Approval addiction/no self value



  • Hello, I'll try to provide as much information as possible and still be brief. I know that everyone has to love themselves, find their own value, etc etc...but for the life of me, I can't seem to find my value, my own self worth. Oh I'm a decent person, but I feel like I fall short....I guess the best way to say it is "not genuine".

    Example: My freinds tell me that I'm a caretaker peronality, always taking care of everyone but me, but they don't understand that I do it to feel value..not sure if my intentions are pure. My feeling of having "no value/ no purpose" has manfiested itself in bad relatioships that I cannot seem to get out of. A lot of self destructive behavior, and recently has even resulting in what I realize now is drug addiction. So...How do you love yourself when you don't feel loveable. I know my life won't turn around until I can do this...but I don't know how.



  • Hi, I would suggest talking w/a counselor, minister or priest at length and often. What helps me is having a strong faith. Not just belief but faith. You do have a purpose and value but you can't always look to people to validate that. In fact, people can be cruel. It's good that you mention that you don't always feel genuine. I have felt the same way w/my intentions towards people. One avenue I use is confession at church where I go and talk about this. Confession is not judgmental. It's a recognition of my faults. But it's one suggestion that I have for you. Recognition of a weakness is actually a strength. A lot of people can not do this. Look to positive avenues of help. I think you'll start feeling better.



  • First of all drug addictions, or any addictions, drug, food, cigarettes, etc. are coping mechanisms that we use in our lives to get through the rough realities of the world, and living day to day. If this addiciton is new you must figure out what changed to cause you to need it to cope. You are so hard on yourself, questioning your motives for helping others is like self torture. It makes no difference why you are of assitance, the point is you are, and that's more than most people can say. Give yourself credit where credit is due. If you would stop for a minute and realize you are offering the world your services, and delivering them, your self-esteem should get a big boost.

    I would like to know how long ago you lost your spouse, if it's okay with you. If it wasn't that long ago (a year or two) you could be simply experiencing grief. Grief will pass and you will once again find value in yourself and life.



  • Thanks to both of you (Dalia and Myveiwpoint) for your response. In answer to your question, my husband of 18 years died 5 years ago. My addiction as always been food, lately, it has become an alcohol...and I do realize it's a stress/escape/coping mechanism. I am torn between 2 men, both who have their possitive traits but neither relationship is healthy for many reasons (one is an addict and one is married)...in one I feel value as the "rescuer", in the other I feel value from being wanted. I know the thing to do is to walk away from both of them..but it's been impossible for me to do so far. I know that the inability to walk away is tied to my self esteme....so I'm trying to start there. I just called to make an appointment with a clergy from a church I've visited a few times and liked. I'm going to start there.



  • I can understand not knowing your own worth. I didn't know I had worth till I went to work. Then I had someone telling me I was good at what I was doing and that was a first. But it was a complete stranger who didn't know me who was telling me this. So the light bulb came on. I was doing a good job and doing it very well. Still didn't completely believe it but I had to get away from those who told me I wasn't good enough. You need to literally get away from them. Just like if you are an alcoholic or druggy you have to hang with people who aren't. You need positive reinforcement. You can't depend on others telling you that your a good person, you have to know it. It takes time but you need to take the time to love yourself. If you don't love yourself how can anyone else love you? Start out small doing little things to be nice to yourself. When someone said to me what do you like to do or what do you want for yourself. I said I don't know. I could tell you what I didn't want but I truely didn't know what I wanted. Because there was always someone there telling me I was wrong. You might want to seek some help if you don't think your strong enough yet but its not an over night change. It takes years so don't get disappointed just keep moving in a forward direction and you will make it. Love and light, peace and harmony to you.



