My negative voice controls me, contradicts everything I say, criticises everything I do. It has the ability to turn any positive into a negative and strips away any happiness I manage to feel. I tried to map my thought process and demonstrate the negative paths. It isn’t easy to document, because it is constant, very fast and I am not always aware of when it has started to rant. The mind map I created, kind of shows what my head looks like, most of the time.
I had a counselling session today. It was the second this week, because I have been having those dark thoughts again the last few weeks. Last week, I left my counselling session, I got into my car and suddenly, all I could think about was driving into a tree. I found myself considering the speed and angle I would need to ensure I didn’t survive.
My negative voice has been so loud and boisterous, constantly criticising, analysing everything I say and do.
I leave my counselling session I am battling myself; a war is raging inside my head. Reasons to continue therapy, reasons to accept defeat and kill myself, reasons I deserve to continue living in misery.
Negative voice: Well that was pointless, waste of money!
Me: I thought it went ok today
Negative voice: Really? So, what did it achieve?
Me: Well, I can’t quantify it in such simple terms. I have to believe long term it will help me
Negative voice: Laughs Really? You actually believe you can be helped? Unhappiness, sadness, fear and pain define you, without them you are nothing.
Me: Ok, I admit that I am scared that if you were to take it all away there would be nothing left. But I want to feel contentment, I want to like myself and think counselling will help.
I am an idiot
I start to believe the negative voice, I am an idiot, but the argument continues, nonetheless.
Negative voice: How many counsellors have you seen? None of them helped! This is who you are! You are an idiot, a failure. You deserve to live in misery, you are an idiot, a waste of space!
Me: Do I? Why? What have I done to deserve this?
Negative me: The list is endless. I am just pointing out the obvious. You can’t change, you will never be free, accept it and carry on or just put yourself out of the misery and kill yourself.
Me: My counsellor is helping me, I have to believe I can change, can grow into a person who I like. All I want is contentment, to live a life that has some value.
The voice gets louder
If the I don’t listen to the negative voice and act on what it says, it gets louder and more aggressive. I must listen to its demands.
Negative voice: Well I don’t like her; I don’t trust her. She can’t help you; she lies to you, makes you believe you’ve got this, but we both know that you haven’t.
Me: I think counselling is helping, I have had some of my biggest highs this year, that new me appeared and I want her to come back, to stay. I liked her, I felt things I haven’t for ages, happiness, excitement, pleasure.
Negative voice: Yeah well, the new you, didn’t like you or she would have hung around! Why are you trusting the counsellor, you should trust me and only me!
A losing battle
The negative voice goes on and on, until I feel like giving in, feel like I cannot cope. It chips away at me, until the dark thoughts take over.
Me: My counsellor helped me to write my goals, I trust her. I want to keep seeing her, I need her to help me. I cannot achieve my goals, leave my husband and put my past behind me, without her.
Negative voice: Do not trust her! She pretends to like you; she hates you like everyone else. You will never leave him, you can’t, you know you can’t.
Me: Yeah, I know I can’t
Negative voice: so, accept defeat, kill yourself. That will cause you the least pain, it will all be over!
The negative voice rules
The negative voice starts to grind me down, it is far more powerful than me. It bombards me with negatives, I am not quick enough to convince it that it’s wrong, it has already moved on to the next negative thought. The negative voice is so forceful and determined, it reminds me of my mother, my voice speaking her words.
So, there is the real me who desperately wants to achieve her goals, to leave her husband, forget her past, find herself and live. The me who wants to trust my counsellor and believe I can achieve my goals. And there is the negative me that says, err no way is this happening. This side of me says I can’t do it; I don’t have the strength or the courage. I can’t leave my husband, what if something happens? The negative voice neither likes or trusts my counsellor believes she is leading me into dangerous territory, where she will abandon me and leave me in a position far worse than when we first met.
As a result, I am left with a whirling mind. A tight chest, heaviness that fills my entire upper body and is threatening to take over my lower body. Pulling me down with its weight.