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shadow self


Ralph

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Starting to think most of my depression is due to low self esteem. It would explain my behavior pretty well. It's true too. I dislike myself. I remind myself too much my of parents, with whom I didn't get along in the slightest. I settle for mediocrity when I can least afford to.

I think the cause of my low self esteem is a lack of self discipline. I don't do the things I know I should and then I end up regretting it. However instead of changing my behavior I beat myself up, as if that would solve anything. What it does lead to is a cycle of self hate.

Should be simple to choose to be disciplined then, but I'd be far down that path by now if it were so easy. Instead there is a "Bad" part of me that triggers depersonalization and/or derealization whenever I get close to figuring out how to be disciplined, almost as if I'm afraid of realizing who I really am. I get embarrassed when I do a good job.

If I could somehow integrate the "Bad" part with my good part, and along the way accept that I'm not a saint (moral perfectionism seems to be the hardest form of perfectionism for me to relax on) then I'd probably have a much easier time with reality. Might even be happy for a change.

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Well said, finding.

What “good” is there in the “Bad” part? Maybe not according to conventional morality (God, I know that dilemma!), but logically there’s some function or purpose in it somewhere or somehow.

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It protects me by keeping the memories blocked off from my conscious awareness. It allows me to deceive myself. It also serves as a convenient container for anything I don't like about myself, but this comes at a price. It's like I can't get my act together because all the stuff I've shoved in the closet to avoid dealing with will come tumbling out if I open that door. Guess I'm going to have to deal with it eventually, but I don't feel like I have the ability to do that yet.

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Can you have some compassion for this part of you and his role? Feeling what it has been like to be in this role might give you some insight for what it has been about and then maybe his role could be renegotiated a little...

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