All my life I have been anxious, depressed and have had low


All my life I have been anxious, depressed and have had low self-esteem and have been a failure. My whole life I tried to be "special." My mother was very critical. We had to be "superior" to other people. Had to dress better, had to eat better, had to be interested in better things, had to read better books, had to have better thoughts, etc. etc. So I am afraid to attempt anything difficult, have learned to not want anything, settle for second best, etc. However, my 2 sisters lived up to the family ideal, and I feel inferior to them, even though my friends tell me I'm saner than both of them. One sister claims she is a world spiritual leader, with a special pipeline to the divine, and one of the chosen. (No, she is not a member of a Christian denomination). The other one started an "institute" to change the world, change people, change community and change human physiology. But the institute, with a very elegant scientific sounding name, is composed of only herself, even though she has used the word "we" all over her website, to make it look like the institute is composed of many people. One part of me thinks they are grandiose, another thinks they are the real deal.

I have been experimenting for the past 3 weeks in not trying to be exceptional. This is life-changing. I have stopped trying to do great art, or have great thoughts, or watch great videos. Instead I have experimented with just being an average, normal person; and do regular art, have regular thoughts, and watch regular videotapes. This is, for me, revolutionary. I have also, to some degree, finally stopped running from my pain. When I felt panic in the past because of my life failures, I'd try to talk myself out of it or fix it. Now I am experimenting with thinking, "Yup, I am a failure. I am absolutely nobody special. I am just an average person, living an average life. I am not anybody's savior. I can barely save myself." (Please, do not anybody write me about how Jesus can save me. Thank you.)

Anyhow, I am going through all this right now, and it is hard, brave, lonely and scary; even though I am telling all my friends and they are supporting me through it. So I wanted to know if anyone else has gone through anything similar, or if you can relate, or if you can offer me suggestions or words of encouragement. Thanks to everyone who reads this.

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Feb 16

Be yourself and do what makes you happy. You don't need to live up to anyone's expectations of you.

Feb 16

@L2015 so glad to hear that your anxiety level is noticeably decreased! I agree with you completely that we are so focused in western society with career achievements and attainments as if that gives us intrinsic value. And I am glad that you recognize the true value that you have in your character strengths of kindness, creativity, innovation, being articulate, helpful, funny, inspirational and supportive. I just finished reading a great book called Five to Thrive and one of the exercises in the book was to make a list like this of character strengths and values. If you like to read, here is the link to look at the book: It does involve some introspection but it sounds like you are in a season where you are doing this and the book also has a section specifically for considering your "purpose" .

Feb 17

I am glad your experiment it working, it sounds like every day is getting a bit better. We live in a world that seems to thrive off of comparison, we look at what everyone else has and we either envy or we judge. I can say there are many times I am this person. But what a wonderful feeling it is to be comfortable, happy, content with just who you are in the moment you are in. That is a true blessing and one I strive for every sing day. I hope your journey continues uphill, and you learn that you are perfect just the way you are, even if you are just "normal"!


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