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Raw and Open: We all want something to change

Guest Author: Jody Betty

This content contains explicit and sensitive information that may not be suitable for all ages.

There is always something about ourselves we dislike and want to change.

Straight-haired people want curls, while curly-haired people pay to straighten theirs; those who are short wish they were taller and vice versa.

We are unhappy with our eye color so we buy coloured contacts, or we’re unhappy with our hair color so we dye it. We don’t like the size of our nose or boobs, so we get them fixed; we don’t like the look of aging so we Botox our faces. We don’t like the size of our bodies, so we go to the gym, diet and starve ourselves until we get to the size we “should be” at. The fact is everyone sees their own flaws in a much brighter light than others do, or as they say, everyone is their own worst critic.

I used to have a terrible temper.

This does not only apply to physical traits, which may be a lot easier than to fix than personality traits. We all have characteristics that are both innate and learned from our environment and they affect how each of us sees and interacts with the world. Some people are innately short fused while others have learned their temper through life experiences, while others are born to be mellow and seem to go through life with ease. I am sure there are a list of traits that each and every one of us would change if we could just snap our fingers and make it happen, however the fact is, that to change an integral part of our personality takes a lot of hard work, dedication and guidance, and unlike the 20 minutes it takes for hair dye to set in, changing a trait may take years.

I used to have a terrible temper. Physically I took it out on myself and inanimate objects, but the poor people around me, especially those closest to me, dealt with horrible, verbal lashings. For me this anger may not have been innate but it was learned so young that it certainly felt like it. It has taken me years and years to learn new coping mechanisms, and even harder at trying to replace the old ones with them. I may not be even keeled now, but I am about 500 percent more mellow than I was 15 or 20 years ago, an achievement I am actually proud of.

It is not that I am feeling sorry for myself.

One thing I still struggle with is jealousy or envy in certain situations. My roommate, for example, has a happy disposition and just eases through life with very few struggles. The other day, he decided to look for a new job, put out one resume, went to one interview and now has a great job with fantastic benefits. Now don’t get me wrong, my immediate reaction is to be happy for him and his achievement and congratulate him for it, however, there is a part of me that feels envious that things come so easy for him while I have struggled for decades to just make it alive until the next day. It is not that I am feeling sorry for myself, more so that I wish that for once, just one thing would go easily for me as well. It is a characteristic that I have had for years, and although I have been able to change my reactions, I have yet to put a halt to the emotions causing it, and truthfully, it is one of those things that add to my thoughts about being a bad person.

Like me, it is a work in progress.

When I question where this envy really comes from, I believe it is an accumulative belief from years of believing that I am not worthy of anything good; that I am not a good enough person for good things to happen to. It boils down to the depths of my insecurities, because if I was full of confidence then I would feel equally as able to get a job, or whatever the case may be, but because my self-esteem is so low, I immediately resort back to thinking I am not worthy. Like many things in life, it is a vicious, self-defeating circle that I need to figure out how to stop, as one feeds off of the other. I don’t know whether the answer lies in trying to boost my confidence or working specifically on trying not to feel those emotions in the first place, so I am trying both. I want to be able to truly feel happy for someone without having jealousy and envy running rampant in the background.

Like me, it is a work in progress.

Jody Betty is a guest blogger for SickNotWeak who, in her own words, is a master at the art of survival. She lives with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and is co-afflicted with MDD, Dysthymia and Social Anxiety. She has survived three serious suicide attempts and a handful of overdoses which lets her know it isn’t her time. You can read her blog “Raw and Open” posted bi-weekly on Thursdays on SNW.

Comments

Diana
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I think the way to deal with low self esteem and envy is to learn to love yourself. This can be difficult, but I have found that the teachings of Louise Hay helped with self love immensely. Thoughtful and truthful post about stuff we all deal with to different degrees.

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