Inner Monologues that Help Me Deal with My Anxiety

I am not sure what to call this post, either than “inner monologues.” Maybe, another term often used for this internal monologue is “self-talk.” I don’t really know the exact name, but I know I do it a lot.  I find I continually have this conversation between myself and my “anxious self.” It almost feels like a conversation between two people sometimes and I am always tryng to talk my “anxious self” from drowning in negative thinking.

If I can’t take it anymore, I’m just going to call my doctor.

This is the statement I tell myself the most often and I have written about it in my very first post here.  Basically, I treat my anxiety like any medical illness.  If it is getting worse, it is time to go to the doctor to seek medical support.  This statement has helped me so much over the years because it is a more objective way of looking at things (i.e, if this happens, I do this).  It has also been a lifesaver because I am renowned to not want to seek help or follow treatment.  When I feel like I reach a certain level of anxiety (for me, usually non-stop crying), I or my family will remind me to call the doctor.  I am very lucky that I have a doctor that I trust, and this thought is often very comforting to me.

Don’t be so tough on yourself, you are a survivor.

Sounds really cheesy, but we often forget, as mental illness patients, that we are strong!  Living with mental illness is a lifelong journey, but yet we have fought many battles with our mental illness and survived. Sometimes, I look back at my life and I am amazed that I still am here today.  There are days where everything seems so difficult, but it is “ok not to be ok” sometimes.  Give yourself a break and just accept that some days are not going to be great and seek help when necessary.

Screw it!  Just do it!

This is very similar to the idea of “What’s the worst thing that can happen?” which I also use a lot when I am anxious.  I think this is quite a popular technique used by many to reduce their anxiety about a particular situation.  We often built-up situations in our heads and using this technique allows us to bring it “back to earth” a bit.  Most of the time, this technique works well for me.  However, sometimes, when I don’t get reassurance from thinking about the worst possible outcome, I will just tell myself, “Screw it.  Just do it!”  Bring it on and let the worse thing happen.  Most of often than not, it never does.  However, it will often give me that extra push to continue fighting my inner critic.

All these inner monologues have helped me during the last few months. I must say I am starting to feel a bit better and some days this inner monologue has diminished quite a bit.  I would love to know if their are certain statements that have helped you get through a tough time.


The Stress of Showing Up

In my last blogpost, I wrote about the stress of “pretending to be fine.” What does that actually mean?  As I talked to others, I realized that how this looks really depends on the person.  For some people, it just means showing up and being present.  For others, “being fine” might mean smiling and making conversation.  My husband can show up at a gathering and not talk and just listen.  However, for me, I grew up in a family where talking was the norm when sitting around a dinner table. Not talking?  That was a foreign concept to me.

Continuing the story from my last blogpost, I was spending some quality time visiting family.  I starting getting overwhelmed from having to seem fine all the time despite knowing that everyone was aware of my mental illness.  I knew that everyone was family and loved me.  However, the need to “be fine” still stressed me out.  Maybe, I secretly still didn’t want to admit to others that I was not doing well.  Hoping, it would all just pass.  Or I just didn’t want anyone to worry about me so I tried even harder to be fine.  Moreover, I was just worried how they would react if I had a meltdown. What would they think?

So what happened?  Well, on the second day I started feeling overwhelmed and decided to go lay down in a room.  Whereby, I laid there thinking, “Well, that didn’t work out well.”  By trying to be fine, the stress made me very “unfine.”  I guess, that is the pressure that perfectionist types naturally put on themselves.  Not only was I trying too hard to be fine, but I couldn’t even fathom there were other options.  I didn’t realize it was ok to hang out with your family and feel “unfine.”  I didn’t have to talk and I didn’t have to smile.  They were just happy to have me there.  Plus, you really should only smile when you feel like you want to, not for anyone, but for yourself.  Hard to do, for sure, but something I try to keep in mind everyday now. In the end, if you don’t love yourself, who will?