So I’ve just got out of the bath and finished reading chapter 3 of Katie Piper’s book’ ‘Confidence, the secret’, which has completely inspired me to write this post. Yes, I was actually taking some time for myself and I didn’t feel guilty once!! (Those of you who know me well, will know how much of a big deal this is for me!) When I reflect not just on last year, but the last few years I have really let a lot of negative thoughts rule my life in so many ways. Starting 2018 I was, and still am, very determined to distance myself from things and people that affect me in a negative way, and change the conversation in my head with myself.
Over a lot of years I have taken comments people have made, some to hurt, and others not at all, and let them rule the conversation in my head with myself. As a result of which this has really affected my mental health (which I touched on a little in my previous post). I have over the last few years filled my head with thoughts such as; you’re not good enough, you’re not thin enough, you’re fat, people don’t like you, I’m not successful, I don’t have a big career, I’m a failure etc, and I’ve believed every word I’ve told myself. I suffer from anxiety (like a lot of people) and so my brain will concoct the worst case scenario in about 30 seconds, and I often (wrongly) let this affect me for days. When I say ‘let this affect me’, it isn’t a conscious choice, it’s a conversation in my head that I found difficult to change and if on that day my anxiety wants to play havoc, it will. And there is often very little I can do about it other than try my best to think of something else (much easier said than done!!). Some days I can just wake up feeling that way without seemingly much rhyme or reason.
Some of the few things I have been described as are; sensible, boring, negative, judgemental and stuck up. I really take comments like this very personally (probably too personally), especially when I don’t believe that I am these things. But then I think, is this really how people see me? Then I start another spiral of ‘I’m not good enough’ and so the cycle continues. However, I can honestly say that I have (after a lot of hard work) started to change that. My conversation now is that; I am good enough, I am strong, I am kind, I am caring and I am successful in my own way. I might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I am who I am. So there’s two choices, like me for who I am, or don’t. I won’t say that it won’t bother me, because it will, but maybe it will just bother me less (well for today anyway).
My Negative Internal Comments (NICS), which I have taken from Katie Piper’s book had become pretty ugly. I don’t really know when I started to think so little of myself, but it actually made me sad, but in a “I’m putting a rocket up my arse and changing this” kind of sad. I had a conversation with a close friend recently about anxiety and how neither of us remember being so consumed by what other people think , or how a situation might look to someone else when we were younger. In fact both of us were fiery, no nonsense, outgoing, opinionated strong independent women (all by the age of 17 might I add!) I believe social media has a lot to do with it, and the constant comparing of your life to everyone else, and worrying about what everyone else might think. I have caught myself so many times saying “I wish I was like that” or “Look how amazing their life is”. The truth is, most people will only ever post the good things. I have never been someone who is going to paint a pretty picture if it isn’t one, this doesn’t mean that I’m negative, I am just being honest. Maybe too honest, but hey, mum always said honesty is the best policy!?
Some of my anxiety (not all of it) and negative thoughts I believe have often come from the frustration from not being able to control or fix my brothers condition. Take any situation you can think of where you can’t fix it, there is no resolve, you just have to wait and let it play out. First comes the frustration, then shear anger, then ‘this isn’t fair’, then tears, and then another last ditch attempt at some way to fix it, and so it continues. But it can’t be fixed, and it isn’t fair, but there is bugger all you can do about it. So, I can understand more now that when this cycle is a regular occurrence in someone’s life, why I’ve reached the point I did last year. I am now allowing myself the space to say you know what, “I’m not ok, this is hard, it’s unfair, I want to make it better and I can’t, and today I hate the world!”. But letting myself have that moment then pick myself back up, and kick some ass by telling myself that I CAN do this, I AM good enough and It’s OK to have a bad day!
Up until today every blog post that I have written I have over analysed, panicked about if people won’t like it and re-read about 100 times before posting it. Today I only re-read it 70 times, and I only panicked about 5 times (small steps!).