i’m learning the value of being nice to myself.  i know, i sound like a narcissistic person who has read too many self-help books, but hear me out.  since my diagnosis, i’ve been taking a hard look at my values and beliefs–the stuff that never really gets examined.  i’ve been reading the ticker tape in my head and i’m really shocked at what i tell myself most of the time.  it’s like i believe that if i beat myself up enough, then i’ll change.  it’s awful.  i realized that if i were to say almost any of these things to my friends, i wouldn’t have any left, so why should i say them to myself.  it’s also had an added spiritual dimension.  in the past, i figured that God thought of me as i thought of myself–mostly a stupid screw-up that had missed too many opportunities, but who might squeak by to be approved if i just did enough.  i’m realizing that that’s not what God thinks of me at all.  as I’ve adjusted my perception of myself and His perception of me to fit scripture, everything has gotten easier.  it’s also easier to have grace for other people and to encourage and affirm them when i’ve practiced on myself.