DEAR ABBY: I'm a 27-year-old woman who still lives at home. I do it so I can help my mom with my five nieces and nephews. Their mother passed away suddenly in 2009 at the age of 30. My mom and stepdad kept them rather than scatter them to fathers who don't appear very interested in them.
Since my sister's death I have earned two degrees, entered the health care field and have lost almost 140 pounds. Despite what I have accomplished, I feel I have nothing to show for myself. When I point my accomplishments out to myself, they don't seem like a heck of a lot. What can I do so I can stop feeling like a loser? -- LOST IN THE NORTHEAST
DEAR LOST: A loser? From where I sit, you appear to be not only a caring daughter, but also an intellectually accomplished young woman who is being very hard on herself. If you feel you haven't accomplished a lot, I have to question the yardstick you're using.
It's time you discussed your feelings with a licensed mental health professional who can help you understand what is causing your low self-esteem. If you do, it may help you be kinder to yourself, because what's currently going on in your head is unfair to you and destructive.