When I lost my dad I definitely felt as those I had lost half of my foundations. I often relied on him for reaffirmation, confidence and support and although my mum did her absolute best to fill this gap, she couldn’t be provide the love of two people. Growing up I have found that I have been searching for myself, by relying on a response from my mum that she simply couldn’t achieve, because I wanted her to support me and love me and be proud of me on behalf of herself and my dad. And only now, I realise how impossible I made life for her and for me! It’s not that I couldn’t please my mum, it’s that I couldn’t please myself, because I didn’t know who I was. The trauma of losing my dad had left me unsure of what made me a ‘good daughter’, and in turn my focus was on pleasing mum, instead of pleasing me. This relayed itself in work, in romantic relationships, in friendships and it is still a major obstacle for me today.

This, for me, has been a learning curve that taught me, that in grief, even in the biggest loss, the loss of self can be an even bigger part of the struggle and process. I didn’t expect that, and for years I didn’t even realise I had a problem with self-esteem, but I did and I do. I am anxious, stressed, depressed and angry at myself and at others, for not feeling good enough and for not having a clear direction.

Here are 4 ways that you may be able to rebuild self esteem:

1. Cultivate relationships with yourself and with others who affirm who you are

2. Are you often self-disparaging? Try writing down a list of self-affirmations to substitute your negative thoughts for positive ones.

3. Prioritise your actions – if you make a decision or have an idea, act on it .

4. Take your own dreams and wishes seriously.

Categories: GriefMindset

Kayleigh

Founder of @goodgrief_uk ©️ Director: @thefitnessnetwork_official and @bossdigitaluk #Wellness advocate

2 Comments

Pamela · July 17, 2018 at 8:47 pm

When I lost my partner I felt as though I had lost all hope and my dreams. But then after a while I realized that horrible things are happening to others too. I stayed brave for others but more importantly I stayed brave for my partner who had passed away. One thing that was learnt from this experience is to pave the way for my children and family so that they also can cope. My partner was an excellent singer and would always sing a particular song to me and me being me always looking for a way to still keep him safe and keep him with me had a tattoo of the title of the song with some of his ashes. Hence opening up a way for my children to cope when I am no longer here as they have decided to do the same so they can keep me safe and with them. One of the many things that grief try’s to take from us is control, so the only thing to do is take it back.

    Kayleigh · July 25, 2018 at 11:26 am

    Hi Pamela, thanks so much for your message! Your story and journey was really inspiring, so thank you for sharing it with us xxx

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