Today I’m tackling the subject of what I like to call ‘the bullshit mantra’ – the varied and unpleasant nonsense my head likes to bully me with, especially when I’m at my most vulnerable or sad. We all have the voices of doubt in our heads, we all fret about fitting in, succeeding, being seen as genuine, being understood, not being seen as incapable or incompetent as we fear we might be. When suffering from mental health problems, this parade of uncertainty connects itself to anything destructive anyone’s ever said to you and tries, often successfully, to bring you to your knees. Essentially, your brain becomes your biggest bully.
Recovery is a fragile time, and this is exactly when your bullshit mantra blares loudest – whenever you are vulnerable, it will pick all the things you are most uncertain about and start tearing them to shreds. It’s your own head, so of course it knows you better than anyone else could, and targets those vulnerabilities unerringly. Here’s the thing though, all that crap it uses against you has been collected over the years from everything negative that’s ever been said to you and everything negative you’ve ever been made to believe about yourself by whatever mental health issue has/had you in its sway. Essentially, it’s nonsense. Cruel nonsense.
I named mine ‘the bullshit mantra’ to have some power over it, as nothing that my head says in these vulnerable moments is based in truth, and that’s demonstrably true. That I occasionally believe all that harmful crap, even sometimes for a good period of time, makes me furious and I wanted to call it what it is so that I could better fight it. That doesn’t always work, but at the very least I am acknowledging that these harmful thoughts are not truthful, and that’s a positive thing.
I urge anyone suffering from their own mental torrent of self-derision to challenge the truth of those assertions and call them what they are. Punch them in the face with truth. It is not always easy, especially when you’re very low and want to believe the worst, so use logic. Logic is a powerful tool – it always asks ‘why?’ and expects a coherent and provable answer. Most mental bullshit has no such thing.