It isn’t logical.
There is no direct evidence that this one voice is correct. In fact, there is overwhelming evidence that this voice is not the one I should listen to.
It is not the one I should pay attention to. I should not stay up late tossing and turning over this voice.
I should not be thinking that this voice is right, and all the other voices are wrong.
Now I am not saying that I am hearing voices. However, I am hearing voices. The one voice that is upsetting me is telling me I am not doing a good job. That I am not worthy of anyone’s trust or attention. I am eating this up as gospel, despite very convincing evidence to the contrary. Catastrophizing is making this one voice louder than the rest.
The voice is drowning out the voice of reason.
And I am letting it. I am throwing myself into the “I’m a piece of s%^t and I shouldn’t expect others to think any different about me” type of thinking. I hear in my head that this person is just verbalizing what I know to be true. I have no worth, no value. (Except in the context of a title). So, this leaves me fighting extremely hard just to keep my head above water.
There is no reason I should be listening to this voice.
The reality is I have a dozen or more voices that are saying the exact opposite. These voices are saying I am valuable, I get things done, I matter, I make a difference, I can be counted on, I am liked, I am appreciated, I do the right thing.
And every voice is sincere, genuine and real.
So why in the hell am I listening to the lone voice that’s saying “I’m a worthless sack of …” This doesn’t stand up to any sort of logical questioning you would ask; as in, “you have one negative voice and how many positive voices?” I know from overwhelming feedback that I do a good, often a great job. But still I am hearing and agreeing with that one lone dissenting voice.
Unhelpful thinking is an understatement.
Carrying around my daily affirmations and reading them to myself many times a day is helping. I fact, doing that made a huge difference the other day as I faced the one dissenting voice.
And having those affirmations helped me see that what the voice was saying was not valid. But it’s even harder because that voice has some value. There is always a kernel of truth somewhere in what the voices are saying.
A positive spin is that this negative voice can keep me humble.
And there are things I can learn from the voice. But I can’t hear the lesson when it is couched in searing flesh eating venom that rips at the heart and saps the brain of the ability to respond. This self-righteous, condescending tone just pushes my buttons and backs me right up against the wall.
In that moment, I freeze. There is no place to flee, to take flight, and I do not fight.
So, I am just standing there, listening to the voice, and letting its words control my actions. I am letting myself be the victim with this voice and it a terrible, uncomfortable place to be. This is debilitating and undermines my feelings of self-worth. This is not a good starting point for dealing with the voice.
My challenge today, like every day going forward, is to not let depression be my boss.
Living my life for myself, I can choose which voices I listen to. The fact that I am challenging the negative voice is really pissing off depression. So, it is digging in and trying as many ways as it can think of to undermine my positive thoughts.
Depression can get my attention; however, it is no longer in control.
Depression is losing its grip on me and I am getting stronger. This lone, distracting voice that is undermining my efforts is something I can control.
Going forward, it is how I think about the situation that I can and will control. I can ask better questions, phone a friend, use a lifeline, and sort out real thoughts from unhelpful thoughts. This is my life going forward.
What voice do you listen to?