How can I accept myself?
Part of this is just venting, part of this is me trying to explain my feelings so I can get a better handle on them, and part of this is me looking for advice.
Lately, I've been having some pretty depressed days again. Despite therapy and meds and working at my CBT "daily record of dysfunctional thoughts" every day, I still find myself lately feeling the same crappy way I did a year ago. (I think that depression is like alcoholism - I might be a recovering neurotic, but I'll never really be "cured.")
After a lot of reflection, here's what I think: I "need" other people to approve of me - that is, they should accept me, like me, respect me, and admire me. If they think badly of me or question me (or even if I just assume that they look down on me) two things happen. First, I automatically feel resentful. "Hey, you can't think that way about me! Don't you know how special I am! How dare you!" Second, I start to question myself and put myself down. "They're right; I do suck. Why do I bother trying?" So, part of it is self-criticism, but a big part is grandiosity. Does that make sense?
For example, I try to prove Iím right to other people - I canít let them get away with questioning me. And I get hypersensitive to anything that comes across as criticism. But I'm constantly comparing myself to other people and thinking that I'm not as good, as masculine, as smart, as sociable, etc., as they are.
It's like I have to wait for other people to tell me I'm good before I allow myself to believe it. I want to feel good about myself no matter what anybody else thinks, says or does. Not egotistical, just comfortable with myself. In CBT it's called "unconditional self acceptance." But I can't get there.
Does this sound familiar to anybody else? How do I change this?