Sitting on the train back from York on Sunday, after a 25-hour catch up with two of my best friends in the world, I allowed myself to stew in smug gratitude for all the many good things that life has given me.
For someone with a history of low self-esteem and a proclivity for occasional relapses, it’s very easy to focus on the negatives. I don’t think it’s because I’m a pessimist, just someone with a lot or doubt, fear and worry in me.
I’m not sure exactly when or where these feelings were born or why they are so hard to shake. Maybe it’s just a manifestation of my flair for melodrama.
The fact is that I have a very good life and on a rational level, of course I understand that disliking oneself is not only tiring and unhelpful, but also entirely pointless.
I can’t change who I am and the exasperating insecurity and third trimester beer gut aside, there really isn’t that much to take offence to. It’s awfully self-indulgent and bordering on rude to wallow in that kind of ungrounded misery; the emotional equivalent of greeting a thoughtful gift with a face like a cat’s arse.
So it’s important for me to remind myself of how much I have – and how ridiculous a cat’s arse looks when it’s not attached to the backside of a cat (even then it’s not exactly easy on the eyes).
The ability to poke fun at yourself and take your faults and weaknesses in your stride is a great trait. But making yourself ill by constantly fuelling some misplaced sense of inadequacy is just stupid.
As such, my promise to myself is to question any genuinely self-deprecating thoughts from now on and confront them with the achievements that make up my life; reminding myself at every turn of my amazing friends, my incredible husband, my beautiful family and our considerable material comforts.
And then, when I choke on rainbows and fairy dust all I need to do is find a mirror and have a wicked old laugh at my big, fat Downs Syndrome face to re-establish the status quo.