How Do I Feel Now?
Let’s inject some positivity into this article! There is help out there for negative thoughts, and I thought I would share the things I do to help me drown out the voice that tells me I’m a failure.
- I don’t need throw-away phrases such as ‘be the best,’ ‘work harder,’ or ‘you can do better.’ No thanks. I will do my best when I can. Sometimes it takes me an hour to write an article and other times it drags over days when I can only do short paragraphs at a time. What more can I do? What more can people possibly ask of me?
- It is good to achieve things and have a future plan, but we need to specify what we are striving for. If you want to learn to drive the goal is to pass your test, not to pass it first or be the best driver your instructor has ever seen. If you fail your test, so what? It is a learning curve. You keep doing your best and the fruits of your labor will eventually pay off. This way you complete your journey but you do it your way, removing added stress and pressure.
- Accept everything about yourself — the good, the bad and the ugly. Challenge your critical voice. Remember the best things about yourself and know the things about yourself you wish you could improve. Embrace it, accept it all, and quiet that critical voice.
- Once you have achieved something, stop. Think about what you have completed. Too many of us have the next goal set in mind to the point we forget to appreciate the current work we are doing. We must stop and pat ourselves on the back. Never forget to appreciate yourself and the abilities you have. Many people are always multi-tasking, but I don’t want to dilute my experiences and increase stress by taking on lots and forgetting to appreciate.
- We need to stop comparing ourselves to other people. I tell myself I have failed because I see other friends with nice houses, strong relationships, fast cars and disposable income, and I wish for a fleeting moment I could go back to the old me where everything felt possible. Then I force myself to remember that I became ill as a result of that life and I refuse to be drawn in the materialistic world where all that striving allegedly brings happiness.
We are not failures in life, we just believe we are from the external influences we encounter.
We can change our critical voice to be more supportive, or at the very least challenge it to prevent it getting louder. I recommend talking therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) because it helped me.
Remember unobtainable goals and comparing ourselves to others will break us down, while more appreciation and acceptance of who we are will build us up. Life is about experiences, and everybody’s paths are very different. If depression hits and the voice telling us we failed gets louder, we can try to quiet it down by reminding our tired minds that we are ill and this is a symptom we have to ride out.
I hope this article makes people feel a bit more comfortable with themselves. It’s important for our recovery to do so.