-- It slams into you like a kick in the head. You're browsing through some snapshots, you see a shot of some old lady's hands, then suddenly -- wham! --you realize those hands are yours.
When walloped -- how to repair self-esteem
You dash jauntily up a staircase only to stop halfway, breathing in asthmatic-bulldog gasps. Wham!
Overnight, like Germany invading Poland, your girlish waist expands into menopause tummy. Wham! And that's if you're lucky. Carol wasn't: She got sick, had to take steroids, and gained 50 pounds in a month. Teri finally learned to love her breasts, only to lose one to cancer. Samantha developed alopecia, shedding every hair on her body, and is now waiting for it to return. Wham! Wham! Wham!
These wallops to self-esteem involve not only the nasty shock of seeing our physical flaws but -- much worse -- the growing awareness that our bodies are mutable and mortal. I get walloped in the self-esteem approximately every 15 minutes, so lately I've been looking for coping skills.
I've found many, some of which work and some of which don't. The ones that don't work seem absolutely logical. The ones that do sound weird. I'll discuss the "logical" methods first, hoping to pitch you into sufficient despair to try the "illogical" ones.