. All of this while you sleep, I’ve always thought there was something amazing to that, which perhaps we aren’t even close to understanding yet.
    Most of all though, reading that people have the same problems, the same emotions, and the same depressing outcomes, is best of all. The reason is, you then know your not alone. Then you start to see how all these other people have, or are changing their lives for the better. Most of the time, there’s nothing to be changed on the outside, just our minds within. Accept where you are, how you live, and what your able to learn. We base learning mostly on academic proportions, but why not on who we are as people, and why we’re prospering on this Earth.
    Peaceful Warrior, a recent movie about transforming yourself, to live how your meant to, is a great start. This movie gets deep sometimes, but always in a good, self fulfilling way. Remember, this is just one moment in time, and we’re constantly living. Why not see, hear, read, and do as much as we can, with what access we have? That’s much better to think about in your free time, than the stresses of your busy life.

  • sandra weisz

    what if you have no friends at all; only enemies that hate you, like me. then what do i do except turn to God and strangers i guess. coming from a really really bad enviroment, and removing myself from it all alone is very very hard, almost impossible to do , since no man or woman is an island, but this one is. To live in a place where you are not wanted and have repeatedly have been a crime victim with no one on your side and no one that cares because certain areas of the united states are so foul they are not compatible with life, i have to forgive myself for not getting out in time. and now it seems too late, a lot of damage has been done, a lot of evil out there, they love to prey upon those that they perceive as weak. people out there, don’t come to southern calif. it is a hades on earth. there is nothing good out this way. it is a Godless place, a living nightmare and getting worse as i write this. a bad enviroment can make a person very very depressed that once wasn’t. pray for my strenght to leave

  • Larry Parker

    I’m sorry you’re in such a horrible place, Sandra.
    But I can say one thing with confidence: Beyond Blue is a place where you are among friends, not enemies.

  • susan

    I am so grateful for happening upon this particular video and article. To see someone as talented and accomplished as you suffering just like I am is bind boggling. I’ve been studying a course in miracles and the law of attraction and though I have good days I seem to fall back into that critical parent thinking before I even notice I have. If I could drive her out of my head I would but I know the way to freedom is to love this woman/little girl that doesn’t know how to love me back. You have greatly encouraged me as I sit here today filled with anxiety and depression. Much of my days are filled with wondering where I am headed and why at my age I have not accomplished anything except living on pain medication and no job history most of my life. I see in you a person that worked hard and at least went on to accomplish things she can be proud of. This is my most difficult area as I have many talents and intelligence but a family life and disease over took much of my life. In my mid life crisis I find myself needing to regress in order to move forward and that is not easy esp if one does not have real life friends. You are very blessed my dear and this information is the best I have received in ages. Simple, clear cut, easy to follow and believable to the sub-conscious! I will be using it with family members and a few online friends. It’s all I have to work with and I pray that those who claim to love me will be able to see through the exterior pain down to the loving person I know I am inside. Keep posting and helping us learn through you. It always brings tears to my eyes to see someone else being transparent not only for themselves but for the benefit of others. Hardly transparent in it’s gift!
    To finally have roots that run deep and stay in the ground so my branches grow wide and tall and even bloom, this is my goal and to inevitably help others!
    You are a blessing and I love your humor! It too is a great energy source of it’s own ;-) Light,Love and Laughter, Susan

  • Kay

    Dear Therese…..i love listening to your videos but dont cover your face with your hair. You have a lovely open and honest face….reveal it!!!
    Also i enjoyed reading the depression busters but is it possible that they could be presented in a printable way so they can be kept to hand for when needed?
    Thank you for all that you write and share.

  • Diana

    Hi Therese,
    This concerns your “Inner Child” video. I am assuming you chose “Freakie Therese”? Did you carry the doll with you, or would you get her when you needed her? What about travel? I am wondering what I would do about travel. Perhaps a pocket-sized “Freakie Diana” doll would work.
    Wonderful work. Thank you!!! I asked Friends to send me positive characteristic lists this morning…

  • Jenjen

    Yeah, I was going to say, I don’t have four friends I could call. At least not four friends who know me very well. I mostly have acuqaintances. Maybe a few friends who knew me in the past.

  • J. Campbell

    Dear Therese,
    Your self estemm file is a great idea not only for adults that are going through difficult times, but for children as well. What a great way to build a positive self image to grow with. Our self esteem starts at such an early age and we could all be better at preserving it. What a wonderful tool you have created. You should be very proud of yourself for reaching out and helping others find ways to love themselves again.

  • Christine

    Hi Therese,
    I cried when I watched your video. It is amazing how just a few kind words,can do for those of us living in pain. Or a compassionate mental hug can do for someone who is standing at the edge. But I didn’t know it was ok to ask for people to be nice to me.
    It take alot of courage just to get out of bed every day, the nicest thing anyone has ever said(that knows about my pain and how close I stand near the edge, you really need to get medicated. I stopped asking for help, I felt like I was thrown both ends of the rope and there wasn’t any middle.
    Thank you for sharing. It is nice know I am not alone in the storm and there is a rainbow out there somewhere, maybe in a Self-Esteem File.
    Christine

  • Lynne

    I’d like to say something to reader Christine. Please know that you are not alone in your fight to “find a better light”. If you can’t think of four friends imediately, give it time. I too relocated about a year ago and it’s hard making new “best friends” let alone even finding people to carry on an intelligent conversation with. It’s a perfect opportunity to look up old friends. However it may surprise you to see how many lonely people are out there. If you are willing to listen to someone’s story perhaps you can help them and yourself while you’re at it. As for the rope, hang on to it, it might just come in handy someday.( to rescue another soul like yourself)

  • Linda

    I too was evaluating my self-worth through professional accomplishments/failures. My happiness-meter was always so high when I did well and was told so by my peers. My self-dislike was triggered in the same way.
    When I had to resign my professional work to focus on family issues, I found my self evaluation lowering all of the time and there no longer existed a happiness-meter.
    My doctor prescribed anti-depressants which only covered up the underlying problems. I took myself off of them, after 4 years, and feel much better.
    The happiness-meter has returned — but isn’t running properly yet. I think I have now found the tool that will help me to like me and evaluate my worth in proper form. The tool is your concept/creation of one’s self esteem file.
    I am going to present the task to a couple of close friends and then take it from there.
    I was overwhelmed with happy tears, for you, when you revealed the growth of your self esteem file!
    Yours in healing,
    Linda

  • Karen

    Like so many others here, calling four friends isn’t going to happen for me. We only have acquaintences, a select few people who we don’t mind speaking to on a very superficial level. Sounds really sad, doesn’t it. Not really. Some of us are not “people oriented”. I would much rather communicate with an animal than a person. At least the neighbor’s parrot doesn’t lie to me. When I had a dog I always knew what he wanted. He wasn’t afraid to tell me he had to go outside, or that he wanted to be hugged. No hidden agendas there.
    I don’t seem to crave the company of other people. There isn’t anything that I want from them. Maybe it’s because I have decided that I am enough, just the way I am. They can like me or not, take it or leave it alone. Either way is fine with me. “I don’t care” has taken on an entirely different meaning these days. Some call it attachment. Whatever the label is, I guess I don’t have it anymore. That in itself makes me different. And that’s okay, different is good. At least for me.

  • Sue

    Therese,
    Thank you for your blog. Your suggestions are great. I have been taking notes on the 7 ways to calm down and 9 tips to manage anxiety.
    This self esteem file is a wonderful idea. I, too am guilty of measuring myself in terms of accomplishments, education level, job titles, amount of responsibility, and successful relationships. I am lucky to have good friends who remind me of my good points when I am trapped thinking I’m not good enough or not smart enough or not kind enough.
    Thanks again,
    It takes a lot of effort and guts to express your thoughts on a blog and video.
    Sue

  • Beausiful

    I had no problems w/ self esteem, until lately.
    My mother and best friend died almost 6 months ago, on Oct. 07.
    I have no other friends. I am married, however I cant see my husband being w/ the program, to even say a few words. We have been together 16 years, and only married 7. But when someone asked him what good qualities I posessed; he could only say that I was pretty. How shallow. Anyway, he doesn’t appreciate the ‘person’, that I am. He shook my hand @ the altar the day we were married. That’s depressing enough, but now to find that you have NO friends…that’s totally depressing!

  • Joy Louise G.

    WOW! This was just what I have been looking for for a long time and could never find. How cool was that when I checked my email this morning and there was the link to this page!!
    Self-destructive behaviors and isolation because of them has left me kinda friendless…However, I am a fun extrovert and will start this file ASAP because as I make the effort to improve, affirmations from others will come.
    Thank you so much for this article…I, and many others I am sure, really need it…

  • Sad Sam

    Over the weekend I wrote a poem about me – this magical, mystical character that nobody really knows. Maybe I was being unrealistic. Maybe I just need to ask a few friends to describe me in a friendly way, unrelated to my public/professional persona. Might be just what the doctor ordered.

  • Marissa

    I too was on a quest for self-esteem. It was a difficult journey. Although I believed my friends loved me, they could never reach the places in me that hurt. There were times I was tremendously let down by the people I thought loved me the most. But I had to come to the point where I had to trust and stand on what God said about me and He never goes through mood swings or changes up on me because of my failures. It wasn’t until I truly believed God that I was able to clean out negative thoughts about myself. He was always telling me before, but it was easier to believe the worst. I believe that God led me to a great book (Why Not You! by Valorie Burton)and I’ve been on a new level ever since. Maybe it was just the time for me. Maybe I was finally in a place spiritually, mentally and emotionally that I could accept God’s position. My trust in God has grown and I’ve taken on God’s perspective of me. In humility and reverence I’m thankful that God has pulled me up from a perpetual pit of self-destruction. The self-esteem file will definitely work. I compiled my “encouragments” in a file also. God wants us healthy inside and out. We’re the body of Christ!

  • Sylvia

    I have been told that I have low self esteem pretty much all of my life.I guess that is true, since I hardly have any friends,my own kids don’t call back after they say they would,and to top it off, my own parents never even said they love me.I contemplate ending my life a lot,but I don’t want to hurt my kids any more then I already have,when I left my marriage 3 years ago.So yes, I am going to start a file and see if there is anyone out there who actually cares and sees me.

  • Crystal

    Hello! I am proud of you for doing this file! Congradultions!
    I believe in you!
    I too have a hard time accepting who i am.
    i am trying to deal with what I am truly feeling!
    I was used to holing in my feelings and grow up.
    I am proud of you!
    God bless you!

