It's not always about being funny.

You don’t suck. And neither do I. I think. I hope.

It’s no secret that I’m a narcissist – just the fact that I have a blog and use Twitter is a shining example of how I fit that definition. I’m egotistical, a shameless attention whore, and I have an extremely inflated opinion of myself. I’m well aware of my positive attributes – of what I bring to the table, so to speak – and I have no problem touting my strengths to anyone who will listen or even feign interest.

However, I’m also acutely aware of my faults. I know the things that I do that cause me to be a lesser person, a weaker individual, a poor example. I don’t celebrate my weaknesses (usually), but I do recognize that they are just as much a part of me as my strengths. And in most cases, my self-esteem and confidence are sufficiently high so that I can be proud of every aspect that makes me who I am.

The last week has been a hard one, though, and I’ve been feeling particularly beaten down on multiple fronts. For a narcissist such as myself, that feeling of being forgotten, unloved, undesired, unwanted, and disliked is severely debilitating, and I’ve been attempting to deal with the resulting peaking depression both chemically and psychologically. I already wrote a post about anxiety, which, while designed to be humorous, was a way to stave off an impending panic attack.

Adam Avitable on depression, anxiety and low self-esteem


And now I’m going to write more. Writing has become one of the best ways for me to lighten the burden that’s threatening to drown me right now, and I know that as long as I write honestly and openly, all it will do is help me feel better, seeing my pain and hurt right there in black and white.

This is not a post about my weaknesses. I know that I’m selfish and controlling and obsessive. I know that I can be intense and manipulative and condescending. I am fully aware of my lack of boundaries and ability to recognize subtlety. This is not about that.  This post is about the good things about me. What I like about myself.

  • I’m generous. If I have a friend in need, I will help if I am in any position to do so.
  • I’m considerate. I share and think of others around me when I’m thinking of myself as well.
  • I’m romantic. Sometimes this feels like a weakness, because it opens me up to be hurt worse, but I believe in soul mates and love at first sight and riding off into the sunset.
  • I’m protective. If you are my friend, I will defend you to anyone who has anything to say about you.
  • I’m a good friend/lover/person. I’m attentive, I am demonstrative of my affection and love, and I am eager to please.
  • I’m honest. This wasn’t always the case, but the only way I survived two years ago was by embracing honesty. I’m open about everything and will not lie, obfuscate the truth, omit fact, or be dishonest about my life in any way now.
  • I’m smart. I’m aware that one reason I’ve gotten as far as I have in life is because I have a raw intelligence that serves me well.
  • I’m never too busy. If you need something, I’ll do it. I’m never going to say no to a friend.
  • I’m learning to take care of myself. Before, I would never put myself first and that bred resentment and co-dependence. I’m trying to learn to make sure that I’m healthy and okay in order to be more capable of taking care of the ones I love. It’s like they say when you fly – put the oxygen mask on yourself before you put it on the children you’re with.
  • I’m observant. I pay attention to my surroundings. I usually know who’s around, what they’re doing and where they went. I drive well because I know where all of the cars are around me. In large group settings, I tend to hang back and observe rather than participate actively, which is both a weakness and a strength.
  • I can read people very well. This doesn’t necessarily mean that I can tell what you’re thinking or how you’re feeling, but it does mean that if I know someone, I usually know what to say or do to make them feel better. This translates into being a good salesperson, as well. It’s a fine line between reading people and manipulating them, though, and it’s one that I wrestle with daily.
  • I don’t judge my friends. Back in the good old days, I had a mantra with my best friend and it has resonated beyond the scope of our now-defunct friendship.  That mantra was “I don’t judge you, fucker”, shortened to IDJYF. I am open and honest about my life and all aspects of my life with my friends. I expect no judgment and I will never judge them for any action, desire or decision, however despicable or strange they may feel it is.
  • I’m a good writer. Writing for the last 14 years has given me a good sense of my voice and I feel like I am able to inject my personality and visual imagery into my writing.
  • I’ll admit when I’m wrong. I like to joke that I’m always right, but when I screw up and make a mistake, I’m always willing to publicly and openly apologize for my actions or words.
  • I’m logical. Yet another attribute that’s both positive and negative. I use logical and rationality to deal with life, but this can sometimes cause me to act unemotional about issues when the reality is that I’m containing my emotions to make sense of the situation and react in a way that is rational.
  • I’m funny. There is nothing better for me than making someone react emotionally to my words, written or spoken. Laughter may not always be the best medicine for others, but hearing others laugh is the best elixir I could ask for.

There are more, but this was designed as an exercise in building my self-esteem, not congratulatory masturbation. I need this right now, and when I reach a point in the near future where I don’t feel as broken, I plan on balancing it out with a list of all of the things wrong with me. That one seems like it would be a lot more fun to write, too.

In the comments, I’d love for you to say one thing that you like about yourself. In addition to, not in lieu of, saying something awesome about me, of course, because, hell, this is me we’re talking about. I’m an egotistical son of a bitch!

