Silencing the Expert. Thursday April 6, 2017
Would you like to write a blog for Moodscope? Who me? Why yes, absolutely! I'd love too. But hang on, I can't. I mean who am I kidding? What have I possibly got to say of interest? Sitting here in my house with my wonderful husband and 2 beautiful children. Seriously? What was I thinking...
Does anyone else get this kind of conversation going around in their heads on loop? Intrusive thoughts from the inner voice that thinks it's the expert. It's always there, always going on, always semi-taunting. It has taken me a long time to learn how to quiet it. It's never truly going to go away but I needed to regain at least some control.
True, it is an expert. An expert at catastrophising. At reminding me of the worse possible scenario that could happen right at the moment when it is least necessary. You know, like the first time I'd ventured out in the world with my long time wanted baby. There he was, the expert. Remember that news report when... What would happen if... Surely you're not good enough to... And suddenly there I am, finding every reason not to leave the house lest my bundle of joy is harmed, snatched or worse. Then follows days, weeks, months of feeling like a fake, a fraud, a failure.
But this is not my point. It happened. It was a dark time and here I am, six years later with two children both of whom are living, breathing and doing quite well thank you very much. I appear to have managed quite well actually.
What happened to that so-called expert on my life? Well, I met a man who changed my life. To be exact I met a counsellor and he helped me change my view on life. For me the ability to take control of my own thoughts and actions through CBT was a real turning point. Realising that I was having problems and that although I live a reasonably privileged existence a lot of that was due to my own hard work and willingness to learn. I realised that not only was I a mother but I was a good mother. I was also a mother with anxiety and depression. This was no surprise. I've been down the dark road before many times, but it was the recognition that I seem predisposed to these episodes and actually that's ok. I can seek help, I can take control and I can ask someone else to take control if I'm not able to.
Anyway, back to this voice. It was simple really. I asked him to stop. That's it. Just stop. In my head, I see that enormous stop sign that you find at the end of a lane. You must not pass. Halt. If he wants to start, if I notice him nudging back in, I simply hold it up. Stop. It's taken practise and it wasn't an instant success but now it's one of my main tools. I'm in control. And it feels great!
What tools work for you to silence that inner voice?
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Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.