Keep a compliments book.

Someone I respect once said, “that’s disingenuous”. He didn’t call *me* disingenuous, just the argument I was making. While it hurt me in the moment, on second-thought, he was right. 

This must have been a year ago, yet, I remember those words so clearly, as if it were yesterday. Just this morning, someone sent me a message of admiration and I can’t recall what it was. In fact, I can’t even recall that person’s last name. 

Which is why I began writing it down. A few years ago, I was an absolute wreck — scared of writing, scared of speaking, often scared of just showing up. It felt like I’m good for nothing, and I should just sulk in bed. During those days, I’d still get texts and emails from people about something I did to help them at some point and that they love me for it. I’d often brush it off. And give it no heed.

It’s in the middle of a day like this, I read somewhere about a gratitude log, and decided to keep a compliments book — I still remember the first compliment I wrote down from a Twitter DM. 🙂 Every time someone said something nice about me, I made note of it. When I felt worthless, I went back and read it, like a scrapbook to remind me that I was once better / useful, even if not in the present moment.

Over time, the habit waned because I didn’t need it anymore. With medication, therapy and some kick in the butt, I got over those fears. But I’ll never underestimate how helpful the compliments book was when I couldn’t validate myself and needed external validation.