Have you ever been to a public place with someone who wouldn’t stop talking negatively about themselves, that you just wanted to punch them in the face? Things such as “I’m so stupid”, “She looks so much better than you”, “If I sucked it in more, or maybe lost some weight”, “I can’t believe I don’t want to spend time with my kids, what kind of mother am I?”, ” Why am I even here, I don’t even like public places?!”. I have. However, a public display of self-harm probably would stir up some suspicious looks.
I think you know what I’m talking about. That constant chatter in your head that just won’t quit. It is relentless, negative, demeaning, hurtful, and when you listen (and when you don’t), dangerous. If you have never heard this voice, you must be blessed and please share your secret, I personally would love to know. But if you’re like me, you most likely hear this voice every day. What we choose to do with it is our own choice. Some like to pretend it doesn’t exist and stuff it…deep deep down. Of course, it will manifest in its own way, mine came out as an eating disorder. Some like to think that voice is just a figment of my imagination, perhaps I’m hearing voices or something. Some will “acknowledge” it and then shoo it off as if its that easy. And some, very few, actually know how to quiet that voice without allowing it to somehow be stuck in our subconscious. I am going to go ahead and make an assumption, that most of us are stuck with the former methods of getting rid of the commentary.
So what do you do with that never-ending hatred in your mind? Do you continue to stuff in hopes that it goes away, do you continue to believe the words thinking that it will never stop and there’s no point? It’s a trap, don’t believe it! I was stuck in both places. I didn’t even know or recognize I had that commentary in my mind, I just that that was me and “doesn’t everyone have this?” If you start paying attention, for even just a moment you will begin to realize that first of all, it’s not just you, those thoughts do not belong to you, and there is a way to make it stop. Then comes the tell-all question, “HOW?” boy oh boy I wish I knew the answer to that! If I got a nickel for every time I asked that question, I would be a millionaire by now! I have asked over and over, I’ve asked my therapist, my dietitian, my friends, my Higher Power, and no matter what I always felt like I was hitting a wall. I’m here to say, yeah I know the feeling, it sucks.
Last night my kids wanted to go swimming, guess who wanted to come along! You guessed it, ED. Right away the commentary started, over and over I heard “don’t go, you hate swimming, you’ll be in a swimsuit, everyone will be watching, your kids will want to play and you know you don’t really want to play with them, you’ll only feel worse about yourself after, so just stay home and isolate, withdraw yourself from the situation, you’ll go next time.” Do you see how there were no periods? It was a run-on sentence that just kept repeating itself, and not just repeating itself, it was layers of words on top of other layers. Pretty damn sickening. So again, how do I overcome? It was paralyzing, and I was scared, but I went anyway. “Feel the fear, and do it anyway.” Easier said than done. This time I was able to, next time, who knows. This time I was able to do it! This time you’ll be able to do it. This is no motivational conference, or book, or some sort of self-help drama. This is desperation, this is exposing E.D., this is just ONE move in a positive recovery-minded direction. Go against the ego/ed/addiction, just once today, and do it again tomorrow and the day after. Call for help, show your vulnerability, I challenge you to challenge your Ego.
With Love, Nik