How work and debt can ruin self esteem

I’ve recently been trying to work out why my self esteem is low and how to re-build it. I couldn’t think of one particular obvious trigger that set it off so I revisited some old blogs and diary pages to see where things went wrong.

I’ve decided now it’s a combination of several terrible (previous) bosses and my debt issues. I’ve written before about recently gaining a promotion and the traumas of the 2 years before that. I was angry at the world when I applied. I was in a lot of pain, I felt no one was listening to me and had finally been put in a position where I felt I was going backwards professionally. My goal had been to write my competencies, try them out on a few applications and then use the feedback to try again. My esteem was low enough that it never occurred to me that I was good enough to get the first one I applied for and that’s exactly what happened.

Life has done a complete 180 since. I’m in a team where development is key; people listen and encourage and let you have the training your request. Frankly it scares the shit out of me. Suddenly instead of fighting to prove myself someone believes me up front and I’ve been terrified of getting it wrong.

I am calming down. It’s been three months, I’m still here and working on projects that I enjoy, travelling and meeting lots of new people. Some of my favourite things. I’m slowly starting to accept I’m where I should be.

It’s also led to a few other self revelations. During a three week training course awy from home we ate out as you have to do, we had drinks in the pub and a good laugh and it made me realise I’ve stopped going out. Yes I have days out & a monthly meal out ( see my other blog travelpalooza.wordpress.com) but I couldn’t tell you the last time I went to see a gig, had a girls night out and I think I’ve only been to the cinema once this year.Or simply sat in the pub with a friend. I’m in serious danger of turning into a hermit.

A lot of that is down to debt. First I was in an absolute mess trying to balance everything (and failing) and now I have a debt plan. It leaves me with a limited amount of cash each month. Scared of making an even bigger mess I’ve simply stopped doing anything. I don’t have enough to go out on the town several nights a week but I can do more.

Having little money though does affect your esteem. Not being able to join in you start to feel your not worthy enough to be part of anything. Especially if you already had mental health problems. Turning events down because it might mean a new dress and you can’t do it and the ones you have don’t fit any more. Or because you’re sick of being the only one nursing a pint of diet coke all night as that’s all you can do.

Don’t get me wrong. I got into this mess, I’m working on getting out of it but it destroys so many things.

Having the promotion I still have a debt plan to pay but I have enough left now to do little things. I can sit in the pub for a few hours with a friend and have more than diet coke. I’ve started wanting to feel better about myself and my appearance rather than not caring. The other week I out my earrings in for the first time in a couple of years and wearing a bit of make up. Hopefully I can make some more changes. I’m not going to be shopping in Gucci but I can buy a few more clothes that make me feel good about myself.I feel like I’m finally going forwards in life and it feels good