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43 Replies to “You don’t suck. And neither do I. I think. I hope.”

  1. Kirsty

    As someone almost your polar opposite in terms of self-confidence, I find it really, really hard to find something good about myself. But I would say I’m reliable. I don’t just mean professionally (though that’s true too), but in all areas of my life – if I say I’ll do something, I do it. If I promise to be somewhere, I’ll be there.
    These last few months have been hellish and I’ve felt that my weaknesses and failings have been pointed out to me with all-too-glaring obviousness. I’m struggling, and I’m not going to hide it. I need more self-confidence to tell the fuckers in my life to just fuck off, to get my joke of a life together. Huh.
    As for you, we’ve never met, and may likely never do so, but I appreciate your ability to reach out and connect with total strangers and make them feel better about themselves, be it through your insight, your wit or your generosity (I’m thinking, for example, about your Christmas cards and, even more particularly, your Valentine’s e-card – the only one I got and more than enough to make me feel better about a crappy day in a crappy period)

  2. Jill

    I loved this post! I know I don’t comment very often and that’s typically out of my fear of inadequacy or some other B.S. like that, but lately, your posts have been inspirational (for lack of a better word) to me. I used to write for my own therapy and then I realized that I was the only one reading what I wrote, so I gave up blogging and I gave up writing. It’s the posts like this one that are making me want to begin writing again, but this time, maybe it’s okay if no one else reads what I write. Sometimes just putting pen to paper is a good start to being able to look inside of ourselves and hopefully find what we’re looking for.

  3. Sunday Stilwell

    The thing I like most about myself is that I can always find something to laugh about. No matter how sucktastic my day has been I find a way to laugh about it. Life is serious enough on its own without me adding to it by being apathetic and miserable.

    The thing I like most about you Adam is that you always make me laugh too.

  4. bellawriter

    I like that you put in there “learning to take care” of yourself. This is something I struggle with too. I hate saying no to people, but I’m learning.
    Okay, a good thing about me. I will always, always ALWAYS chase my dream even when people tell me that maybe it’s not going to work out. If I stop chasing it, I’ll never know. I also encourage others to chase theirs.
    An awesome thing about you? Well, you accepted my offer to play scramble on ipod even though I barely know you, and then, exchanged a few witty words of reparte with this little canadian. That was really nice. It made me smile. So, you can make people smile.

  5. Robyn Sanchez

    Me: I have a kind heart and I am funny, that’s two but I needed the extra today.

    You: I don’t know you from …well, Adam, but your pretty clever and clever appeals to me. 🙂

  6. Melissa

    I like Dawn’s format, so I’m stealing it for my comment.

    You: Make me laugh so hard I don’t make noise and clap my hands like a brain-damaged seal.

    I: In the awesome words of my friend Angelique, I’m so nice I make normal people look like assholes. 🙂

  7. Robin Plemmons

    You are (from what I can tell in my observations online & in real life interaction) considerate, intuitive, candid, & absolutely ridiculous. This is what makes you really funny.

    I’m an eternal optimist. Even when shit is particularly shitty, I have the ability to find the silver lining. I tend to see beauty in the ugly.

  8. anymommy

    I’ve only met you once, but I found you very genuine and very present. Maybe you were just reading the situation? 😉

    I’m flaky and I make a lot of mistakes, but I’m very forgiving of others’ mistakes as well.

  9. BakinginmyBathingSuit

    You rock for being self aware in a way that lets you see your positive traits as well as your traits that are not so positive.

    Hm. Something good about me? I see the good and potential in others even when they can’t see it for themselves. I am usually Susie Sunshine and have a knack at saying just the right thing at just the right time to bring a too serious situation down a notch.

  10. fiwa

    You are also brave – you put it all out there for everyone to see, and you don’t appear to care what people think. Honesty and bravery are two great qualities in you.

    I am a great listener. I can listen without judging and without giving assvice.

    Hang in there, darlin.

  11. Sybil Law

    I’m fucking awesome.

    My favorite thing about you: when I very first met you, I was pleasantly surprised to find you warm and genuine. I mean, the second I met you, I was at ease, and believe me – not many people have that effect on me

    You’re still a fucker, though.

  12. Dave2

    One thing I like about me is that I can find happiness by myself, and don’t rely on other people to make me happy.

    One thing I like about you is that you are so dang creative when it comes to throwing great parties!

  13. Lisa

    This is a great exercise, one that I should probably do myself since I’m in the midst of a particularly hellish phase, and my therapist informed me that I am not good at self-care (which sounds totally dirty but unfortunately isn’t).

    Awesomeness about Adam: You are kind and thoughtful, and a fierce defender of your friends. And like Dave said, you throw fantastic parties.

    Awesomeness about Me: I am smart and generous and will go above and beyond for my loved ones. And I have a remarkable knack for starting sentences with the word “and.”