  • Anonymous

    Sylvia you are God’s child.Know that and know that He doesn’t make mistakes. You are here for a reason. I don’t know it and neither do you but some day you will know it!

  • Vicki

    I have very low self esteem at the moment, I grew up with low self esteem, I have have a friedn who has not been very nice to me lately and i am struggling feeling like I have no reason to live.

  • Linda

    I struggle everyday with depression. My self worth isn’t worth a wooden nickle. I have no friends they all left a very long time ago. They didn’t know how to deal with my depression…Who do I ask for a list of 10 things if there are no friends? my family won’t tell me the truth..they would lie so I don’t get my feelings hurt..there is nothing I can come up with about me that is good or that I like…I seem to be sad all the time..:-( now what?

  • Trish

    Wow
    I never saw anything like this on line but today was the day I should be reading this…
    just today I was asking why? and between all the answers …comments given are like the good angel on 1 shoulder then the darkside saying #%&#.it!!so thank you for posting the video and I have chosen to make my own file and begin my new life…as someone I would want as a friend
    Thank yu all and God bless you all
    Trish

  • Linda

    wow, What a great idea. I think I would be really depressed if I couldn’t find any friends to answer my questions or tell me about myself. I guess this is also a true test to find out if your friends are really your friends.

  • Jolene

    For those of you feeling like this is a waste of time or that life is not worth living or perhaps your family will only tell you nice things to keep from hurting your feelings…PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE realize that these yucky thoughts are ALL temporary— they last as long as you are willing to let them. Personally, I did not depend on anyone else to give me positive responses. My first thoughts were simple…I was kind, the ocean is beautiful, I have both of my legs and they work. These things we take for granted everyday are the things we need to appreciate and acknowledge. You DO NOT NEED anyone else to make you whole or to tell you your good qualities or why life is worth living. If you really WANT to get past it…dig deep within yourself, you will find beauty all around. FOCUS on this beauty and you will feel more beauty…Surround yourself with as much natural beauty as possible everyday and try to watch ,listen to, and read those things that make you feel happy and good…You have enough chaos in your mind right now, give it a break!!! LOVE YOURSELF…say it everyday as many times as possible, even though you will feel like a goof…you eventually will believe it!!! There are so many things I have done to find my happiness, I hope some of this helps..Oh yeah, remember, mind over matter? Our minds can control us for the worse if we let it. It does not have to be outside sources!! You truly need to decide once and for all that you want to be happy…a little work will show remarkable results and then you will only grow stronger and happier and healthier from there… XOXO Jolene

  • Anonymous

    God made us all in his image. i don’t care what human being told you or made you feel worth less…Don’t believe it, look to God…He is the amswer to it all!!!!

  • diane

    This is for Linda who suffers from depression. I suffered from depression 15 years ago and I know how debilitating it can be in all areas of your life. Linda, you were born with many more than 10 good things about you, but I can give you 10. Depression makes you forget who and what you really are and what you have. First of all, you are a human being that carries within and around you a beautiful and perfect soul (#1)From that soul you have the ability to create and recreate your life’s experiences (#2)Because you have/are a perfect soul, you are made of pure love (#3)you are also made up of the same beautiful energy that exists in the perfection of nature(#4)you are a woman (#5)you have skills and talents that no one else possesses (the depression makes you forget this) (#6)you are a gift to the world (#7)you have incredible power within yourself (depression makes you forget this, too) (#8)You are capable of loving yourself and others (#9) You are a piece of God (#10) I wish you all the best!!!!! Diane

  • John

    I hope this works great for a lot of people. I see it’s predicated on HAVING FRIENDS.

  • Tiffany

    My daughter, 13, came home this evening from a long day of school activity and some social challanges. She wasn’t feeling good about herself as a result of what she may have viewed as failure with uncomfortable result. I read the tag line about self-esteem file and considered sending it to my daughter for her to consider. I do think choosing self-esteem is critical, but I know that you cannot rely on your friends or family to give it to you. I know and I’m teaching my daughter to know that confidence, self-esteem, love, comes from inside of yourself, not from others. Of course, other’s reactions to us certainly can feel good when they are good, but if we cannot feel good things about ourselves, from ourselves, then others simply won’t either. Teach yourself and your children to find this from their inside source – themselves.

  • Anna

    I don’t know why I decided to open this email today. I often just delete it unless the subject headline catches my eye. Consider it fate, or a blessing in disguise. I read everyone’s comments and have to say it is encouraging and gives me hope. You see I am one who is currently suffering from depression. I have had bouts of it for I’m not sure how many years. I am going for counseling, but there is so many years of abuse and problems piled on top of each other. Lately I have been feeling extremely down and feel there is no reason to live. Anything that causes me to panic, a task that seems impossible to do whether it be a school assignment or the latest family crisis, I feel I can’t take it anymore and I just want to end it all. I think about it every day. It’s never been this bad. I can’t seem to find the good in life, and I question my reason for existence. Before it was fear that kept me alive, fear of committing a sin by taking my own life, and while that fear still exists in me, I am finding it harder to let the fear be a factor. Everything seems so hopeless. Having read this email, I have some small amount of hope that perhaps, maybe I can make it through this.

  • Lisa Richardson

    Anna, you have to stay strong. You have to know that God has a plan for you and it is in the making. I am sure there are times that you can remember that you thought you wouldn’t be able to survive an event or didn’t know how you would and you have overcome it. Things don’t always happen in the time frame we would like them to, but it happens when it is supposed to. It is God’s divine plan and we must have faith and go along with it. Redirect your focus. There has to be something positive about your life. Focus on that. I feel your pain. I have been there (many times as a teen and an adult) and i have made it through. Now I think about all of those times and see that I am still standing and still able to fight the next battle. You have to stay strong because there will be trials all through out life. Each one prepares you for the next. Keep the faith. You are as worthy of life and happiness as anyone else. God has a plan for you. All you need is patience, faith and prayer. I will pray for you, Anna.

  • Ruth

    I have suffered from depression and bi-polar disorder most of my life. I believe that I was born with a nervous temperament, so it has been a life time struggle. Some days it seems rather hopeless and other days things are better. Stress is often difficult to deal with. I found the article on self esteem very helpful. Many of us find it hard to see the positive things we do when we suffer from depression. Thank you so much for your helpful ideas.

  • Chica

    I agree that true self esteem is made of seeking internal validation rather than what others’ approval. However, sometimes people’s self esteem are so low that they don’t even feel like they are worth working to get to that point or don’t believe it’s possible for them. I know because I’ve been there and I know you have to start somewhere. I know that when you have been wounded and raised to think so little of yourself, everyone else can see you as worthwhile when you can’t even imagine it. So something like this excercise suggested is a great way to begin to see yourself through the eyes of those who love you as we should be loving ourselves. I had a therapist who suggested this very exact thing to me many years ago and I did it. It was one of the best things I ever did for myself. It was so eye opening and boosted my self esteem. Also, I tended to discount most compliments at the time, but as my therapist knew I really respected my friends intelligence and accomplishments. So as she would say they are no dummies…so if they see this there must really be something there. That was an immense weapon I had been given against self doubt. It was definitely a turning point for me.

  • Susanne

    When I’m depressed I pull out a box where I have stored a treasure of positive and inspiring quick reads. Some of it is quotes, so it is cards that people have written to me over the years thanking me for something I did for them. This always helps!

  • lapatosu

    I remember that visit to the therapist’s office, where I was asked to list my good qualities. Thanks for letting me know that I wasn’t the only one who drew a blank that day. The therapist would have a problem stopping my list in an hour today. Doctors, meds and a strong spiritual path do work. I like the video.

  • lisa

    This is a wonderful idea, but what about those of us who don’t have any close friends? I am kind, educated, and attractive, and I can’t believe I’m in this situation. I am bipolar, which impedes my social confidence, plus I think I truly reek of loneliness! I would love to know what to do about that. My saving grace is my wicked-sharp sense of humor. If anyone, in their forties, has dug themselves out of this particular hole, you could help so many who may be about to give up.

  • Joydancer

    My garage is not for my car.
    I made it into my walk in prayer closet.
    The walls are wallpapered with birthday cards
    get well wishes, and emailed photos, memories,
    positive words. My exercise elyptical is in
    the garage, I am getting better each day, and
    to be surrounded in this enviroment of love
    and encouragement, some day I will get on the
    elyptical. For now, it sits there in the
    midst of walls of love.

  • Indep

    What a fabulous video! I’d like to reply to lisa who commented on October 2. Lisa, I am bipolar, now about 60, was more attractive once, educated, spend a lot of time alone tho I have attached myself to the Unitarian church and a group or two and gradually made friends. I feel tho that my life lacks intimacy and most of the significant battles – and the daily routines – I do alone. Being on disability I am financially stretched too. I just want you to know that you are not the only one. You might be able to locate my profile on Beliefnet and message me. I’m a Canadian woman. In any case, I will say a prayer for you tonight and wish you well.

  • tlhoodsr

    This is an outstanding idea!! Unfortunately, I do not have any friends at all. I recently finally got up the courage to tell my wife that she was going to have to stop putting me down all the time and calling me “stupid” or I was going to leave and she decided that after 21 years of marriage, she had the right to continue to call me names. So I left at the beginning of September. I am very lonely in my new apartment but I know that it was the right thing to do. I broke my back 7 years ago and cannot drive so I have no way to get to any support group meetings. Nights are really hard and I have already cut myself a few times with a butcher knife because I am so lonely. I am 48 years old and have 3 boys who all love me , but they all live more than 60 miles away so they cannot come see me very often. Does anyone have any suggestions as to how I can meet some people and do something about this horrible loneliness? Thanks for any suggestions

  • burnqueen

    I don’t have an answer on how to get over being lonely and/or meet people. There are plenty of websites like this one and chat rooms to get used to communicating and that is probably a good first step.
    My husband has been unfaithful and it has made me afraid of people. I am hopeful that this is temporary, but it is such a struggle to even get out of bed.
    Some days, I am so overwhelmed. I find that on those days if I just open up my bible, there is usually comfort on the page that appears.
    I do enjoy fitness classes, but I keep to myself now. Hopefully that will get better, too.

  • frgough

    Gage me with a spoon. The best way to build self-esteem is by accomplishment, not by whispering sweet nothings to yourself. Overcome adversity. Improve your life. Accomplish a goal. DO something and your self esteem will improve.

