Overcoming the negative

As I’ve been returning to myself I’ve put a lot of thought into who I am, how my thoughts affect my behavior, my sense of wellness, as well as the root of the debilitating thoughts. I’ve kind of started seeing a therapist that isn’t convinced she’ll be able to help me, in the meantime she’s been pretty helpful. Yesterday we talked about staying in the moment during conversations, not allowing the internal conversation to distract me from the task at hand. This is way more difficult than it sounds, but an important skill to master. Trying to figure out what to write today I came across this article on Psych Central that struck a chord with me. Sometimes the person you need to ignore for positive mental health is yourself. Here is my list for the negative self talk that needs to be avoided.

  1. All your problems are made up / used for attention.
  2. You’ll never be happy again.
  3. Not only are you always the third wheel, you’re the wheel no one wants.
  4. Your friends and family would be much better off if you are gone.
  5. You can never trust anyone that tries to correct any of the previous statements.

There are a few ways I try to turn these thoughts around. First, I know for a fact that my “problems”, meaning my illness, is not in my head. Too many times I stopped taking my medication and proved to myself this is not imaginary. When shit really hits the fan I become an introvert, kind of hard to be begging for attention when you really want no one to notice how terrible you feel on the inside. Second, I’ve been through hell and back over and over again. I know there is happiness on the other side, I just have to push through and get there.

The last three are much more difficult for me to navigate. Over the last decade or so I have developed a very specific type of relationship with my friends. It’s difficult, but I have been with my friends for so long I just trust them. Even when I don’t want to, I trust. These are people who have been with me in the worst, gotten a glimpse of the horrors underneath. I trust them to tell me the truth no matter what, even about stupid things, and they do. Because once that trust is broken it takes a long time to get it back, they’ve seen the struggle and heard the heartbreak. Even when my heart and head are telling me I’m not enough, I’m not wanted, I’m not needed, if they tell me I am that will be enough. It’s not pretty, it’s guarded and the negative talk is constantly there, but I take their word because if I don’t the whole house of cards falls.

After talking to my new (kind of) therapist I need to start making pro and con lists. All the negative self talk will go on the con side, all of the reasons against will go on the pro side. Eventually when I get brave enough I’ll give the con lists to the few people I trust enough to always tell me the truth. I’ll do my best to trust them and use their words to build me up when I’m not strong enough to do it myself.

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