Mental Health Support
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Just in case you feel like me: guilty for feeling what I shouldn't logically feel

I am 26 years old. I come from a poor background but finished a University, moved to London and got a great job. I have a sense of humour and am ‘likeable’, I get on with almost everyone and always smile. My work sends me to beautiful hotels, I travel to work by taxi and get meals in best restaurants paid for. I have access to training and development, I am physically healthy and turn a head or two when I walk on the street.

But I haven’t slept more than 4 hours last night, and it seems like tonight is going to be the same story. I eat and snack and chew all the time, because food is the only thing that remotely reminds me of what it is like to feel pleasure. I smoke a lot, I drink every single day. I constantly feel anxious about my life. Although it might seem that my life is amazing to others, but to me it’s a disaster. I FEEL like it’s a disaster. I don’t know what’s going to happen in the future but I have a feeling that it is not going to be anything good. I will end up alone. No friends. No husband. No kids. Isolated and abandoned by everyone. Because I am not good enough. I will also not proceed any further in my career because I don’t actually know what I want. I can’t decide and eventually people will confront me and give up on me.

There is no logic to this, there is no explanation and no cure in words. Because I know that there are poor people who are much happier, there are disabled people who don’t suffer from these thoughts, there are people who struggle more and have much less and they are fine.

This doesn’t make me feel better, it makes me feel everything above + guilty that I am so ungrateful. I tell myself to get my shit together but I struggle to make that happen.

This also catches me unexpected. I was fine and happy two days ago, and my life has been the same, no changes. Same me, same job, same people around me, but I FEEL different. Thoughts in my head are different. It is annoying and scary.

But, I would like to emphasise, that in a way it’s a blessing, as it gives me the ability to empathise with people like me. It helps me to better understand how others could be feeling and inspires me to do something to help, to listen, to understand, to gather people together in order to make them feel better. To be kind and loving, and do good. And be successful and get out of my comfort zone for this purpose. To believe I can make it better and to fight for what I believe in. When I FEEL like I can. ‘Cool’ is not ruthless, selfish and insensitive. ‘Cool’ is understanding, tolerant, kind and soft. It is also much harder.

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Hi Viktorija firstly well done getting to Uni and getting yourself a good job give yourself a huge pat on the back for that one. I would suggest you speak to a trained counsellor to see why you feel so unhappy with your life. It may appear to others that you have everything and should be happy but who knows what we really feel when we are alone? Happiness is not always what you have in life, it's what you feel and somehow you aren't happy with yourself for some reason. Maybe you are feeling guilty for being so lucky, if that is the case don't, you deserve what you have, you worked hard to achieve it. This group is great for support and encouragement and you sound like a lovely person, just need to like yourself and love yourself more. Hope this helps x

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Thank you Mena for your kind words, I think you identified my problem quite well, I have seen counsellor and she pointed out that my biggest issue is my low self esteem. Do you have any advice on how to improve it though? It sounds like mission impossible to me! :)

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Hello Viktorija

It seems to me that you appear happy and successful on the outside but feel totally different about yourself on the inside. You say you do not feel good enough, you do not want to be left alone, you do not want to be isolated and abandoned by everyone. You describe poor sleep, drink alcohol every day, use food to give you pleasure.

Your 'self-talk' indicates that you may have very low self-esteem which could lead to depression. The behaviours you describe are often associated with coping mechanisms. These often work well in the short term but can cause their own problems in the long term.

You are questioning your future events in respect of marriage, children, work. Viktorija I think you may be looking too far ahead. Try to stay in the present. I think working on self-esteem issues would help you. Your GP can refer you for counselling, alternatively you can work with a counsellor privately but please ensure that they are registered to practise.

Once you learn to like yourself more, even love yourself, you will begin to make decisions for yourself that suit you. Living with yourself becomes much easier and you hopefully will feel happier too.

I hope you find this helpful, do please let us know how you get on

Lottie x

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Hi Lottie,

thank you very much for your reply, it honestly made my day! And the issue that you have identified is definitely right, but as I mentioned I am not sure how to cope with it. How do you improve self-esteem?

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Hello Viktorija, I am so glad youfound my reply helpful.

Self-esteem is about how you view yourself, how you decide to 'measure' yourself, the inner voice you listen to. The messages you give yourself, for example "I am no good" are an example of a negative and self-defeating message. In all likelihood you have picked this up from comments made to you and internalised them as negative self-talk.

You would not say to your child "you are no good," a loving parent would encourage their child and tell them they love them. They would give their child positive messages.

Viktorija, you have to learn to become your own loving 'parent.' Make a conscious decision to disregard the critical self-talk and replace it with what a loving parent would say. It is important to be honest with yourself and you will probably know who is behind the 'critical' self talk. It may be one person, it may be several, it may be you. But deep down you will know. I used to say or shout (usually in the car) "STOP! Who are you? You are not helpful anymore. I say NO! I choose not to listen to you anymore. I now choose to say to myself I............" It will take practice, but it becomes easier the more it is practised. You may find the 'old' negative self-talk fights back harder, trying to win you over and fall back into your old self-talk but be strong, fight back harder. Gradually the old negative self-talk will get quieter and disappear altogether. In all likelihood you will not believe the new positive self-talk (why should you - it's not true). Of course it's true, note the negative self-talk in brackets. Keep repeating the positive self-talk, you will believe it in time.

It is hard to do this work on your own. I would suggest you see a counsellor who can help clients with low self esteem and can offer you support too. Your GP can refer you for counselling however there may be a wait as services are much in demand. You can arrange private counselling but if you choose this route please ensure that the counsellor is registered with the correct 'body.'

Viktorija you are young and hard working. You deserve so much but most of all you deserve to value yourself. Please try not to be hard on yourself. Be kind to yourself. I wish you well. Please let us know how you get on. We are always here to support you,

love Lottie xx

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