  • wolfsdaughter

    Hunh. You know, I have a folder full of letters from my mom, dad and kids as well as letters from people throughout my life that have meant something to me. I read them avidly during my darkest moments. They remind me that there are less dark moments to be experienced. They remind me that I was once a person who romped and played and worked and had fun and loved life and myself. It’s why I hold onto them. ‘Cause if I experience a moment of “Lord, I don’t want to be here anymore”, they pull me out of it and forward. In fact, it’s rather uncanny how that folder will just be right there on my desk right after I’ve thought/stated/prayed that thought. Kind of like God heard me and very quietly sighed and ordered an angel to go dig it out of my folder holder and plop it right there, just so I couldn’t resist going through it.
    Funny, too, how after I’m done, I feel like I’ve got this warmth hugging me and I find it in me to agree to getting through “just one more day”. Kind of like I feel down, got helped back up, dusted off, hugged and now someone is holding my hand as I continue to walk on.
    One can accomplish many great things and still have very low self-esteem. “FRGOUGH” posted a “gag me with a spoon” comment that tells me this person truly has no idea what being in the depths of darkness is. Either that, or this person has such a busy life of “accomplishments and improvement” that they are never still enough to be alone with themselves or thier thoughts. The mental and spiritual equivalent of “white noise”. I’ve got a friend who fills her life so full of “improvement and accomplishment” that she barely has time for anything else. If she does happen to have a free moment, she thinks she’s doing something wrong. I asked her once what she was so afraid of, to never just sit still in the quiet and be. Her answer: “I’m afraid I’ll have left something undone and won’t be worthy of my success”. Hunh. Go figure. That sort of “accomplishment and improvement” seems on the empty side.
    I’m responsible for being a sort of subject matter expert/liason for a technical support line group at my job. I am accomplishing a great deal with them and we are literally changing the ways that training and operations are being done. Call it a re-write of standard operations and procedures, if you will. I’m quite happy that my previous skills, talents and knowledge are being utilized and that I get to do what I enjoy most: Mentoring and teaching.
    I still think I’m ugly, fat and worthless. All that accomplishment means diddly-poop in the end.
    I’ve lost over 40 pounds this year by improving my diet and my lifestyle. I’ve taken up meditation and pursuing my spiritual life again. Yet again, an improvement. Yet, I still feel rather worthless right now. Life improvement score: Diddly-poop. Low-self esteem:1000
    Again, you can be the most accomplished person on earth, gorgeous, rich, sucessfull, yadda-yadda-yadda and still *feel* lower than snail poop.
    I *know* why I feel lower than snail poop right now. All the “accomplishment and improvement’ in the world isn’t going to make me feel better about myself. Working through why I feel this way and acknowledging it will. The folder full of letters helps me find my path. That folder is my lantern in the darkness that never goes out, shedding light before my feet so I don’t fall into a deeper hole, trip or run into something I wouldn’t otherwise see.
    And “FRGOUGH”? sometimes, patient stillness *IS* doing something.
    ME

  • Denny

    To all whom this may concern; especially the gentleman whose wife kept
    calling him “stupid”; my personal experience is to tell no one is so
    called “stupid”. What his wife has been calling him is actually mounts
    of her low esteem, as well as a reflection of her being self critical
    of HERSELF.
    And there are twelve step programs which one that I think he should check out is E.A. (Emotion’s Anonymous); and someone will be more than
    happy to assist in getting to and from this particular meeting. No one,
    as I mentioned is “stupid”; his wife needs to seek help from a therapist they too will make arrangements to support him, for the name
    calling of any kind, is one of the many abuses that never heal; unlike
    physical, mentally, emotional you’re able to heal.

  • Larry Parker

    frgough:
    I take it you don’t have depression …

  • Gloria

    Dear GAG ME,
    I strongly disagree. We are not what we do. We are human beings not human doings. This is part of the problem. Our self worth is not tied to anything we do or do not do, that would be conditional love. We need to be able to give ourselves unconditional love, just as all children need from their parents. Many of us have received so much negative programming from well-meaning parents who thought that the best way to motivate was to scold or withhold love. The opposite is true for many of us. Or it may cause us to act or do, but we become very successful, but unhappy adults. We do need to give the love to ourselves, but receiving messages outside ourselvs can be motivating to us, uplifting, and can help us get where we need to be with ourselves. This exercise can also remind us of how many friends we have, and that we are not alone. I love it.

  • SkipChurch

    I can’t understand the whole idea of a self-esteem file. To me it just seems bizarre. If this is what you have to do live a serene and contented life, I suppose it’s fine, but I cannot imagine that it works.
    Wouldn’t it be better to look in yourself, not in a file full of …whatever the file is full of?
    What if you lost the file?!
    Bye bye self-esteem.

  • Debra Kaiser

    Thank you! I love your video and great ideas!

  • reluctant

    I would like to turn the self esteem file around: Instead of asking your friends for YOUR good points, why they call you, etc., write a note to each of your best friends and say, “I just want you to know some of the reasons that I value your friendship so much.
    Your positive attitude toward lofe insoires me to do my best.
    Your willingness to step in and fill a void when it is needed is remarkable
    You make me feel appreciated and loved, and for that I thank you.
    When I need to talk to someone, I know I can find a friendly and sympathetic ear.
    etc.,etc”
    In other words, you can get the ball rolling by making your friends feel good about themselves. I would be surprised if you didn’t get a world of affirmations in return.

  • thoreau

    Your self-esteem file is a great idea – for women. I can’t imagine myself or any of my male friends doing something like that – and I’m not even one of those obnoxious ManGuys. I’m Alan Alda, if anything. What could a guy do for his self-esteem that wouldn’t result in everyone thinking he’s Niles Frazier begging for a compliment?

  • Denise Herrera

    I really loved your ideas and i’m going to share it with my friends even the ideas of the other comments left on the page looking within yourself and giving yourself a few words of affirmation. It says in the bible that “life and death are in the power of the toungue and those who love it shall eat its fruit,”-Proverbs 18:21 and having a file is like proof that i’m speaking life to myself and allowing and accepting when someone else is speaking positive things about me.

  • brandie

    I have a counselor who I see once a week. She doesn’t think I’m clynically depressed, and I don’t think I really am either. I do get depressed at times though. I found myself, the other morning hunched over the kitchen sink full of dirty dishes crying thinking of all the things my husband had told me the night before. I looked over and my 9 month old baby was eating old food off the dirty floor. I knew I had to snap out of it. I can’t just mope around and feel like a worthless undesirable “psychopath” as my husband calls me. I have a reason to be happy and I have a responsability to him (my son) to be happy. The reason my husband calls me a psychopath is because I lash out in anger at him. I break things and say putrid hateful things to him, I’ve given him a black eye, attacked him with an iron candel holder, I screamed and yelled at him, climbing up the walls of the back poarch of the bar once calling him a “faggot” (sorry if this offends anyone, this is what actually happened, I do not mean to put down any gay people by saying that word here today.) I’m just illustrating my very bad behavior. He tells me that all his friends think I’m psychotic because they have seen me act this way. The real issue is fear and a feeling of powerlessness. He leaves me to be with his friends and doesnt make time for me, he says things that he knows will hurt me, with that purpose in mind; he neglects to show me love and the more I try to get close the farther away he pulls. I feel like he doesn’t like me. His friends don’t like me. I think they all misunderstand me. I know my behavior is inappropriate, I feel like the biggest piece of crap there is. I told him that morning that my self esteem was in the sewer. I just want to be loved and I feel like I’m wasting my time hurting myself and him. The only time I was more unhappy with my life was when I was strung out on meth. Some times things are ok and I get hope. Sometimes things are good and I’m happy. But it always comes back down to the sh-t relationship where I am not #1 in my husband’s life. I cry and then the crying stops. I decided once to be indefferent and things actually got better. I determined that I care too much. I began to become more considerate and kink to him. I became softer in my tone of voice and not so quick to become offended. I began to feel more love for him, I had hope. Once I started thinking of him in a positive light and had a special night planned he wanted to have friends over on a night that we were supposed to spend together. I kept myself from becoming too upset when he asked me about it. I was very aware of my body. Yes, I was dissapointed and that showed, but I calmly said that I wanted to spend the night with him and he acted as if I had flipped out on him. This is when i became angry. The argument escolated and I finally left because I didnt want to break anything. I went to explain to his friend who was supposed to come over that I didn’t have an issue with him coming over, that my husband thought that was the problem, but really it was that I was accued of acting in a way that I deliberately refrained form. I sought advice from the wife of my husvand’s friend. The next night my husband told me that “his” frineds didn’t like it that I had gone to their house. He told me that they thought I was crazy and that they don’t like me or want me around. He told me that no matter what I said they would be on his side. I wasn’t even trying to get anyone on my side, I just wanted to be understood. I didn’t want his friend thinking that I didn’t want him over because of him, I didn’t want him to think that the argument was about that which is what my husband thought even after I told over and over that it wasn’t the issue. I’m so misunderstood. My husband doesn’t try to understand me he just wants me to shut up. I fear that the only way I’ll ever be happy is to leave him which leaves me in a whole new boat of fear and sadness, failure and loneliness. So I’m not clynically depressed but at times I do feel that if it werent for my son, I’d love to die.

  • tlhoodsr

    Denny, thanks a lot for your concern and for your suggestions. Can you please give me some more infor on exactly what Emotions Anonymous is and what they deal with? This loneliness is absolutely killing me and I think I may end up spending some time in the hospital so my shrink can help me get more stabilized now that I am living alone and having so many suicidal thoughts. Denny, I deeply appreciate your input; it really is a huge help. Thanks a lot.

  • tlhoodsr

    Brandie, PLEASE don’t take this wrong, but your story sounds almost EXACTLY like the last 15 years that I spent with my wife before I finally got the courage to leave on Labor Day weekend. I did not have the destructive fits of anger, but my self esteem was in the toilet all the time and she did what she wanted to do with absolutely no regard at all for my feelings, desires, or anything at all. I AM clinically depressed and have been on every concievable mix of antidepressant/antianxiety medications you can think of the last 10 years. I have spent 2 and a half of the last 10 years in 3 different psychiatric hospitals and it did me a world of good. But until I got up the nerve to finally tell her that I was not going to let her talk to me like that any more and do the things she was doing or I was going to have to leave (and of course, she did not think I would really leave) all the years of psychotherapy were really to no avail. Sure, living alone presents its own sets of problems, but I already feel better in a lot of ways. I don’t have her trampling all over my self-esteem by calling me “stupid” 25 times a day anymomre and telling me what a loser I am all the time. Get yourself a good shrink who will medicate you properly and tell this husband to shape up and care about something other than his friends and enterntaining himself or tell him to move back in with his mommy so he can be a teenager again. Good Luck!!

