I'm rarely asked this- esteem and the lack of it

My mind was blown this morning by a simple question…

“What do YOU want?”

It wasn’t asked with a sneer… it was asked as a general question… what do “I” (me, i-alone,) want.

I have no real idea what I want. I don’t get asked that question very often in stuff that matters.

Menu orders, stuff like that… but not on the big issues.

I’ve been sitting here, eating my breakfast, drinking my coffee trying to work out what I want.

It’s just been hitting me… this idea of personal power.

Because for so long… I don’t feel like I had any.

My money was handled by my Mom, my clothing and food choices handled by my Sis, my original job offers handled by case worker, meds handled by my Doc and my sis, the pace of my day handled by the nature of my job/ my boss… therapy classes handled by my therapist, getting into this apartment handled by my Dad…

I didn’t feel like I had any personal power. But as I’ve gotten stronger and healthier, I have to work on using that voice and speaking up for myself. In some cases I have been working on that. I have had some input into my life… but I think it’s time I work on this again… or more.

The few times I’ve done it… it’s worked out Ok.

If people don’t ask me… I guess I have to start speaking up… but even before that… I have to figure out what I actually want on the big scale of things.

I guess what I’m going for is… figuring out not so much how to just ride the wave when it comes to me… but how to get out there and meet it.

When I was at my worst… a lot of people did a lot of stuff for me…
Now that I’m getting stronger… I find I’ve been taking that for granted… or more like habit.

I’m beginning to ponder how much independence goes into functionality. I know that NO ONE gets there alone. But on the other hand I have to put in my own effort too.

So I guess I still hang here and try and figure out… What do I want?


I think it’s just a case of trusting yourself again. Have you tried a self-esteem course? You could also start looking up gaining back control of your life. I have only this bookmarked in this area. Which is about how to find yourself and only a wikihow. Hope it helps. Had to edit your definitely not alone with it and
I’ve gone and guess going through something similar atm.


I’ve been reading some books on stuff like regaining self esteem. Again… sitting here in my cozy apartment I feel fine.

But once I get out in public… not so much.
Maybe a class would be something to look into.

I really like the idea of … trying to trusting myself again.
It’s taken a while to get to know myself… maybe trusting myself is a next step in the process?

I second guess myself all the time. I don’t speak up a lot. I don’t put a lot of weight in my decisions so if they do flub… I don’t feel emotionally invested so I sort of protect myself from myself. If that makes any sense. Sometimes I think I self sabotage. I can see myself working so hard for something and in the last few feet of completion… I let it fall apart.

I think … learning how to trust myself… some how that idea is ringing an inner bell right now…
I really don’t think it’s coffee buzz.

@Dreamscape - Thank you for this a lot.

I know I’m not the only one in the boat when it comes to this illness killing the confidence and esteem…

I wonder now… what do others do to get it back?


your in control now you need to put YOURSELF first.

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My brain is evil, my mind is noble, and the end result is a beautifully fcked up young man. Noble in the right places, fcked up in the right places. Do as I do, not as I say, and the world’s population of chickens will be in danger. I eat a lot of chicken.

My ego is way bigger than my shoe size.

I once felt the same way. Then I turned the feelings of inferiority and helplessness into anger and lifted really heavy things. It helped. I exercised my willpower in setting powerlifting goals and learned what I was capable of accomplishing with my mind. My brain would sometimes help and sometimes hinder my progress.

But be careful, there is an opposite end of every spectrum. You might become arrogant instead of insecure. Both are imbalanced. I journeyed to the other end of the spectrum and now I don’t know when to call off my assault, I don’t know when to just quit and admit that I am not ok. I used to tuck tail at something like a social situation, now I show myself no mercy and make bad days worse by not thinking of myself as disabled, when in fact I am. I tell myself that I once did this, once did that; it is not good to have been there and done that with the wrong things- it creates an ego that never admits defeat.

I might function uncannily highly and take pride in doing so, but I am sick right now. ■■■■ is not OK, I just pretend that it is. I keep getting red ink on paper that tells me to keep going, I keep producing good work. I look in the mirror and say “he’s a badass” when the clinical assessment is “he is ■■■■■■ up and will never be normal again. We throw pills at him and he says they aren’t working.”

This is what I look like to others and am known for. That weightlifter guy, I heard he’s a schizo, and he’s in the honors psychology program. He’s like a fictional character,he’s an oxymoron.

This is what I actually am on the inside and know myself to be. Not OK! What happened to Mickey? Oh wait this is his grandson. Yeah he’s one disturbed train wreck of a human being. He still does well for himself. Little brat. He makes all of these grandiose and delusional sounding claims and then actually lives up to them. He says he has a 130 something IQ and got degrees in hand to hand combat when he was a kid and says he lifted like five hundred pounds five times when he was 20. We looked into it, he wasnt lying. We want him to suffer, death would be a treat for him.

