Trash the Trash Talk
By: Florence Taglight
You know that little devil that sits on your right shoulder? (It may be your left, but I’ve always had mine on my right.) We all have one, some bigger than others. Well I’m learning to toss mine in the trash, where it belongs.
The negative self-talk, the anxiety provoked thoughts and day-ruining words this devil speaks. Telling me that I am not good enough, that I am not worthy of recovery, that I am unloved–sound familiar?
Maybe the literal words are different, but nonetheless they are filled with same toxicity–and come on, in a world filled with competition, pessimism and cynics, the last thing we need is OUR OWN mind beating us up.
What I find so strange is just that, it is my own mind. So surely, I should be able to stop these words. Surely, if I am telling myself all these vile things, I am the only one who can shut it up. Well the hard part, is also empowering–in the end only I can. But like a lot of things that sincerely make a difference it takes conscious synapse re-routing (I just barely scraped by in biology, so let’s just pretend that’s a thing, okay?) persistent emotional awareness and mental redirection.
It’s exhausting just thinking about it and trust me; I’m far from an expert. My pernicious and deceiving pint-sized ’friend’ still speaks far too often and far too loud for my liking, but unquestionably less than it did 6 months ago.
(If you know me, you know I’m going to bring my dogs into this at some point) I have to remind myself, that I would NEVER EVER say these things to Missy or Nell. Even if you’re not a dog lover (first of all, WHAT? Secondly, HOW? Thirdly, COME AGAIN?) you wouldn’t say such things to a child, a friend or family member. I would never dream of telling anyone I love (or don’t love) such self-depreciating words–so why do I say such things to myself?
I will tell you why: The voice grew louder and more frequent as I shrunk and became weaker. It picked up its megaphone whilst I buried myself beneath my sheets.
I got so used to these words that they became normal, run-of-the-mill and routine. I didn’t realize they were detrimental until I began expressing that they were there.
Expressing those thoughts is something that is really hard to do, I know. But I promise you it’ll help. Admitting that they are there, even if it’s to yourself, your dog, fish, or snake. (If you have none of these things you are more than welcome to email and tell me.) Once they are out there, the formerly omnipotent voice quivers and shakes.
Some people I know use a ‘trash shoot’, ‘garbage can’ or ‘rubbish room’ – some metaphorical and some physical. Whatever it is, get it out, get shredding, grinding and destroying the words that only make you miserable.
Stop telling yourself you don’t matter. Stop telling yourself you’re not good enough. Take the megaphone from the imp and give it to the child inside you, who once believed that when they were older they would be royalty, a dragon or in my case a policewoman – if you know me, you know I would be a TERRIBLE policewoman.
About the Author: Florence Taglight is the International Ambassador UK for Project HEAL. She is 21 years old. Connect with her on Instagram, and read more of Florence’s blog posts at http://findingflo.co.uk/.