This week is mental health awareness week… so I wanted to share a story about mine…
I don’t know about you, but I have a really chatty inner voice. She pops up all the time… and to be honest with you, she’s not actually that nice.
When I was growing up she didn’t really like the way I looked and she used to tell me things like “you are ugly” or “no-one will ever love you looking like that.” I tried my best not to listen to her, but sometimes she made me feel really awful.
As I got older she continued her barrage, “no-one is going to like you, you’re really boring, why would anyone want to be friends with you?” Again, I tried to ignore her but sometimes she made me feel really lonely even when I was surrounded by people that I know love me.
When I entered my first relationship she was relentless… “he doesn’t really love you, how could he?” “You’re a mess, you’re so clumsy, why can’t you ever just get it together?” Again, I tried to push her to one side and no matter how many times my partner told me he loved me, I never believed him.
When I entered the work place, it felt like she was there all the time… “You’re not prepared for this, you’re going to mess this up.” “He’s so much better at this than you, you’re not doing a very good job.” “You need to do more, you haven’t done enough.” By now I was listening to her all the time and believing all the mean things she said. I felt deflated, run-down, lonely and a failure.
Then one day, it was brought to my attention how mean my inner voice is. I don’t have any friends in my life who speak to me the way she does. In fact, I’m known for being a bit feisty, so I’d probably tell her to *bleep* off…
So that’s what I did…
It didn’t happen overnight and I used my time on the mat to silence my “inner mean” as I just focused on my postures, my breath and my movement. This was quite life changing for me, as I didn’t realise just how much I had started to believe my disparaging inner voice. Imagine how powerful your mind could be if each one of those negative comments was a positive.
I have realised through other people that I am not alone in this journey and that being kind to your mind is certainly not easy for everyone.
Everybody has their own mental health story and some have mastered when to tell the voice to “SHUT UP” and change the station… but for those that haven’t, just know that you are not alone.