Also known as the 'Inner Critic' or 'Super Ego'. I've written about that internal voice previously and how crippling it is to those of us suffering with some form of trauma.
I've created a new name for it, which I think personifies it in a nut shell, "The Mind Troll". Without fail, day in day out, every hour, that voice inside gently reminds me how utterly useless it thinks I am and every failure is reminder of why I shouldn't bother trying to better myself. When you've been used to something for your entire adult life, surely there's no way of moving on because it must be true?
It's not true
Ever lie awake at night worrying about that presentation you have to give at work tomorrow or had an internal argument with someone before you've even spoken to them? We get incredibly stressed and anxious over events that haven't occurred, yet they're just thoughts, and they're not real. For Trauma sufferers its sadly more intense than that, but you get the idea.
As my recovery progresses, I'm slowly tiptoeing in these new realms of taking back control of my mind, trying to determine 'fact' from 'fiction' in order to cut back those internal struggles and reduce some of that stress I put myself under. So I treat it like going to the gym now. Its incredibly challenging, but I guess if it was easy, we'd all be super fit with no mental health issues eh?
My Agreement with myself
I'm not the most active person known to man, and sport was never my thing. But I've come to realise that in order to take back that control, its time to step outside of my comfort zones and start proving to myself what I'm actually capable of. So when the mind troll starts to kick off and criticise me, I fight back with some really simple responses;
Vocally tell it to shut up (I recommend not doing this in public.....)
Go and do what I planned to do
Vocally congratulate myself for doing it
Accept that however I get it done, it's good enough. Perfection doesn't exist!
Please realise this is not an overnight thing and its one of many new techniques that I'm adopting in order to move away from surviving to thriving, and as time goes on I'll continue to write about my experiences and challenges in the hope that they'll help at least one person who's having a rough time. But like going to the gym, you're not going to get fit by exercising once a week, so repetition is your friend here. Do it daily or do it hourly, whatever works for you, but just keep doing it, and after a while you'll notice small improvements. Most importantly, make sure you celebrate those successes and again verbally congratulate yourself on a job well done, or even write them down in a diary or notebook. Don't be put off by small failures or knock backs and remember you're not alone in this.
"We may fall over 9 times, but we get up 10 times"
If this resonates with you or it seems useful, please leave a comment below and share your experiences.