Therapy Homework

My counselor doesn’t like to call them assignments, or homework, but I don’t know what else to call them. She gives me homework assignments. Last session’s homework was focusing on self-care and grounding, finding a way to cope with the anxiety attacks, to ground/focus myself so that I could get through that moment and come back to the feelings/thoughts that prompted the attack when I was more calm.

This week, she wants me to find my intrinsic value, what I have to offer. She specifically said not things I’m good at, mind you, so being good at your job, or having good problem-solving skills, being athletic or smart… those don’t count. Things that couldn’t be taken away by an accident or stroke or something. Intrinsic value.

I have three major problems with this:

  1. To me, the definition of value is basically “what others are willing to give for it.” It’s something that other people ultimately determine, not me. I could set a price on something, but that doesn’t make it valued at the price I choose. How can I determine the value of myself if I think it’s determined by others? I realize this is extrinsic value, and maybe my problem here is that I’ve never looked at anything’s intrinsic value before. But even the amount of love that someone has to give the world around them is worthless if there’s no one receiving it.
  2. I am literally at the lowest point I’ve been in my entire life. I’ve always felt that I didn’t bring enough to the table, and right now I’m feeling completely worthless. I realize that this is the reason behind the homework, but I can’t see past the self-hatred right now to find anything of value beneath it, intrinsic or otherwise.
  3. If I were in an accident that left me irrevocably brain-damaged, or having to be fed/bathed by someone else, I would not want to live. I wouldn’t want to be a burden on those that care about me, no matter what my value was in their eyes.

I’m not asking for help with this. I don’t want compliments or hints. I’ve got two weeks to see if I can figure it out myself, and I’m going to try.

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