I’m not intelligent. I’m not a good person. I’m mean. I’m a liar. I’m idiotic. No one would like me if they knew the real me.

“Stop looking at yourself from your perspective,” my therapist said. “You’re too close to the qualities that you possess that you’ll overlook them. Look at yourself through Ghostwheel’s eyes–through your therapist’s eyes.” He gestured at himself with a little laugh. “We see you and like you for those qualities you inherently possess, so you know you have them!”

He had a point, I have to admit. I know all of these things about me and know what I’m capable of, but I have a tendency of looking over those things that people use to define who I am as a person to focus on the “failures,” “mistakes,” and generally negative things about myself.

“Use those outside perspectives as your reality checks, as your lighthouses. Let them guide you toward what is actually real. Because this isn’t a perfect world: if you’re using a standard of judging yourself that is perfect, that’s going to give you a false sense of reality. And you don’t deserve that.”

I am intelligent–I have four degrees and the respect of my friends. I am a good person–people thank me for helping them all the time. I can be mean sometimes, but I’m not usually–I cry when I’m mean to other people and always apologize. I lie sometimes, but only when absolutely necessary to preserve someone’s feelings–my friends constantly come to me for my honest opinion, because they know I’ll tell them the truth. I’m smart–Ghostwheel teases me for having blonde moments, but he comes to me for problem solving because he knows I can figure it out. People do know the real me–they have picked up bits and pieces over the years, seen me at my worst and ugliest, and they still want to know me, be friends, familiy, and partners.