I think what I mean is that you can be confident and powerful and still be royally fcked in the brain with a screwdriver in the ear. I mean listen to the state I am in. I function just fine. I have been kicking ass in school and getting stronger and bigger in the gym. I have friends and am far from a loner, they like me for who I am. Im still not healthy. My ego is a problem, it’s abnormal.

Be careful what you wish for, James.


I am finding martial arts to be a large help in this area.

It is the combination of , Hard Work, Discipline, Focused Learning, Skill Building, Camaraderie

That is building confidence and esteem for myself. I feel I am more confident and assertive without a doubt.

Its cool because when you train with a partner your learning but teaching eachother at the same time learning moves and stuff. makes you feel good that you are able to do that.
And getting schooled/beat by the advanced guys is …rather humbling lol

Its funny , my younger brother is a purple belt in brazilian ju jitsu and im brand new and I have to accept the fact that he can and will choke me out or put me in an arm bar. lol , so i have to leave my ego at the door and tap out lol

It also helps me to develop a never give up mindset. which is helpful because sz def wears one down mentally.


May God bestow his grace upon you… Way to go you are indeed a role model! Cheers!


Thanks…I see myself as more of an anti-hero, being flawed yet in the end a do-gooder.

In the end it is what we do that matters, counts, and accounts. I think workout is a very strong weapon if one has persistence and is committed to give it his space. Way to go Mr. Superman I really admire your job. You are studying psychology too?

Yep. Im a junior in university. You said you are too?

Wish I was. Maybe at a later stage of life. Good luck though. It was very motivating as I read about it and went in little depth. Good for you I am sure we will read about you one day if you keep the same spirit and hard work.

Many thanks. I swore to myself that I would go as far in academics as possible when I got diagnosed. The evaluator told me that I would become an incredible shrink if I overcame this. I was 19. I do this for the people who cant and for that messed up kid who was hearing voices while being told he was crazy.


I am in a similar situation. My last bad episode killed what little confidence I had left. I don’t trust myself either, cause I’m always afraid that I’ll lose control again.

My friends and family want me back on my feet, but I’m so scared. I was very capable before this all happened. But now I feel like a shell of my former self.

I think about seeing a therapist or taking Taekwondo again. They helped me build myself back up again the first time.


You know the dogma of “self-.esteem” has a very short history, and it’s not a good one. I worked as a teacher for twenty plus years, and in the last few we got NLP and self-esteem pushed onto us as some kind of panacea for the prevention of “failure” in students. But after some years of “building students’ self esteem” people started to question it. First of all, there was some research that said very successful people often had very LOW self-esteem (and that was why they worked hard to succeed), and psychopaths and criminals proved to have very high self-esteem (“the rules are for little people, they don’t apply to me”). More recently, academics in the UK started to complain that female students (who were the main victims of this social experiment) could no longer do anything at all without masses of reassurance (“no, no, really, you’re wonderful, your undergrad essay is groundbreaking”). So, “self-esteem” is a bit of a risky basis on which to build your future. I think that “assertive training” can be better. That helps you to work out what your own feelings are, what your needs are, and how to ask for them, but also to accept other people’s needs and wishes and reach compromises. You work on mutual agreement and a shared sense of what people’s actual rights are. it actually doesn’t matter whether you are good at anything, or have achieved anything or even whether you are nice or not. You can be obnoxious, stupid, lazy, whatever, but you still have needs, wishes, feelings and rights (yes, we all have rights, even if everybody hates us) so you start from firmer ground. Also, assertive training makes it easier to build positive relations with those around us. Self-esteem, mmmm, depends…


I like what you’ve said there. You’re right.

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I have zero self-esteem. I have struggled with it all my life. I have days when I look in the mirror and think “he’s not all that bad” and then there are other days when I want to throw-up on my image. Ugh.

I have a tiny bit of self-esteem. On rare occasions I get angry and take some of it out on people who take their anger out on me. It feels good. My sister once told me, “You can’t let everyone walk all over you. You have to push back”. I try to follow that advice. I didn’t learn how to stick up for myself in high school when I should have. Most people are years ahead of me in the games they play.
But yeah, good healthy anger is good for raising my self esteem.
Yeah you should have some self-esteem SurprisedJ. you’re a pleasant, good looking guy with an actual girlfriend who lives relatively independently and holds down a job which means you’re ahead of millions of other Americans.
Grab your self a piece of pie. I hope I didn’t lay it on too thick but that’s what I think.

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Thank you for that.

I’m working on it. I think it’s developing as time goes on.

Sometime I think I’m doing Ok and I should be able to hold my own.

But then I hit a glitch or get some really sneaky brained thinking and it feels like it just knocks me down again.