Dear Dr. Archer,
I had a regular, tough childhood, growing up poor and naive. I married young, had a baby, divorced and remarried again, this marriage lasting 25 years.
I had four children and then a major divorce. I lost friends, three of my children, I moved out of state with no job and then into another, albeit, emotionally and psychologically abusive relationship.
I was finally able to get out of that and be on my own for over a year, but I was mostly crying and depressed. I was able to find a job, which is difficult when you don't have any college. My job is terrible and I've been searching for something else.
My boss got very angry with me, saying she couldn't afford me and dropped me to part time. It's a daily struggle; I feel like I've struggled my whole life and don't want to do that anymore. I apply for everything I can, but nothing happens. I'm shy but sometimes hyper in the things I love and enjoy.
Most people think I'm weird, but they come to me for creative ideas. I love to figure out a way to do something creatively, and I've come up with so many things for others, but when it comes to myself -- I draw a blank.
My friend says it's because I have no self worth, but that's not entirely true. I have great worth in my ability to do something. My lack of self worth comes from being so ugly.
In my mind I'm not so ugly, but whenever I pass a mirror, I'm surprised at how ugly I am. Weird, huh? Of course, since this world is based on looks and being outgoing, I'm having a tough time.
I've always wanted to have my own business, but I could never figure out what -- I can do things like sewing, baking and crafts, but I tried doing just one thing and was bored after doing 50 of the same item.
I thought about doing my own craft fair, but cannot deal with all the people. I thought being a creative crusader to help some of the sadness in small shops, but do not have the ability to go in and sell myself.
My biggest question is, how do I give up and stop myself from having all of these creative ideas that go nowhere? It's so sad!
I have been to a number of psychologists in the past three years to deal with my losses and wanting to help in getting back to myself. Most were of no help.
One was a godsend, but I pushed her away and she will no longer speak to me. I never wanted medication -- I didn't think it was for me and I still don't. Thank you for listening. Your book is wonderful!
First, I'd like to address your looks. I refuse to believe you're ugly, as that is NOT a word in my vocabulary. Check out ABC Hates Everything About Herself. In fact, I want you to read that TWICE, because you need to let those words sink in.
Media has a big impact on what we see and perceive as beauty, but haven't you noticed the shift lately? The public is tired of and is opting to do away with all the airbrushing.
Instead, showing models as they truly look, because what's being portrayed is unattainable and not real! Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but what's most important is that we accept ourself for who we are, faults and all.
Granted, some people are not as physically attractive as others, but variety is what makes the world go round. Being nice, caring, conscientious, confident and self assured gravitate others toward us, no matter how we look.
That's a fact, Linda. For those shallow individuals who judge a person on how they look, they will get the superficial reality they deserve.
I promise you, the majority of folks would much prefer to be friends with a good person rather than a shallow person any day. Remember, as we age, looks deteriorate, but what truly counts – what’s inside and makes us who we are -- remains.
Another thing about looks: one who is negative all the time will never be beautiful, but being a positive person will give an energetic, happy glow -- beautiful!
Many people are out of work these days and don't know where to turn. Make friends in your day to day activities, and be thankful for your part time job.
I'm glad you're not giving up on finding another -- that's a great sign that you're determined. Good for you! So you have a creative side? Put that to work! Since you're working part time, you'll have the extra time needed to promote yourself.
You sew and make crafts, so why not sell them online? You could start with a few items and grow as you become comfortable with the process. Sites such as eBay make it very easy to sell items, get repeat customers and form a network.
If things go well, you can even opt to create your own website and presto! You have your own business doing what you enjoy without dealing with people face to face.
Find friends in areas where you share a common ground. Be social, Linda, and don't worry about what another might think of your looks. You're projecting your own worries into their thinking, when they're most likely not thinking that at all!
I also want you to read How Can I Snap Out Of Depression, and start implementing my suggestions into your daily life. Exercise and eat right to be healthy in both mind and body as I discuss. Exercise releases endorphins which make you feel good and exude positive energy, Linda.
Do the things you're able to do and appreciate yourself for your good qualities. I don't think you need medication at all; I think you need to appreciate yourself and have a better attitude. Once you do this, I believe your life will take a turn for the better.
Now put it to work in your own life. I have faith in you, Linda. Good luck.