Since I last wrote about looking after my mind, I believe I have made some progress, but with any illness that has persisted for a long time, it isn’t something I will master in one sitting.
My therapist has made sure I am aware that I am practicing the challenges that she gives to me, without practice and belief in them, my therapy is pointless. I’m challenging the negative thoughts I have, about myself, the harsh critical inner voice that tries to bring me down at every opportunity. Self doubt, self hatred, my worst enemy, myself. If I can challenge this irrational thinking, self conviction will hopefully be more forthcoming, aiding me in my work and employment prospects, after all if I don’t have belief in myself, how can I expect others too?
The trouble is the conflict in my mind. I’m finding myself arguing more with the poison parrot, but still the self doubt niggles away at me. If I talk about my successes, I find myself doubting they even exist. One of the exercises I have been set is to write down the situation, the thoughts and the feelings, then challenge these thoughts. To eliminate mind reading, negative self criticism and address the facts. If I feel I haven’t been successful with the first open call exhibition I have organised (a challenge in itself), I think I have been a failure. Why would I think this? I have great support, I have had artists trust me with their work, I have had interest from artists who wish to run a craft stall, I have no reason to doubt myself and call myself a failure. I have taken on a challenge in itself, organising an open call exhibition, I’ve had to devise the theme, the submission guidelines, the promotion, writing articles, involving people, recruiting volunteers, responding to emails, keeping the momentum and interest alive, I have less than 3 weeks to go! The skills I have taken away from this process are invaluable. To be a failure, would entail zero interest from all parties. I have to remind myself that this is the first time I have taken on such a project and I can only relate success to this fact. I have been successful so far.
Challenging negative thoughts is a task where I am battling with such ingrained thought processes that they have buried themselves deep into my subconscious. Taking notice of my thinking at this level, I realise how badly I have been treating myself. I consider myself a kind and empathic person, full of giving and seeing the positive qualities in a person, yet when I consider these attributes I possess about myself they are lost. Why should that be? Why be so hard on myself when I am so kind to others? I hope I can continue my learning and challenge these thoughts, for in doing so I will unlock a potential in myself, which I know is worthwhile and brilliant.