  • Kathleen

    Brandie,
    I am trying to think of where to start and after I have prayed I have come to this. I am grateful to God for everything and everyone I have within and around my life today and I love them all. I am also shedding tears as I am saying this because I know in my heart of hearts I would be or could be where you are right now today if it wasnt for the 12 steps and God(who ever that could be to you). I have so many tools in my life today and as my therapist who I have been with for 9 years and is the most amazing person(who has falts too) and as my first sponsor who I now have known for 18 years…it is not about what label it is, your depression, your eating disorder, your meth problem lets just focus on the solution and get better. And sister from somone who has drepression and annorexia that is not an easy task but it works. ‘This is a simple kit of spiritual tools laid at our feet’ that is a quote from the big book.(forgive me I cannot find the page and I have to run, I am not perfect either but God knows I try)..anyways..I really want you to know I have been there or could have been there, but for the love of God I am not, I hear you had a drug problem did that just go away on its own, everything you just explained is a ‘dry drunk’ take away the substance what ever that may be and you still have you or Lindsay or Paris or Britney we have to take care of us and that is us and God.(with the many other tools I am not saying one thing works it is a committed journey:))
    You will usually find a lot of us have depression, mania and the ‘psychosis’, spending, food, alcohol different/dual problems. From what I hear you saying there are a few things going on, I cant even touch the husband issue but in taking care of you all usually gets taken care of, that there is a mending or a break up but it is all done for the good.
    “Our book is meant to be suggestive only. We realize we know little. God will constantly disclose more to you and to us….The answers will come, if your own house is in order….See to it that your relationship with him is right, and great events will come to pass for you and countless others. This is the Great Fact for us.” pg164 Alcoholics Anonymous (Big Book) I dont claim life to be perfect but it is better and I am better.
    Sixx from Motly Crue has written a Biography I stood reading it for 45min(stood,standing in Barnes and Nobel) b/c he spoke what we know and have lived and only we understand it. What you have said I feel your pain which is why I took this time and wrote so much and now I pray you find this and put it in Gods hands. Honestley try and have a great day, just ask God to guide you and for help. I pray we find each other I am here if you want to get in touch please write back or just go find a Big Book, then find a AA or NA meeting what ever your problem may be, usually if you start with AA you will be guided. But But But, always know and live that the solution is with God and the Big Book.

  • jessica

    brandie, do you and your husband have a night they just the two of you can go out and be a couple, without child or friends, or sometimes with friends? do you have a job, part time or full time? a hobby? some activity that gives you joy? balance….you deserve happiness and companionship from your husband and your friends….play groups with other young ladies who have children the same age as your son…does any church in your area have a mother’s day out?

  • Sally Dubroc

    I invite everyone to listen to the new single by Kelly Pease The song, Original, totally says what we are trying to teach girls to say about themselves. I am an original, I am fearfully, wonderfully, made.
    She is twenty three and speaking to teens everywhere. Check out her site
    http://www.kellypease.com and request her music in your town. This Catholic girl is ahead of the curve with empowering young women. She is the absolute reverse of the Britney Spears of ths world

  • lady of light

    Therese – I enjoyed watching your video. It is the second one I have seen so far. You are attractive and have a wonderful shaped face and your eyes are striking. The audio left long spaces between your words and phrases – I don’t know if this is my system or a problem with the you-tube video. However, I was able to understand most of it. Remembering the positive things that others say about us certainly does help us to feel better and it seems that you have been blessed with some good people in your life.
    When others are not there to boost my morale, or I find myself getting negative, down or discouraged, I give my inner self a “pep talk”. In it I include the positives others have told me about myself, and I also just keep a positive diagologue with myself. I believe that God created me, I am “fearfully and woonderfully made” as the Psalms tell me, I am special because I am a child of God and I need not really rely on my own ideas of myself or what others think; only on what God thinks. WHen we read how much He loves us, wants good things for us, promises never to leave us or forsake us, always cares for us, will supply all our needs according to his riches in Christ Jesus…”
    There is much more…this is just a sample of what I meditate on. People can move in and out of your life. They too can become down or self-involved but if we rely on our trust in Jesus, the goodness and faithfullness of God, my bible is really my best self-esteem file.
    One other thing I do that my Mom used to do is I save a box of all the cards I have received over the years and special notes and somethings just read through all the special messages and thank God for the people that sent them. I also take lots of photos of special occasions and people in my life and go through those to remind myself that even though I may have been thruogh some tough times, there were also positive things going on.
    When I am fixing for the day and I look in the mirror, I remind myself that God loves me and I am a special child of His no matter what else happens that day.
    I also have my awards and certificates for any academic, religious or community service etc. framed over my desk but in the center is an 18th Century poem about marriage (to remind me that that is the center of my life after God).
    I love the idea your friend had of sharing something positive every day with you during your recuperation. That helps me to know what I might do for some of my friends.
    Therese, I only know you through Beliefnet but I admire your strength, determination, empathy and compassion for others, self-discipline to continue reaching out with a porpose, your honesty and your sense of humor. You have a true talent for expressing yourself and I wish for you to have nothing but God’s continued blessings and your family as well.
    Lady of Light

  • lisa

    I want to respond to tlhooder {10/3/07). I was isolated at home for years, off and on, wth injuries from a car accident and kidney dialysis. After a succesful transplant 7 years ago, I realized how much time I had spent alone. Part of the reason was because I had some preconcieved beliefs about the “kind” of people I “should” be with. Turns out, it’s an adventure to open up to anyone kind and honest. An adventure can happen on the phone, the net, anywhere. It’s the mindset. Form your needs in the form of a question and put it out into the Universe. You deserve a positive, do-able solution, and you’ll start seeing how true that is when it happens. The amazing thing is, there are so many good people all around you desire to reach out to you. If you don’t reach out, you are really denying them their heart’s desire! I’ve experienced both sides of this; I really know. I mention adventure on the phone because it often begins there for me. Tlhooder, if you call your local/county Mental Health Association and explain that you are (peacefully) determined to find the right support group for yourself, they should be able to put you in touch with the contact person for any around you. Let any contact people you speak with know how important it is to also find a ride; it is vital to your recovery. If no appropriate support group exists in your area, ask for the local mental health resource to help you start one. Your experience could be the thing that lifts up so many others; it starts with one call. If you encounter those who seems like they don’t care or are put out, that can be so painful in the best of circumstances, but that is their baggage. Don’t let it stop you. I regret the time I spent doing nothing. Please don’t rob yourself of what you deserve! Bless your journey.

  • tlhoodsr

    This comment is to Lisa who responded to me on 10/10/2007 at 9:58 A.M. First, thank you so much for your concern; it really means a lot. Secondly, you hit the nail right on the head regarding being isolated. When I broke my back, I was actually very lucky (Thank God) that I did not sever my spinal cord, I only had 3 very deep bruises on it. I was paralyzed from the waist down for about 10 weeks and since then I have had 31 operations on my back. I have spent almost the entire last seven years alone in my bedroom with almost no social interaction and of course now I live totally alone since I left my quasi-wife and got my own place. I am going to start calling tomorrow about support groups locally and surely someone in one of them lves close enough to me to be able to give me a ride. Please continue giving me ideas if you do not mind because it helps my self esteem to know that someone cares and of course it helps my depression to actually have a plan and do something. God Bless You Mightily Lisa. You came to me just in the nick of time. Thank you.

  • tlhoodsr

    By the way Lisa, Sharika, etc. Please just call me Tom. I’ve been called a lot worse, but I think that Tom will work out just fine.

  • lisa

    This website is such a great way for people to share what has worked for them; it’s something to be very grateful for! Tom, please let us know how your journey progresses. By the way – what are you doing on the computer at 2:00a.m.? Get some decent sleep!

  • tlhoodsr

    Well Lisa, since I left my wife last month and am living on my own, I have been watching entirely too much TV. I have got to get myself back on a regular schedule NOW because I’ve let my diabetes and depression meds get all out of whack I am definitely feeling the effects. When I was able to work and was a computer network consultant, I often worked until 4:00 and 5:00 A.M., but that has been many years ago. See ya’

  • Trish

    Thank goodness for people like you that are willing to share such a story. I to feel worthless yet I have a beautiful 5 year old daughter who brings a glimmer of joy to me everyday. Why only a glimmer I ask myself? That alone eats me up with fear and overwhelms me with bad feelings because I can’t say she is enough to make me feel completely happy or joyus. Maybe I’ll start a Self Esteem File if I can come up with a few friends that haven’t already had enough of me.
    Thanks
    Trish

  • Melisa

    I do not have four friends. I have two of whom I would feel comfortable asking such a favor. And when ones self esteem has been made so low by depression, disappointment and lack of confidence it’s hard to believe that even my closest friends would think it’s worth their while to do anything for me. I see a psychiatrist, and have for many years. But the past three years have been full of draw backs and psychic pain. For every day I pull myself up and push my mind to positive thoughts there are three full days of doubt. I am more than merely impressed by the strength and will of others and consider my own complaints small by comparison. Fortunately I am generally an energetic and enthusiastic person so if I can make myself be active I can have a productive if not good day. Self esteem is not an easy thing for someone who has lived their long live being cynical and sad. It is a huge effort worthy of its own congratulations.
    –M.

  • Jancy

    I’m like you Melissa. If something is wrong in your life you blame yourself for it. How can you be happy if everything is your fault? Maybe we can just go on and try to do the best we can and know that’s all we can do. If it’s too much to bear give it to God. There has to be some kind of peace on earth and that’s where I get mine. I’m very pessimistic and critical of myself and others so I’m alone alot. When I like someone it’s genuine, so I enjoy it while it lasts and I remember the good times I had and can have.

