It’s time to get down to brass tacks and find out why I keep shooting myself in the emotional foot. I want to address my neurosis once and for all. It’s time to do away with low self-esteem and repression and begin to feel good about myself. Since I like people, 28 % of the time, and I consider myself public-spirited, I have decided to share my process with anyone it may benefit.
Following are the actual transcripts of my recent visit with my Psychiatrist, Dr. Neil Weakly:
Dr. Weakly: Let’s assume your self-esteem is just not what it needs to be right now.
Me: I think we can safely assume that.
Dr. Weakly: There are a few things you can do to improve your self-esteem.
Me: That’s why I’m here.
Dr. Weakly: What we have to do is get you to put on your self-esteem colored glasses, set goals that will make your life a wondrous adventure and weed out those deep-rooted inadequate self-conceptions. You must believe that you can rid yourself of that debilitating anxiety and self-defeating behavior. You may not even be a person that people enjoy being around. You’re probably disorganized and don’t manage your time well. You may sit quietly and let other people do all the talking. This could literally put you in a position that is one mishap or stupid decision away from a complete emotional breakdown or worse. You’re not alone. I have many patients who look down and think how skinny their legs are. That’s nothing to be ashamed of. Lots of people are short but they don’t let that interfere with their self-image. Compared to successful people, you may feel as if your life is insignificant, but being indecisive isn’t as serious as you may think. If you continue to believe that you aren’t an attractive woman, you’re a sitting duck for any neurosis.
Me: (Crying) But what can I do about this horrible mess that I am?
Dr. Weakly: Now see? Stop referring to yourself as a mess. I mean, even if your hair is sort of a train wreck, and you have large pores and oily skin, you must acknowledge your strengths. Even though nothing you do is good enough, you mustn’t allow your past mistakes to haunt you or you will only impede your progress. Backing away and avoiding challenges has caused your self esteem muscles to become flabby. In fact, they’re downright pendulous. Fight back, even if you’re not worthy of praise.
Me: (Crying harder) Help me, doctor!
Dr. Weakly: I believe I can. You must begin to listen to your inner dialog. Are you telling yourself that you are a whiny little failure? Do you chide yourself for being lazy? Do you tell yourself that people are laughing at you behind your back? Do you think you have an odd odor about you? Do you lie awake at night counting your weaknesses and wishing you could think of one single talent that you possess?
Me: (Sobbing) Oh my God! I had no idea I was such a basket-case!
Dr. Weakly: (Frowning) Stop indulging yourself in this panic-stricken display of feebleness. I want you to take that flaccid excuse for a backbone and give it a stiffy. Get into the control booth of your mind and allow your thoughts to be the Viagra that will cause you to straighten up, erect and proud! No wonder you’re depressed, always acting helpless, unable to cope and just waiting for someone to come to your rescue. Have you spent your whole life looking for guidance from others? When are you going to accept that you’re not the idiot that you think you are? You’re not an imposter! You’re not stupid! You’re not always going to be alone! Get up off that floor and stand up!
Me: (Clutching his pant legs) Please! Tell me how to stop this insanity!
Dr. Weakly: (Looking at his watch) Our time is up. We can discuss a firm course of action next time