Ignoring the Cruel Voices in My Head

A letter to a fellow sister in recovery…

Photo by Mikael Kristenson on Unsplash
"Frankly, I am mean to myself. Really mean. Almost abusive. If you heard what I said to myself, you’d tell me to knock it off. — Jessica Hillis

Dear Jessica,

I so feel you here!

I’ve still got tons left to heal from and let go myself BUT one thing I have for sure learned this past year is that I’ve got to stop trying to make the voices stop — they aren’t my voices, I cannot control them anyway.

What has been working well for me recently has been to simply let the voices be — without arguing with them or believing them.

Like, a voice will say to me something like, “You’re worthless, you should just stop trying.” … In the past I would have tried arguing with that, telling myself that I do have worth, that my efforts for worth-while, etc. etc. etc.

But the voices did not stop.

Through a lot of internal healing and work with my therapist, I’m coming to accept that the voices may be part of my life for the rest of my life — that I cannot control them.

I may not be able to control them, but I am learning how to co-exist with them.

So, like above, a voice might say, “You’re worthless, you should just stop trying.” Instead of arguing with that voice, these days I seek to simply co-exist with it. It doesn’t have to be right or wrong, that voice simply is and I have no control over that.

I only have control over myself, or rather, I am learning how to maintain gentle control over myself.

So that voice can say those things and I now seek to simply let it chatter on — no arguing, no validating my efforts, no interacting with the voice at all.

Kinda like when a guy catcalls me, I simply keep walking and give that individual no attention or energy what-so-ever.

There’s no way I’m going to convince that person that catcalling is wrong, a form of intimidation and misogynistic violence that they have no right to visit upon me. i.e., I cannot control that person’s voice any more than I can control the cruel voices in my head.

So I just keep walking on (albeit I am acutely aware of this person, alert to any moves they might make or danger I might be in) — I give no outward sign of having heard them.

Mostly it seems to take the steam out of their blustering bullshit.

And that, Jessica, is what I’m seeking to do with the unkind voices living in my head — that the steam out of their blustering bullshit.

I deserve to love myself, even when those voices scream obscenities at me day and night — I still deserve to love myself.

And you deserve this as well.

This letter was written in response to Jessica’s post

For Me, 2020 Has To Be The Year Of Self Love

I’m too hard on myself and that has to stop

Jessica is the Queen of random thoughts. Writer and mother. I try to keep it real because I’m not “loving every moment”. Follow me on Twitter https://twitter.com/3282jessicah

Katherine Grace is an essayist, poet, and self-help writer. If you’d like to support her work, you can visit her Buy Me a Coffee page. To stay connected, please subscribe to Grace Notes.

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