  • Rev. Tracie Voss

    Self-esteem file: What a fantastic idea!!!
    Now, imagine if everyone on earth started one? Wouldn’t it be a happier world? It makes you think, dosn’t it?
    Keep the love going…

  • Kathy

    I wanted so much to hear the utube that was on your site Beyond the Blue, but for some reason on my computer there was little or no sound.
    Keep up the good work,
    The articles are helpful, they mean a lot to people.
    Kathy

  • Yasmine

    Thank God I came a cross this page! It’s just all I need these days.. I’ve been losing my self-esteem since months and I went into months of depression, disappointed,,, distress! I lost the active happy enthusiastic and beaituful person inside me! I feel like I’m someone else I dunno! I hate who I am now! I said maybe time will heal and I hope the healing will not take more time than that. I’ll immediately start this self-esteem file and I’ve got some good stuff and emails from my friends. I hope it’ll work with me..

  • Grace

    I want to say that was the best idea I have ever heard. I just wished that I said that to my friends before I left living in Gettysburg before I left and went to Las Vegas, which I do not like at all but having no job I am stuck here for the time being. I live with my daughter which does help as I will not be out in the street. I am going to contact 4 of my closest friends and as them to do this for me as well. THANK YOU SO MUCH

  • Debi

    Thank you for your article on the self esteem file. AS I read it it occured to me thats what I did when I was in high school and didnt even know it. At first mine was a binder I carried. Some of my friends at that time even signed and wrote inspiring quotes on the outside of the binder. I wish now that I still had it. It was tossed by a mom who saw no need for it.
    I remember as a teen going into the card and plaques rows at the store and reading the sayings on them, later writing them down. Thank you for the article that is now re kindling that idea and need in my life again.
    Debi

  • Christopher

    Having a Self-esteem file is a helpful if not necessary tool to maintain a balanced sense of worthiness. I am a small business owner providing swimming pool and spa service and I keep any thank you notes or comments in a similar file. This allows me to be reminded that my clients to care about the service as well as me.
    There are always going be those who are unhappy too. I admit that the negative responses seem to have a stronger hold on my mental and physical health. However, knowing that I am dealing with human beings, I must remember that I there are going to be a few that I cannot please. I have to also remember that it is not an attack on me personally. It is a challenge to balance this.
    I have been working through these emotions of sadness, depression, and anger. When I have been asked how I was feeling, I would respond honestly. I am…sad, bummed out, cranky but I am hanging in there. The responses are funny. Some don’t really want to know,
    some are very interested in what is going on and some do identify with the same emotions. So I do conclude that I am not alone.
    We are all going through something. And this something is life.
    Thank you for article.
    Chris

  • Dawn

    GREAT, GREAT, FABULOUSLY GREAT IDEA!!! I receive all kinds of e-mails
    about self-improvement and self-help, but these are the ones that I
    make sure and read…..You have really enlightened me in many
    ways…so, keep up the inspirational work and I will continue to be a
    loyal subscriber.
    Dawn

  • JB

    I am 54 years old. I have raised two children, lived overseas and have survived very difficult times. I know that I do not have all the answers, and was pleased to hear of such a great suggestion from a younger person.
    I appreciate your candor and wish you well. Thank you.

  • ckt

    I want to add a comment made on Dr. Phil show last week. Someone said, the kids who are troubled and wonder if the glass if half full or half empty, actually think they never have a full glass, which we all need sometimes.

  • Sunshine

    Therese:
    Thank you for this wonderful idea!
    Like Chris mentioned before, the negative responses from others seem to have a greater hold on me too, so having written, positive affirmations that we can read-and re-read is very beneficial. I have a “keep” file on my computer, where I have lots of those positive messages I have received. I check that out from time to time, especially at times when I am feeling down.
    Sunshine
    p.s. Today, October 15th is one of your saint’s days – Santa Teresa de Jesus. I know, because my mom was named after her. Happy saint day!

  • maritza

    hi i have bipolar depression how can u help youre self besides pill that am already taken can u give me some positive ways to work this out thank u for youre help

  • Jade

    I think this is a great way to help one over come their depression. I had depression and I had a friend who would tell me all kinds of positive things about me. She really make me think about all of the gifts one has to offer the world. Positive thinking really works, keep on thinking great things and they will come your way. Take care, Jade

  • Lisa

    I think you are very courageous to share your weakness with us and try to help us keep going when we suffer the same way. You are a testimony of perseverance. Keep up the good work. I am very interested in seeing other videos of people who want to help others with different kinds of problems. I work with young people who need to see and hear that they are not all alone and that they can be lifted up by the help of good friends. Thank you again. Lisa

  • Ellen

    Fantastic! I am currently working on a project to create a web site for people in chronic pain and depression is a big part of it. After 20 years and 29 surgeries I finally went through a unique hospital program which utilizes the 12 steps of AA in managing chronic pain or addictions. The step programs require continuous maintenance via support groups. The problem is that there is only ONE chronic pain support group in central Indiana and it’s 60 miles from home!!! So once a week, I burn a lot of gas because it is THAT important. Again, thank you so very much for your great ideas and openness. I would love to link this video to my future page if that is okay. Please email me, girl. I wanna make a spiritual connection!

  • recovering1

    I think the self-esteem file is a great idea. I suffer from depression and am bipolar (currently on meds), am a recovering alcoholic and mother of 4. I guess I couldn’t decide on which issue to have so I chose them all. I relate so much to what you say. The pressures of trying to live up to some ideal of the “perfect mother” are tremendous. I know there is no perfect mother in theory but applying that to every day life is not so easy. Living one day at a time gets me through this, but sometimes I get too close to that black hole you refer to. This morning was one of those days, however reading what you have written and watching your videos has turned me away from that hole for today. Thank you so much!

  • Frank

    Not at all sure where to begin, except to say that this has proved to be an invaluable lesson in my own self-worth. I know that men operate under the premise that they can’t or won’t do this, that it flies in the face of who they are or hold themselves to be. I decided it was worth a shot, to have another tool in my toolbelt to fix that part of me that seems broken. It was terrific. The replies came in over several days – maybe a week. So, I had these little, divine moments when I saw myself in a new light. This morning, I copied and pasted the reply e-mails into a single Word doc and read them again. I’m somehow transformed. I’ll need to read them again – just to be sure, but I think I’m beginning to perceive myself as this different dude. Now, I didn’t spend my life saying I’m not worthy – but some of my actions said it pretty clearly. That’s where the change has been most evident. I gained a sense of worth and confidence that isn’t challenged by myself. In life, we’ll have moments and persons who challenge our perception of who we are. But if we believe, truly believe in ourselves, the barbs and slings of life won’t sting nearly so deeply.
    I needed a blessing. What Therese did was encourage us to ask for the blessing we deserve.
    I’m hanging onto my list and checking it twice. :)
    Frank,

  • Steve

    I just want to say thanks. I don’t feel so bad now about quitting a perfectly good job as a boss and going out and starting my own firm, which has yet to take off. I really liked the video. It adds a human voice, face and heart to which we all can relate. Thanks again. Steve

  • Anonymous

    I’m from Kokomo, IN and I am married with a 3 yr old daughter but I still feel lonely. Need help making friends. I also suffer from social anxiety disorder. I need to make friends to save my sanity.

  • David Fancher

    I am gift from God that I always give people smile , laugh and silly to make people smile or laugh. But one person said that remember to think yourself. it was hit me and most of time i felt so sad and lonesome not face to people . I go out eat alone ( my parent ask me do you want to join with us if I dont have no plans yes if i have plan to go movie and eat myself No i cant eat with my parent ) i have girlfreind only freind . she is still dream to get married I have been studied with her and dont want to marry her because her two teenagers are use me . Whine or mad and fussy with me . or borrow money from me . No sign of love me and say thank you very much and smile and laugh. they have two faces . one day they want all freinds go with us with my car . it is small car with five kids. . I hate the girls to leave things in my car and i did clean and found and throw away. i have another freind . he is little joker, smile and laugh hard with me . but he keep said i have to go work. he have girlfreind but it is wrong idea to have date with older lady with deaf and criple. she is easy fall and easy break her bone. i have sister but she is busy with family.
    i have brother . I looked back we had good time to get ready go drive thru movie and we stop store and buy ice cream and put ice ( not dry ice ) and candy and watch movie . we had good time after that he dont go out with me anymore and his wife told him why not both of you go out good time. But he did not call me . I know too busy to think about it . Never ask me to have fun. I know he dont want to go out with me . I really want to have good time with my grandparent home and have fun. that was my mom parent home. They gone heaven . i have treasure of love and dream of my grandparent . my dad parent I dont remember my grandpa very well but he did spoil with me and sent me to summer camp . it was fun and good experince with hearing people. I forgot to tell you i am deaf. I dont like to go Deaf club very much that one or two people are use me .
    I like to go deaf camp . it was fun .
    I have Viedo phone to chat deaf people but Not all deaf people do not call me . I did ask and ask call me . But ingnore or too busy to think of me . I know Deaf Pastor very well . I sent e mail and ask him please have call me . No word and i beleive he is ingnore me . Hearing world i felt that i am in fish bowl that mean all hearing people chat and laugh. They come only said hi and how are you and left then came back say Good bye. I tried and tried to chat. I watch people and they can cut my chat and they said excuse me and left . i was not finish chatting. . it is same thing deaf people always see with old freind run and excuse me and good bye on me and left. that how i can feel more quiet and sad and blue side. I understand what God gave me the gift. I have safe someone life last two weeks ago that he was going to shoot himself because his wife left him. i called police and police got him and take the gun away. and took him in police station . I felt Hero. I did save someone life. twice that drown from swimming pool. That is all

  • Stephanie

    Thank you for information about this tool. I just found this post last week and put it to use. I have received some wonderful letters from my friends answering my request. I just don’t know how to thank them. After the work they have put into their letters, I feel that the words ‘thank you’ just aren’t enough to express my gratitude for their thoughtfulness and kindness. Those words aren’t enough to express what those words mean to me now or in the future when I need to turn to them to pull myself out of the hole I will have dug for myself. How do you say thank you?

  • Christine

    Wow, I have to say after watching your video on your self-esteem file, that you are one very beautiful person. Your heart just shines through and illuminates the darkness in others.
    Remember this, you are a precious gift, (even though you don’t feel it, and I know this one myself). Never, never forget that. Even though the feelings aren’t there….yet…..just keep repeating your wonderful affirmations over and over to yourself. It’s unfortunate that the truth of a person is mostly determined by their feelings, but feelings are deceptive, and are never a good indicator of the measure of our worth.
    Keep pushing forward. I say pushing as I know that it takes effort to keep on going.
    You are a wonderful blessing. I will be praying for you. Know that we are never truly alone.
    If you are in need, I’m a email away.
    Your new friend in the battlefield,
    Christine

  • Suzanne Cox

    Your staff, website creation, and participants in this video segment are among those I would like to thank. This was so healing to my soul. May God Bless the efforts of beliefnet. I am alive partially due to all of you. This is a neccessary part of today’s corrupted, harmful world. Also we must remember that Jesus looked at his disciples and basically told them in The book of John that the world is an evil place. He didn’t leave it there however, He also told them to know that He has overcome the world. This is so true, thanks be to God, for so many of us Christians. Bless, oh Bless the Lord on High!

