I've been making slow but steady progress ever since Dr. G and I discussed cognitive distortions. Now, whenever I feel that negative thoughts are starting to cloud my mind, I am now able to step back and evaluate those thoughts. I don't tell myself that my thoughts and my feelings are wrong. I even acknowledge that I have a right to feel those. But now, I have learned to stop blaming myself all the time and have started to accept that some things are beyond my control. I am not the one to blame all the time. Not everything is my fault.
I also go back to my conversation with Dr. T, PM's friend whom I met last month, every time I feel bad about myself. She gave me an important piece of advice--that learning to love oneself is a process. It isn't done overnight, so I should be patient with myself. That even if I fail to love myself every single day, I should forgive myself, and then try again.
Her advice played a huge part in helping me deal with my insecurity, too. She knows Z personally, so I value her opinion whenever she says there is no reason for me to be insecure of her. A lot of people tell me that, but because it came from her, I feel it has more weight. I also got the same input from Dr. C (another friend of PM). Both of them know Z personally, so their opinions have a huge effect on me and my thinking. It's as if Dr. C's and Dr. T's opinions signed and sealed all other opinions I've heard and made them more valid and official.
Now, I feel that I am no longer as insecure of Z as I was before. I still am, but I have learned to love myself more. I now give myself the appreciation it deserves--appreciation for my talents, my skills, and even the way I think and talk to people. Dr. T said that this is even better, because the change didn't come from Z. It was not "based" on her. It was based on how I now feel towards her. This is a remarkable progress, and I am happy about it.
I still can't go out without makeup. I'm still scared of bumping into Z, and I don't want to look plain when that happens. But I am being patient with myself. Getting over this is another process, and I'm taking it one step at a time.