Saturday, January 7, 2017

When Anxiety Tells You Lies

When anxiety tells you lies, you don’t have to listen.  When you’ve lived with mental illness for a while, you realize you can’t trust your thoughts.  You can’t look inside for answers when they’re so self-destructive.
Usually when things are going crazy around you, you can retreat inside yourself for a bit and think things through.  When you’ve got anxiety and depression, that changes.
On bad days, my inner dialogue is something like this:
“Don’t do it like that!”
“Why not, it’s working.”
“No, it’s stupid.”
“Because you’re doing it wrong. You’re stupid.”
“Shut up!”
“You’re stupid so of course you’re doing it wrong.  You’ll never get enough done. You’ll never be…”
“SHUT UP!!! Can’t you see I’m trying?? Shut up and leave me alone! Michael thinks I’m good enough, and my family likes me, and other people like me.  You’re wrong!”
“No, you’re stupid.  You shouldn’t even exist because you ONLY did dishes and laundry today.  You should have made muffins too.  And crocheting doesn’t count as being productive because you enjoy doing it.”
“SHUT UP!!!”
What I’m learning is that I don’t have to listen to that voice in my head.  I can say, “I’m ok.  God loves me enough to save me from my sins and adopt me to be His.  Nothing I do can make Him hate me now.”  And then I read a book or watch TV to drown out the conversation in my head.  It’s pretty well impossible to stop that conversation – it will keep going all day.  It usually can be drowned out by a distraction, at least for a while. 

If your mind is telling you things like this, you don’t have to listen.  You are worthy.   You deserve to get help.  And if sometimes you spend the day in front of the TV because you just can’t take it anymore, that’s ok too.  I know it’s tough, not being able to trust your own self, but hang in there.  You’re not alone.

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