  • Andrea Bailey

    Years ago I took an Affirmation Class and it made such a difference in my life. We had to make a list of 20 things we liked about ourselves. My fellow students and myself found this to be a difficult task and it made us very aware of the negative attitudes we had towards ourselves.
    I began to collect positive statements and wrote them down on 3×5 note cards. I even decorated them. It helped me tremendously to improve how I viewed myself. I shared this with my children and each of them had a notebook entitled – A Work In Progress. In this notebook we took notice of positive things that took place in our lives. With my children I took a different form of discipline action when they would fight calling each other names. The one who was offensive would have to make a list of eleven positive statements about the one who was offended. We found that it is completely impossible – emotionally and physically to remain angry when stating these positive statments. It was also impossible to remain hurt when hearing these statements. Usually what would happen would be that they would end up with their arms wrapped around each other and laughing helping each other to think of a positive statement to list. The rules were that the statement had to be a truthful one and not a silly off the wall sentence. The notebooks worked to document a positive history and to provide a map from which they could keep track of their progress – their personal journey as they have grown as individuals. Two of my children were Youth of the Year for the Boys and Girls Club of America – one represented our State…another graduated with her class with a solid B average even while diagnosed as dyslexic…Each has become a positive thinking adult with positive goals and productive lives. Your Self Esteem File is a wonderful idea.

  • Gini

    Awesome Awesome Awesome! I am presently working on getting out of a Depression that has lasted quite a long time. Have already followed this advice and e-mailed several friends. Thanks for sharing this idea. Bless you and yours, you certainly deserve it!

  • Anonymous

    thank you sooooooo much

  • Catherine

    Thank you so much for cheering this video with me.
    At this moment i am going to so much,that you make me think.
    I am going to do the same thing you did,Self-Esteem File,and hoping that i will get a lot of support from my friends.
    I have so much in my head,that before i heard you,i did’nt know what to do.But now i am feeling a little released.
    Thank you so much,You are an Angel.God Blees you Always.

  • Eris Discordia (Strife)

    What if you have no friends, and it’s difficult to communicate with people?
    :(
    Jenni

  • beth

    this is the first time i’ve used my new mac. I am going to get through this night because ifound your site.I am Catholic,depressed. Thankyou for putting yourself out here. I feel like liveing is to much work. I put less effort into every day,

  • Clare

    I thought the story, and the idea were fantastic. It’s been fourteen years since I underwent a similar time in my life. I particularly identified with your measure of self worth by success professionally. Thanks for sharing your journey.
    cmk

  • Annie Hall

    Thank you so much for making these videos. I enjoyed each one. Especially your story about Ben. I know you miss him! I have had the good fortune to meet people like Ben in my life and I believe older people than myself have so much wisdom to share. You are a wonderful person to do what you are doing. I understand how you felt when the girl wrote you the email also about knowing more about you than you did. I too, have met some “especially family” that say things also to me like this. When it’s family its hard not to believe them. But we can still put the locks on. IT is hard to do! And for Jenni above, if you dont’ have any friends email me. shoehill@yahoo.com subject line from belief net jenni. I have been through so very much in my life that it’s hard to get up out of bed in the mornings. I get so very depressed especially when I first wake up. life is too short to live in a depressed state all the time. JUST SHOW UP! YEA, that is the KEY..JUST DO IT..Sometimes, I spend too much time thinking about it all..not doing it..talking myself out of JUST SHOWING UP..then later the regret is worse..anyway, I just want YOU to put this is your self esteem file…I THANK YOU FOR sharing yourself with me..not a person who didn’t have such a huge heart would do this. Especially someone with depression..YOU KEEP pressing on..YOU KEEP SHOWING UP..and that’s good..Annie

  • Richard Hagan

    There is a process that I’ve come across called EFT and if you google you’ll get there. And, while I’m aware that no one process helps everyone I believe it is worth looking into. For the better you are the better we all become, good luck and God Bless.

  • rick

    i to have a problem with depression, self worth.what helped me the moest was reading a book by (joyce meyer) it is called (ashes to beauty)……i was brought up being told and believing that i was worthless and always would be and by grabing at straws to prove my family wrong, alli did was prove them right and also reinforce it in myself because of all the failures….but remeber what the world of GOD says ….that even if my mother and father abandin me the LORD will and does adopt me , because he loves me just as i am….really if you think about it .HE is the only one that we need acceptance from..who is better then HE?????? if HE loves me than why shouldnt i love myself ????? you should also name the good qualities that you feel that you have ….repeat them to yourself each and everyday .morning , noon and night ,, day in and day out .read the “word” AND SEE WHAT THE LORD HAS TO SAY ABOUT HOW GOOD WE ARE AND HOW MUCH HE LOVES US ..do you think that HE would make anything bad ????? if nothing else i LOVE you and except you just as you are….so does the LORD but HE malso love us to much to stay the way we are….just read HIS word and know that you are loved and have value…tell yourself , out load each day that GOD loves you and so do you love yourself.it might take days but it works………..”JUST BELIEVE” i yourself first and it will be ok..the negative thoughts and negative people sometimes have to be left behind.for us to move on……love and best wishes ……rick…..

  • Rachel

    Thank you for your web site. I just found out about the self-esteem files and I am watching the video. I am so glad to be able to find a way out of this dark time in my life, by reaching out to others. I am looking forward to reading and learning more from all of you.

  • Olivia

    Thank you SO much for this!

  • Lynn

    Therese, thank you for this. You are the only thing that is keeping me from falling into the black hole today.

  • Lisa

    I “stumbled” upon your video today, when the Beyond Blue headline stood out to me on the Beliefnet email.
    I watched your video about the self esteem file and am glad you took the time to do this for yourself.
    I have suffered with depression issues and OCD, which manifested with living in a great deal of fear. I
    have a wonderful husband and 3 beautiful children, and it was NOT living. I am doing much better now,
    and like you- want so badly to help others that suffer, as life IS too short. I think the self-esteem file
    is an excellent idea, even for those without depression. I am heading up our Bible School at church
    this year and it is themed around God’s Power. After seeing you and your idea today, I plan to implement
    the self-esteem file for the kids, somehow remiding the of the Power within ourselves as well-and that you
    have to love yourself to love others, etc. What a great thing to teach kids. Wouldn’t it be wonderful
    to employ people with these tools and coping mechanisms to not only help deal with but maybe help
    ward off depressive times by building the self esteem to BEGIN with! It is sad, yet common how many
    children are lacking it. THANK you for your contribution… you can expect it to touch the lives of 150 people this June!

  • *LISA*

    BETH and JENNI- who posted in December– please hang in there. I’ve never done this blogging stuff before, but hope that you’re still out there. I am 40 and have a church friend, 19, who has touched my life, because in her, I see the “old me.” She sent me a jar of reminder slips, that I can go to on days I feel bad, and focus on something good. Here are a couple words of wisdom, shared by one wise beyond her years…
    Jenni- Draw close to God, and God will draw close to you. (James 4:8) Stay on this site and I’ll be a friend. You don’t have to worry about having trouble talking.
    Beth- I’ve had those thoughts, too… think, do, act something positive today and begin to transform your mind. “Carefully consider your thoughts, as they become your words. Consider your words, as they become your actions. These actions will become habits and habits will form your character. This will become your destiny.” I was insulted the first time I read it long ago, but then I began to see how it WAS happening in my life. That was NOT the person that I am, and sometimes you have to practice things like this when you suffer from depression. Hope you see this!

  • Sue

    I’ve been under psychiatric care consistently since 1988. On May 29th, when I was 33, I walked to my husbands work and told him I needed mental help. The next day (Memorial Day), I was in a doctor’s office, then on medication, then intense therapy for 2 years. I have had to change meds so many times, I can’t count. Getting off of one and onto another, as many of you know, takes a toll. 4-6 weeks before a med can help. Unfortunately, I have more issues concerning how my brain works, than any thing besides a great anxiety problem. I have been told by many of my therapists (yes, you go thru those as often as meds) to write down the things that are wrong in my life and not the good. I took exception to this. I don’t need to be invalidated more, I needed a good boost up. Your idea of the self-esteem file is WONDERFUL. Had any of my therapists picked up on that idea, I might still be going to one, though I see my psychiatrist regularly. You are a truly good person, helping those of us that do feel as if we are sitting in the bottom of the toilet.
    THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!!!!

  • Smokie

    QUITE pathetic.

  • Jimmy D. Moorer

    Therese, thanks for a simple but effective tool that I can use for myself and my “Special Needs” daughter. We will start today using it and will report back to you on our results.But as long as I keep a good spirtual foundation then the “FEAR” of different life situations that get thrown to us all become more manageable on a daily basis.As I have been told countless times (KISS), keep it simple stupid. Thanks Again, Jimmy.

  • Ann-Marie Cunniff

    Therese,
    I hope you will add this to your self esteem file. You are truly inspiring and offer great resources to others based on your own experiences.
    Kudos for putting yourself out there over and over. You have great courage. Don’t ever, ever, ever, stop.
    I hope you do not mind if I share the self esteem file idea with my readers.
    Ann-Marie
    http://ourgratitude-rosee285.blogspot.com

  • Robin Hummingbird Songs

    This is such a great idea! Your video had me in happy tears.

  • Lauri

    What if you’re afraid of asking friends to do this for you. This isn’t something that comes naturally or easily to me. My friends have and continue to give me compliments, support and other positive stuff. I reach out to them when I need to. I love the idea of having a self-esteem file, and will start one in my own fashion. To those in the Beyond Blue community, who manage to do this, you have my admiration. I applaud your courage, your grit.

  • Beverly

    I think that this is a wonderful idea. I did something similar years ago when in al-anon, my sponsor suggested that I ask others I’d met in our groups to tell me good things about myself so that I could add them to my fourth step list of good qualities, (I couldn’t find one on my own.) This really gave me a sense of being for awhile. I no longer have friends that I feel I could go to for this now, as they all seemed to have forgotten or left me since I don’t leave my house much anymore. I made calls to them for a long time, but I suppose they couldn’t handle the depression anymore, and, honestly, I don’t blame them. It really does do wonders though. Thanks for sharing this. Bev.