    I’m sorry you’re hurting, Adam.

  14. a

    you: i like how passionately you express your friendships. i only “know” you through blog and facebook, but you’ve always been cool and kind to me. i assume your true friends think of you in terms of true blueness.

    me: i am a funny mutha fucka and i know how to make people feel special.

  15. Nancy (@ Spinning My Plates)

    You’re one of the most genuine people I’ve ever met. I also love that you don’t take other people’s bullshit. Calling out the self-righteous assholes is a true and noble crusade.

    I love that I nearly always see the potential in people and situations. Unfortunately, I often see more in others than what’s really there, but I like my happy delusions even if they lead me to heartbreak later. They’re totally worth the ride.

  16. Marie Nicole

    What I like most about myself is… whoa, let’s start with you shall I? I’m pretty much a new follower. Don’t know why since you’ve been a Facebook friend for a while. I love your humor. Sarcasm is best served cold. And you serve it everyday. It’s a beautiful thing.

    What do I like about myself? Thanks for asking by the way. I like that I use denial in the best kind of way. I use it to my advantage. My denial is my tool towards happiness and I can’t deny the fact that it’s a great tool. Unlike myself. Me, I am not a tool.

  17. KaraB

    A good thing about me is that I’m incredibly compassionate and I can empathize really well. I saw a dead duck the other day and cried because her mate was by the side of the road, ugh, it kills me even now! A little too sensitive, I know, but you won’t catch me saying something thoughtless and hurting someone’s feelings. I try and think everything over as to how it will affect someone before speaking.

  18. Becky

    One thing I like about me? I can drink a fuckton of tequila. I am making mental illness glamorous, one breakdown at a time.
    You, well, I could write chapter and verse, You are brave, you push the envelope just a little further than anyone else, you make us face our uncomfortable truths by exposing yours, you say things we’re all thinking, and a lot of things none of us would ever think.

    You will find and believe in your awesomeness again.

  19. Poppy

    Stop smoking, eat healthy food, stop drinking alcohol, stop drinking caffeine, exercise 30 minutes a day, see your therapist and then see if you feel “forgotten, unloved, undesired, unwanted, and disliked”. (YAY, BORING LIFE.)

    I am not the person you want desiring or wanting you, but I never forget about you, I always love you, and I never dislike you.

    Also, I’m pretty.

  20. Kim

    I love my sparkling personality. And my huge tits.

    You? I love how you’ve taken shitty times in your life and made it through them with humor, wit and no apologies.

  21. Tina Sutherland

    I was reading your list and kept hearing in my own head the word Brave. I am brave. I am also a short round grandma. But I have no problem telling creeps to back off, I don’t let anybody hurt someone without intervening and I try new things. Most of the time.
    Thanks for getting me to find this within myself. Maybe that’s your super power…bringing others to see themselves in a good way.

  22. Ashleigh

    You are a fantastic writer. Whether you are making me laugh or being serious, I appreciate how well written and honest your posts are.

    I like that when I needed help, I asked for it. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to, but I’m glad I did.

  23. Sarah

    You are generous. You shared your peanut M&Ms with me in Vegas and I know how important that shit is.

    Something I like about myself? I make really good funny faces. I also like that I get along with middle school students … they make me laugh and I can do the same for them. I also have nice boobs.


  24. Clown

    “I’ll admit when I’m wrong.”

    What!?! I have never, ever met somebody more stubborn to admit wrong than you!
    You’ll go out of your way to lawyer things up and even when others get involved you’ll persist!

    I also wouldn’t say you’re always logical, but the rest is pretty spot on, and are great traits.

    I like pointing out the faults of others. That’s a positive trait of mine!

    • Avitable

      @Clown, I’m not talking about the semantic arguments we get into. I’m talking about when I’ve done something wrong – wronged somebody, hurt somebody, etc. I’m not too stubborn to apologize in those cases. Plus, you’re always wrong.

      • Clown

        @Avitable, Yeah, that’s pretty different and could have used clarification.

        It’s would be like saying
        “I’m really manly” and then being called out for talking on the phone for 12 hours a day like a school girl, painted your toes, and wearing women’s sunglasses. Then you would come back and say “I didn’t mean manly in those ways. I’m big and hairy and I like bacon and getting manly straight razor shaves.”

        Do I need to say something positive about you? You eat like a duck.

  25. jina

    I have never commented before. But I read every single post of yours. And hence, I thought I owed you this one.
    I love that you celebrate your honesty and wit.
    I love that I care and love without abandon.

  26. Brandi

    I have the ability to love others deeply, almost immediately.
    Something awesome about you, while I rarely comment, I always read what you post here. You are the only blogger I feel I will remember in twenty years. You haven’t failed to respond to any communication I’ve attempted. Because of this and your honest, gritty writing, I’ve felt a desire to be liked by you and to impress you. I’ve even had dreams where you appear and I’ve done something that you want to take part in. Thank you for being you….fucker.

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