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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?

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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Leah Thu, Apr 6th 2017 @ 7:12am

What a wonderful inspiring and informative post you have written. I appreciate your honesty and enthusiasm. My inner critic gets relentless when I start to write or step out of my comfort zone. At other times I try to ignore.
I am glad you have a tool that works for you. Well done.
Thanks for your blog and I hope to read some more. Take.
PS like your name as there has been a lot of talk about Jupiter on stargazing programs recently.

Adam G Thu, Apr 6th 2017 @ 7:14am

That was a very helpful blog, thank you. I recognised a lot of me in there!

Jul Thu, Apr 6th 2017 @ 8:27am

Dear Moon and Jupiter. I love this blog. It helps us all to think of that simple word Stop! I think it must take practice as you say for it to actually work. I am so glad you have taken control of your life and also that you did write a blog after all. A good one too. Well done and more please. Julxx

Orangeblossom Thu, Apr 6th 2017 @ 8:39am

Thanks for the blog Moon and Jupiter. Like with the above, I found it entirely resonated for me. Thanks for sharing your tool to stop the inner critic. I shall try it when I find him/her yapping at me. A great blog.

Tutti Frutti Thu, Apr 6th 2017 @ 9:38am

Dear Moon and Jupiter Just to say great blog. Thanks for overcoming the bossy voice and writing for us. I totally identify with what you have said about thinking of something i would like to do and then coming up with a whole list of reasons why I couldn't. Even to the extent of thinking that I couldn't possibly think of anything to write for moodscope that anyone would want to read. I did surprise myself and write a blog about 6 months ago though (and got worried about whether anyone? would actually comment). I haven't come up with anything to write since but definitely intending to try on a very occasional basis. I also identified with what you said about having a lovely family and a nice life. I often feel it's difficult to justify being depressed. Which is obviously twisted thinking since being ill doesn't require justification. And finally i have found CBT very helpful too. Good luck and thanks for writing. Love TF x

Leah Thu, Apr 6th 2017 @ 11:08am

Tutti Frutti, A couple of blogs back you were asking about a book dealing with comfort eating. Have you read the Writing Diet by Julia Cameron. It is quite prescriptive but writing down what you eat and why helped me. Tying this in with the blog, my 'expert' tells me to eat as I will feel better when I know that if i eat more cake I will feel guilty later. I think I have mentioned I always worry no one will comment- I suppose I just accept that now.! Take care

LP Thu, Apr 6th 2017 @ 9:43am

Hi MoonandJupiter,
Thanks for sharing your encouraging experiences.
I also feel that I have become self aware enough to " nip it in the bud" as soon as I realise what's happening in my head. A simple word or symbol as you say may be even more effective.
I'm all for taking control in whatever small ways that are possible.
Wishing sunshine and smiles to all. LP xx

Jane SG Thu, Apr 6th 2017 @ 8:44pm

Thanks MoonandJupiter, I try and I try and I try and I try but I cannot stop the 'expert'
So tired of it ? I'm so glad you found a way. Keep going! Xx

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