Many of us who struggle with self esteem find it very difficult to speak up for ourselves. Building self esteem and speaking up for ourselves is very important and it doesn’t mean only doing it when someone else is saying or doing something to hurt you. Speaking up for yourself should be something you practice everyday! If you start to have negative thoughts about yourself, speak up! Say positives about yourself and your situation OUT LOUD when you start thinking negative thoughts about yourself. You can’t fight thoughts with thoughts, so say it out loud! It helps to say these things to yourself while looking at yourself in the mirror. Believe me, it feels really funny at first, but after a while your thoughts and your feelings will change. This is vital, I suggest you work on doing it everyday.
If you are on medication, like many of us who have had a difficult past are, speak up! Don’t ever think because your psychiatrist or MD is a doctor you don’t have a right to ask questions or tell them how you feel about the medication. Doctors will almost always assume you are okay with taking a medication if you stay silent. Don’t be silent. Speak up! Ask questions too, something I have learned from many many years in the Mental health “rodeo” is that if you don’t ask questions you could end up on a medication that makes you sick, or something even worse. In Nursing school they taught us to learn our medications very well so that we can teach our patients how a drug will treat a person’s illness and any other adverse effects it may have. Unfortunately, many doctors don’t bother to go over this with you. If they don’t know everything about your medical history, they could possible prescribe a medication that could be potentially harmful to you without knowing it. For example, I have chronic kidney stones. Basically, if I become dehydrated for more than a day I form a stone. My psychiatrist didn’t know this and put me on Topamax when they thought I was Bipolar (which they found out really fast I wasn’t). Little did I know, Topamax increases the risk of multiple kidney stones in people who are prone to them. Needless to say, a couple of weeks after being on the drug I developed several kidney stones in both kidneys. So, moral of the story is, speak up for yourself!
You are a wonderful person, you are beautiful, unique and have many things to offer yourself and the world. Don’t ever sell yourself short! You can start by speaking up for yourself in situations that call for it…especially when the negativity is coming from inside yourself. You deserve happiness and love, and it IS attainable! Don’t ever let go!
~Your friend, Ashley!