  • Ann

    While this sounds like a good idea, some of us don’t put quite as much emphasis on words of affirmation alone. I think the reason I don’t is that so many people I know have said encouraging words to me and never backed them up – they wouldn’t call me, write me or go anywhere with me. I think some of us may benefit more from our quality time with others. When depressed, it helps me most to help others, and spending that time with others is reward in itself. Then if I get encouraging comments from people that I’ve touched in any way, that makes everything all that much more meaningful. Few things are more affirming than knowing you’ve made a difference. And always remember – when you look in a mirror, you’re looking at a miracle! That’s my two cents.
    Ann

  • Louis

    One of my friends is called Mieke and she undergoes chemotherapy because of breast cancer. From day one she sent an e-mail to all of her friends to tell them about her condition. After every chemo she writes and there is still two treatments to go. I always mail her back and try to offer support in an optimistic way. I am a man, but I can imagine what a devastating effect on the morale of a woman it must have to be told that you have breast cancer. Then your self-esteem file dropped into my e-mail box. It was moving to see the video. This one is for my friend Mieke, I thought and I sent to to her. Then I sat down and wrote her and mentioned at least ten positive qualities as a start for her file and expressed my admiration and sent her my warmth.
    I am sure your idea of the self-esteem file will do her much good.
    By the way, very courageous of you to have the video on you tube. I listened to your voice and thought, such a nice woman !
    Please, put this in your own file too.

  • Ruth

    What if you don’t have four friends? Some of mine have died–others don’t care. What do you suggest. The fact that you assume that every person has at least four close friends makes me more depressed than ever.

  • Louis

    What now Ruth ? Others dont care’, but how do you know ?
    In the fourteenth century Shakespeare wrote about the seven stages in the life of mankind. At every stage in life, you can make new friends.
    Just reach out and touch. Don’t just sit there and wait. That does not work. Try it out and send me an e-mail. We might become friends. No need to become depressed.
    Have a great sunshiny day !

  • Michelle

    I just want to say THANK YOU to Louis for being such a BEAUTIFUL human being. I finally cleaned up the email and clicked through on this one that I had been saving (heh! that seems like a good idea, a self esteem file). having read it, and the comments, I was SO touched by your original post about your friend Mieke. Many blessings and good wishes for her continued treatment, healing and good health. But, to see how you reached out to Ruth, well, thank you for that. Even if you got no response, you made a difference, just in the reaching out (as you expressed). Know that you passed it on…:o)

  • Linda

    Ruth, as we are all made in the image of the Creator and share a spiritual commonality, in the whole picture of the universe, we are ALL friends and SOUL-mates. Take comfort in the fact that many, many souls connect with yours and offer you true love and support. That being said, kindness and friendly connections with even strangers can give us that glimpse of friendship we all crave. I have many acquaintances but few real friends with whom I share intimately. I try to give and receive moments of friendship every day with anyone I meet. Touching another soul gives both them and yourself an opportunity for growth and inner strength. Don’t pass up those moments!! I have found that some of the single comments of my positive qualities have meant as much to me as a list of ten from a friend would. Tell a coworker you really appreciate his/her help today. Tell the checker at the store that you always see, that she looks great today. When you send positive things out to others, you will be surprised how much you get back. I am sorry for the loss of your friends and hope you try this and see how many positives you get back. They don’t have to be your closest friend to work, but that’s a good place to start a self-esteem file. I am sending friendly thoughts to you, Ruth. Have a blessed day!

  • Dora

    Hello Ruth,
    Thank you for having this great idea to create the “self Esteem file”
    My soul was just dieing..from desperation.. actually it was having her last few breaths.. when I found this page by chance / nothing happaned by chance, right ?? :-)))/
    You do not need sad e-mails.. So many peopple are sad or desperate right now, at this very moment, when I am writing this e-mail.. they are lonely needlessly.. I hope many of them will find unexpected help like I did with your post. Thank you !!
    Exuse my English. Originally I am from Bulgaria.. and the few years in the USA were not enough to improve it… you can see. I do not have low self esteem… I just do not have any ??
    The morning will be more wise than tonight I hope.. and I will start working on my file. Because I do not have any friends here.. I will have to find some other way to get encouraging e-mails??
    I wish you all the lights ahead, and let God keeps you on his palm !!
    Thank you one more time,
    Dora

  • Angelina

    Hi Ruth,
    I absolutely delight in Therese Borchard’s blogs. She has been very instrumental in me having “Aha” moments and has given me reason to “stop” and re-evaluate my thoughts swirling around in my head.
    I could have written your comment! I too have lost dear friends to cancer, who loved me, understood me, listened to me, and we could talk for hours, literally. I miss them terribly; we had a history together.
    Recently I went to my local library for a reading by an author. I am cultivating friendships from this group. Do you have a pet? When I walk my dog at the neighborhood park, strangers come up to me and want to know about my little dog. I also reach out to other people with pets; it’s a beginning bond of interest and conversation. I have exchanged names and email addresses with people I’ve met and from there gone to movies, coffee, etc.
    I have learned I have to get OUT and become involved. Believe me, the rest will take care of itself. I have no doubt, you have much to offer; we all have natural “gifts” to share with one another. Like a pebble thrown in the pond, our circle of outreach just gets bigger.
    Great idea to start your own self esteem folder; write down what makes you a unique person and your special inherent “gifts.”
    Love & Laughter To You

  • Paula

    I am so glad that I found this. I am feeling very low and lonely in a great marriage. I know that doesn’t make sense, but I am finding that is is becoming harder and harder to communicate; therefore, I am blaming myself, feeling depressed, low self-esteem, lonely and I just feel like crying all the time. I have some great friends at work and I am not one for accepting compliments, I guess I don’t feel worthy. Again, low self-esteem. Why I am feeling so down, I am not sure. I do know that I don’t want to keep feeling this way and I want my self esteem folder inserts to come from home. It has been a bad start of 2008 for me and a lot of changes that I am not sure I have dealt with in the right manner. I think I am a very giving person who gets taken advantage of, especially by family members. I am the listener, the giver, the problem solver, and yet I feel no one ever cares to see me hurting. Is it me…..am I giving a different view of my pain? I just feel lost, lonely, scared. Thank you for being able to hear someone else’s pain. I am hoping that I will be bale to get to that place where I can feel better for myself, about myself.
    Bless you all

  • Linda

    What a wonderful thing you have done by sharing your self esteem file folder with everyone ! The idea of it will help so many ! I need to do this for myself . I have tried so many things, read so many books but found nothing like this . Thank You, Thank you, You are a very special person to open your heart and soul to all of us so we can see you really do know the pain so many of us have and to share what has helped you that we might also be helped by using.
    God Be With You Always ,
    In His Love and Mine, Linda
    I

  • Margaret Balyeat

    Paula” I’m sorry you are so unhappy and lonely in the midst of a “great marriage”, but that’s the nature of the beast we call depression. Keep rturning here for daily doses of touching othrs (and being touched back) Finding Therese and her band of loyal followers (Is it coincidental that Robin Hood’s band were known as the “Merry Men? I think not!) There’s great comfort to be found in the comaraderie of “kindred spirits” and while us “older” BBers perhaps can’t yet be labled the “Merry Members,” this place has become a virtual sanctuary for me in my darker hours, a safe harbor, if you will. There are moments when we each just need the encouragement of someone who’s “been there”, and if your husband is one of the fortunate ones who has NOT, this is the absolute BEST place to find people who have and who are willing to share your stumbling journey through the obstacle course of depression and lonliness.

  • katrina

    for Dora’s self-esteem file:
    BRAVE & COURAGEOUS
    MORNING WISDOMS
    LOVING & KIND

  • Willie Jernagin

    You are diong fine keep up the good work. And may God give you wisdom to over come every problem you encounter. Understanding of your purpose in life. Live in the sunshine of JESUS your KING. Hold your head up and see who is the King of Glory and it is the LORD. have a great rest of your life. Now Rest in your salvation in the LORD. Rest in CHRIST relax in the arms of the Master. Take your worries to him and confess them then leave them there. Here is how you do that confess all the affarative of who you are in him. Build your hope up in him and you will have a better day. May you understand what I’ve said and I hope you be bless today and not tommorow. Look up for your salvation is in CHRIST and not of yourself. How do I know this well first we are saved, then our hope is in him and not or ourselves. Even our minds on him as our regulator for our minds.CHRIST is LORD and he is your KING he is your everything in life.

  • Simi

    I was happy to see this site. I am a therapist myself, and I also suffer from depression. It took me a long time to acknowledge my depression. It wasnt until I lost a job, a long-term relationship,and every thing I thought I needed to be whole, that I began to see myself, for myself. I had allowed so many other people to define me that I seemed to have no opinion of myself. Then I became life-threateningly ill. I was in hospital for a month, and lost thirty pounds in two weeks. Hardly a soul came to visit, and I refused to tell my family how bad I was (we live in different states). That is when I saw that is was my job to keep me alive. And only God could deliver the prognosis. I began to rely on God more. And slowly, I began to accept help from others. I could see my control issues, and began to let go. And I recently started taking some new antidepressants which are really making a difference as far as I can see. I M planning my own blog, and I hope you all continue to improve and share. I will be back here to visit. Thanks , Therese

  • Carolyn J Steele

    I want to be a more Postive person My Health is not the best,Back problems for 20 years from a work related injury. I’m in constant pain. I try to keep as positive attitude as possible, I scrapebook to keep me busy and it works because I get lost in it and forget everything else. I Pray without ceasing while I’m scraping and it works for me.I read my Bible and study it. Praise the Good Lord. Carolyn

  • Linda

    You are an angel on earth.
    We love you.
    Love and light,
    Linda ~:0)

  • Marsha Coats

    I can only say this. I know how depression can hurt like HELL. I went through it briefly thank my Heavenly Father. We all go through so much stress in this day and time. More so than our mama’s and daddy’s. I feel so for you. Paxil got me through the worst!!!!!!!! I finally got a job that I now can feel like I am going to be worth something!!!!! I also have my mother to see in denial with her aging. That is no fun I am sure. See I am a baby boomer, now you talking about change!!!!!!! We have both ends to deal with, our children who are married and trying to make ends meet and helping a poor widow make ends meet as well as me and my Husband!!!!!!! With God’s help we will prevail. My suggesstion, take deep breaths, hold 4 seconds, then exhale. I have found it works great!!!!!! I just want to help people. I have seen so many people, especially young as you are get depressed and give up. Remember TIME HEALS ALL WOUNDS AND I MEAN ALL!!!!!!! READ GOD’S WORD, VERY COMFORTING AND HE IS SO REAL. MARSHA. :)

  • Anonymous

    Nothing twords you this is just my point of view on self esteem. ANd nothing twords GOD at all, however, God has nothing to do with self esteem, yes i believe in God. But i also believe in the facts of life, self esteem is a buffer-a veil if you will, i am one of the most honest people one will ever meet. When my friends tell me you look great, I say NO i am just a fat girl trying not to look like a slob too much today. And the fact of the matter is, the clothes I wear dont match my personality the shoes are 5+ years old-and those are the newer ones. I cant stand it when people say “you have such a pretty face” but if only….. hmmmm, wear a bulleting board over my body…. stand next to a semi….an elephant….a fatter person. now i know, i know, o have lost and gained over 120 lbs, loosing it had nothing to do with self esteem. one just has to get used to the fact that they are who they are and accept it. nobody like it when people lie to them why lie to yourself.