  • Self-worth i think comes in waves. I think understanding is what your missing and i think going to a source that is committed to following through and approaching you too. you need and want someone out there to see it and care about you. People who give and give find they run low on morale. There is a book of love languages out there that talks about a metephoric love tank. We need outside love comming in regularly or our inner love will run dry, depression. You are wisest to recognize only perfect love comes from God and the relationship of the trinity. We can tap into that source but when our faith is in question our heart is sick it is hard. I am a giver and i have big family. I have a habit id asssume not. I regret helping and sometimes, im down right ill when about to do it.. "Oh no the neighbor is comming again, what is it now." answer the door " oh hi tish how are you?" I am not wrong to feel the way i do, but i got to move to the next emotion. I try to be obedient to the call of love you neighbor as yourself. You must have faith to put your fears out there to receive input. It is brave. You may or may not connect with any one else in person, but i think that keep on keeping on is what we are all doing everyday we lay down and wake and start again. I suggest in your dark moments force yourself to look to the light. The light comes in more ways than scripture and prayer, good old fellowship. I like to read out loud, i dont use it though. I like to work i dont get the opportunities after choosing to be a mother. I've thought of volunteering at a elderly living facility reading harry potter stories. Our talents can seem like nothing to us but those who lack them may very well envy you. Your caring is so important. We all have many stengths and sometimes we need to think about it long and hard to recognize our own. It is lovely to know others go through the same frustrations as me. You should check out a movie called "You me and dupree." Owen wilson comedy and I

    agree. Im here, im priming myself at the ripe age of 29 when the mother ship calls me i'll be ready and i have comfort in that. You should too, because it seems to me you might be waiting too. God Bless



  • Marywidow, I can relate enough to what you are saying. It reminds me of what was going on within my own soul a very many years ago. This is what I discovered about myself and my own situation and I think your situation may be similar. I was a good and likeable person, but I didn't like myself. Therefore I wasn't happy and therefore I didn't like the world around me. I wasn't even aware of the fact that I didn't like myself either. Quite by accident something happened that made me realize that I didn't like myself and wasn't happy. This got me to thinking about it and delving into the 'why' that was. What I came up with was this. I didn't like myself because I wasn't being myself. What I was being was the person that I had become. Over the years, due to influences, situations (sometimes somewhat tramatic), and expectations of others I slowly became what I thought people wanted me to be, rather than actually being myself.

    If you are feeling unconfident, unhappy, and generally not liking yourself and/ or your life, then I suggest you take a good hard look at whether you are actually being yourself (the person that you were born to be) or are you being the person that others or you think you should be.

    Search your heart. Think back of how you were as a child and how you thought and behaved. Also think back of how you were the last time you remember truly being happy. Are you still the same person now that you were then? Do you still act the same, or think the same? Probably not. Think about the people and/ or events in your life that altered the person that you were then. Then try to figure out how to become that person who your heart truly does love. That person that you were born to be. It's a process. But anything that can be learned or taught can be unlearned or untaught. Have courage and take the time to transform yourself back into the person that you were when you were happy.

    If you are yourself, then you naturally love yourself, and therefore are naturally happy, confident, and loving of life and loving of the world around you. Trust me. It's true.



  • Thank you all for your advice and support. I'm trying to work on my own issues, I've taken the first step to put myself first. I kicked the addict out of my house yesterday. I know it's whats best for me and I felt free and empowered afterwards. I blocked his number from my cell, my home and blocked his email address. Because he couldn't reach me, he had a freind call me and beg on his behalf. I was able to stay strong and relay to his freind that I was not going to give in. It honestly breaks my heart to see this man hurting, he's been laid off from his job and although he'd been clean for 4 months, he started using again when he lost his job. I've let him stay with me cause he had no where to go and I hated to kick him while he was down, but I had enough yesterday. He left my house to use, and came back totally tweeked out. I sent him off crying like a baby and begging me not to throw him away. I feel so bad for his pain, but I HAD to do what was best for me and my family. I have a son still at home and will not subject him to that kind of crap! Now if I could just stop worrying about him!!



  • Marywidow~ I would like to suggest a book for you. It's called The Blessing by Gary Smalley and John Trent, Ph.D.

    There's some bible stuff in it, but it's not an annoying amount, but it basically deals with approval issues, and where they come from, and how to recognize and deal with them. It's and easy and a short read, but it's very very helpful. It was a book that was recommended to my boyfriend by his councelor, for his approval/caretaker issues... I found it very helpful for me too.



  • Mary, good for you to kick that addiction out of your home. I think most everyone can relate to finding your worth. Even though I have a great personality, great friend, and I kick butt at work I had a hard time finding my worth. But then I turned it around when I started focusing on one great quality I have - taking it one step at a time. I suggest looking up information on clearing clutter and space clearing. Karen Kingston has some great books on clearing. Clearing his energy out of your home will help enforce what you have already done. There is info on here about Feng Shui. This is what helped me turn around my life was able to look at my home how it related to my life. Good luck to you....