As you’re reading through this blog, do you ever find yourself groaning and thinking, “Eugh. Come on. The author is full of it. You know better and you shouldn’t listen. Don’t feel sorry for yourself.”
I hear it most often when my therapist acknowledges a struggle, present or past.
My therapist will say something like, “You’re surrounded by trouble with alcohol. That’s something you’ve faced for a long time.”
And I’ll find myself thinking, “She says that to everyone who sits on this couch. You haven’t had it that bad. Don’t take yourself so seriously.”
I’ve thought of that voice as a family trait. We work hard, we don’t dwell. We’re proud of that. And you know what? The voice has a fucking point! It’s not like drunk people have been beating me up my whole life. I haven’t had it that bad!
But recently I’ve started to think of that voice as a powerful avoidance mechanism. It’s as if some inner ass hole is telling me, “To think about your struggles is to indulge yourself. And anyway, your problems are unimportant. Don’t listen to people who are trying to help you or you will become weak.”
In my right mind I know that I’m not really one to feel sorry for myself, while I am someone who’s been diagnosed with major recurrent depression. Whether the problems that got me here are enormous or not, I have to face them in order to get better. If I don’t acknowledge my problems, if I don’t think about them, I’ll never solve them.
So I finally told my therapist about it and now I’m trying to kick it to the curb. Bat it to the ground. Ix-nay on the oice-vay that tells me that trying is a sign of weakness.