  • Vickie Naquin

    I just found your blog, it gives me hope
    thanks, Vickie

  • Jane L

    Hi,
    I have tried numberous times to watch your videos. I think they would be helpful. But the volumen is so low it is too much of a strain to hear your voice. I know I could use addional speakers, but most videos I can hear. So, I am suggesting you increase the volumne on your end to make it easier for people like me. Thanks and best wishes, Jane

  • Hermgirl

    I didn’t really care for this idea–especially in the form you have it in as a Beliefnet feature. The project seems to orient people towards looking to others for self esteem. Having friends is a very good thing, but looking to others for validation just isn’t where it’s at for me.
    Also, from the Beliefnet feature article: giving your friends a “homework assignment” and then getting all aggressive with them and considering them only “so-called” friends if they’re slow to comply? Uh, let’s not do that and say we did, mmmkay?
    I think a much better version of this project would be: Write down ten things you like about yourself, then try and *remember* nice things people have said about you and write those down, and collect a file with stuff you like in it, bits of poetry, inspiring quotes, that sort of thing. And it would be even better than doing it the other way because you would know that *you* were the source of all this good stuff.

  • Coqui

    I saw the video, and I think is a great idea for self- esteeem but… I dont really have four(4) true and real friends. Another idea for me?
    Thanks.

  • melania

    Thanks for advice.I like the idea to ask friends saying the truth about you. But I was thinking to find good quotes and some of them type in a big shifts and tape to yout closet and your eyes will see everyday.

  • Connie

    I’ve found that you videos are very useful in the career that I am in (drug and alcohol counseling). I would like to make them a part of my library but am having difficulties saving them onto CD. Any suggestions?

  • AgosodoHed

    The trouble with giving advice is that others want to return the favor.–Sam Ewing, (1921–), U.S. humorist

  • Lorraine

    Ive had an this condition for most of my life! (54 now) I know it comes from within yourself to fix which I have but I am very curious to see if this idea works so Im trying it! I will write back again soon to keep you posted one way or the other! I cant see how it could hurt as long as you know it comes from within! Because self loathing seemed to come naturally to me! Like Success Im terrified of it also! WHY?

  • Karen

    Came across this site and was impressed with the information. Watched the video and I thought how awesome. You go woman, and keep up the great work for others and for yourself.

  • sandra weisz

    what if you don’t have any friends or any family that care about you at all ,are in a bad enviroment, and struggling to get out. and have no where to go and are completely lost, and have lost everything? there is no one here to write anything since i am a stranger in a strange land.

  • Anonymous

    i found this video helpful.

  • Marcia

    I too suffer from depression and anxiety ( have all my life and I am 60.) Makes a lot of days seems hopeless and the question of why I am here taking up space…) I am going to start a self-esteem file…I know I won’t have 10 positive things to say about myself so I will ask friends and family…..My oldest daughter was here this past weekend from Tn. and during a conversation we were having she said over and over to me “you are so negative about everything, you can’t find anything positive”. I will be curious what she will write….Marcia

  • Cathy Vern

    Great file for self esteeem…a tremendous and rewarding job,
    now how has she applied all this self esteem to enrich her life?
    Has she accomplished things she couldn’t even thing of accomplishing before? I would like to here more on how this made her better, or how her life proceeded to bring her the things she felt she couldn’t do before!
    Thank you!

  • Sabrah

    What a great idea! Thank you. I am going to start working on a self esteem file today. I also watched the 10 days to self esteem video, and I watched in awe… I do all of the 5 things you mentioned, and I felt like you were talking to me. Thank you for doing this. You are helping so many people!
    Sparkle & Love…

  • Your Name

    To Sandra Weisz,
    I don’t know you but I understand how you feel because I was in that same space. I will send you something…the mere fact that you are here searching proves that you are an insightful person. You say you are struggling to get indicates that you are strong and determined. You are not lost you just need to keep moving focus to find that light within. It takes time and patients. Instead of feeling as if you are alone use the time to self reflect I like sitting in front of a tree and pulling the energy from there. I actually relocated from a similar situation and constantly remind myself I am here for a new beginning. Trust me I do have my off days. You will make it through because you are loved.

  • Your Name

    I could use this…but do I have the longevity to see it through, or will I sputter out, leaving my self-esteem the in wasteland that it is currently? I feel like I am being driven by the curves and turns and bumps in the road of life’s complications, the only road conditions I seem to get to travel these days. What else can possibly make another bump in my road?? Even before beginning, I am feeling over-whelmed that even more clutter will invade my house! I am trying to weed out collected stuff I found necessary to live…I am glad I read the article and will make an attempt at collecting some positive thoughts etc about ME…Thanks…will let you know when the transformation dawns.Lorelei

  • Your Name

    Hi! This concept of making a Self-esteem file is a terrific idea!
    not just for me… I work with individuals who have difficulty with pragmatic social interactions. Central to this is usually lack of self-confidence and poor self-esteem! I am excited about being able to apply this concept/methodology to help them. THANKS.

  • Val

    I am appreciative of this site on Belief.net and particularly the section, “Beyond Blue”. It was the first thing that popped up this morning, the idea for a “Self-Esteem” file. I am trying to follow the guidelines and look forward to Thesese’s book being published so I can order a copy. As someone who has had lifelong depression with a family history of the same, this is a wonderful way to start the day, by reading these positive affirmations that your website offers. Thank you.

  • Your Name

    Just watched “My self-esteem file” video. A great idea, but I’m afraid to ask people to list good qualities they find in me. Why? Because I’m afraid that, like myself, they may not find any.

  • Jill

    This is an excellent idea! I used to have a lot of self esteem issues when I was younger, so my mom would make up a “self esteem list” with me. It was really hard for me to come up with things on my own, but she helped me by giving me suggestions on what to write(she would write it for me a lot of times) I used to think it was a stupid exercise, but reading this article reminded me of it and it was a special time with my mom and I’m very grateful that she did this for me!

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  • Beckie

    I love the Self-Estem File so much that not only did I make one for me, but I’m having a Self-Estem party for a few close friends and as a “take home” gift, they all get a pretty Self-Estem File with my ten positive qualities about each of them.
    Thank you so much – I love this website – it has helped heal me.

  • laine pierce

    yall know wat?! you should not have low esteem! i tink dats dumb!u wanna know why? well, people dat reject u has LOWER esteem dan u have. so everytime they reject u, den say: i dont care wat other people say about me! besides, i guess dat u r worse dan me. it has worked for me. so, u know. dont b an idiot!!!!and tin dat u r just 1 of a kind. dont envy other people. u r 1 of a kind!!!!!!!!!!

  • laine pierce

    besides. people reject u cuz they know dat u keep their comments. ignore them people! quit being soooo dramatic, and ignore them!!!!!
    DANG! learn 2 love yourself, u dont need other people 2 tell u wat 2 do! just love youself!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Zoe

    I think that laine is wrong. first of all, she shount talk to people like that, and second of all, she and everybody reading this should learn that God made all of us special. sorry with that laine, but shes wrong.love youself! GOD MADE YOU SPECIAL!!!!!!!! and i love yall too, because I am a christian. ignore laine, she is just hurt too.

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    hey! zoey is my cousing. she didint spelled her name right!!! . her name is zoey cherity hunter. we are from kansas!!! j. im just correctin her. bye!!!!!

  • karina

    Hi! this is karina hunter. Zoey didnt spelled her name right. her name is zoey hunter. Just correcting. Bye!

  • zoey

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  • karina

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    This is a very good article. Years ago, I had problems of this nature, so I saw a psychologist..at that time, he told me to pretend I had a small keepsake bag to keep with me at all times…when someone complimented me, I was to take that compliment and place it in the bag…when I would get down and depressed, he said I should take the compliments out and read them over and over…that way I could stop a lot of my negative thinking…I still have a lot of negative thinking, but certainly not as bad as before…and I still practice that exercise, also…

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    Self Esteem, in my opinion is the absolute most important part of a person’s make up. More powerful than money, education, intelligence and in some cases good health. I feel this way because any chink in our self esteem armour can result in failures of all levels personal & professional, sadness, disappointment and on and on. Self esteem is important for people of all ages. Good self-esteem can help us conquer the impossible and wake up with joy in our hearts. I am going to put your plan into action and see if the friends that I count on to answer the important questions understand and help my own self esteem. –Jan http://www.jan-leasure.com I invite others to do the same! Thank you for this.

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    I don’t do compliments but I do keep a box of all seasoned cards (birthday, christmas, thank you etc.,)and whatever notes and letters I’ve gotten from everybody I ever known over the years. I also throw in any awards and keepsakes as well. So, when I’m really down in the dumps,(which luckily isn’t as much as it was) going through the box doesn’t just put me in a better mood…I’m just happily distracted because the box of stuff is like going through a treasure trove. And, the next thing you know, the whole afternoon has blown by.

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    Therese,
    Just a note for your own Esteem File.
    I have used this site dozens of times to lift my own spirits, and I am grateful.
    I have used this site 100s! of times to forward things to dear friends and family to help them thru dark/tough times.
    Thanks for your constant dffort.
    Danny

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