A sample from Book 12
(October 16, 2018)—Are you mad at me for cussing? Get over yourself. This is a commentary that screams—It’s time for some cussing!
I’m going to give you some good information here if you suffer from depression, anger, negative self-talk to help you start turning things around in your life. Don’t worry. I’m taking this same journey, so let’s ride!
I’m doing two workshops at one time. The one on anger which I wrote a few posts about this past week and a happiness workshop. I’m also reading a second workbook titled Pathways to Recovery, A Strengths Recovery Self-Help Workbook by Priscilla Ridgway, Diane McDiarmid, Lori Davidson, Julie Bayes, and Sarah Ratzlaff.
I've got an itch
‒pouring through my mind
a well-dug ditch
screaming words in myth
to the highest pitch
forcing me down a darkened pit
‒a text-blasting trip
becoming an accusing witch
out to smash an invisible zit
every word on my lips
disguised in angry fits
passing along this typed niche
thinking it's hip
making itself rich
‒taking advantage of my slip
you evil bitch!
I'm gonna smash you to bits
I'm so tired of your shit
in the bud...I'm gonna nip
not for a moment anymore
I'm gonna slit
over the top
I'm gonna flip
down below...permanently dip
no more...you get wit
over the head‒
you...I'm gonna hit
no more playful glitches
in God†...get a good whiff
of wine I'm gonna sip
finally be done
with your controlling, irrational blip
up goes my middle finger‒
see the tip
you piece of shit!
This is an awesome quote. Love it! I’m on the chapter about negative self-talk, hence, ‘You Bitch!’One of their suggestions is to name that thing in our brain that drives that self-talk. I’ve done that years ago: That evil whore the devil!It pays to name it. One lady in my group named her voice George. When she gets that rattling in her brain, she yells—Okay, George, shut the fuck up!
Why do we have this negative self-talk in the first place? The authors of this workbooks put it this way—We may have become such an expert at negative self-talk that our ongoing negative inner monologue is our most severe critic. Negative self-talk can come about from many experiences:
- It can develop from outer criticism, the negative things we have been told about ourselves by others.
- It can come from experiences of failure we have had in the past, from betrayals in important relationships or from the experience of trauma.
- Negative self-talk can happen when we constantly compare ourselves with ideals that are impossible to reach, such as physical beauty and slimness of a fashion model or the behavior of a saint.
- We may develop negative self-talk by taking in or internalizing the social stigma associated with our mental health.
Does any of that ring a bell? Negative self-talk goes hand-in-hand with anger. Some people can handle so much at one time that they make your head spin. Others, like me, not so well. My brain just gets overloaded and if I don’t step back, regroup, do something to calm me down and slow down my brain…I burst. That’s when the mad comes out, the negative self-talk marathon takes over and then the anger is spewed out like a mad woman.
Joyce Meyer’s Battlefield of the Mind...gosh, I miss having my copy laying around. Currently, it’s packed somewhere and I’m fighting my evil whore on my own. It is not easy fighting this negative self-talk. Here’s a negative self-talk self-assessment the authors included in the book:How strongly does negative self-talk affect you (check all that apply)?
- 1. When I listen to my inner negative self-talk I don’t even feel like getting out of bed in the morning.
- 2. Negative self-talk makes me feel unmotivated to make needed changes in my life. Why should I try anything when I know it won’t work out?
- 3. Negative self-talk makes it difficult for me to feel joy.
- 4. I am constantly putting myself down inside my own head.
- 5. I often find things to criticize about other people to make me feel a little better about myself, but it only seems to make me feel worse.
- 6. Negative self-talk sometimes keeps me from doing things I want to do and keeps me away from people I want to be with.
- 7. I don’t use negative self-talk.
How many did you check off? I checked all but two: Numbers 5 and 7. Putting ourselves down all the time does heavy damage to our self-esteem. According to the authors of my workbook, you need to recognize the damage, the self-talk and then learn how to replace the negative with positive.
What can negative self-talk do?
- 1. It can make us less healthy.
- 2. It can make it more difficult for us to succeed in a job.
- 3. It can lower our quality of life.
- 4. It can contribute to depression.
- 5. It can make it harder to build or maintain relationships.
Bummer. Right? So we have to first recognize what the hell we are calling ourselves. The authors call it our negative self-talk vocabulary. Here’s the examples they give:
- 1. Do you call yourself names (e.g. stupid, a jerk)?
- 2. Do you put yourself down (‘I’ll never do anything right’)?
- 3. Do you second-guess others’ feelings toward you? (‘John is just pretending to like me; once he gets to know me he won’t want me as a friend.’)
- 4. Do you predict negative outcomes (‘I’m going to mess this up and get fired.’)?
- 5. Do you ‘awfulize’ (‘My life sucks. It’s too hard to even try.’)?
- 6. Do you ‘catastrophize’ (‘If I get another roommate he will just rip me off like Paul did.’)?
- 7. Do you generalize from one experience to all other such experiences (‘My relationship with Jean was so bad I didn’t even want to have another girlfriend; they’re all the same!’)?
Oh! I’m so guilty of all of the above! So, the only way to become a happier person is to stop this pattern of self-destruction. I’m always told that I take things too serious, and I shouldn’t take everything so personal. I’m a very soft-hearted person, so it’s hard not to take things personal. As I mentioned above, one way to stop the pattern is to name our negative thoughts…think of that part of us as a separate person. I named mine the evil whore.You can just pick any name you want.
The second way is to counteract negative thoughts by creating a mental picture or visualization of a stoplight or stop sign.So, when those negative thoughts creep in there, you just think Stop! Next, the authors give several ways to change negative self-talk into positive self-talk.
- 1. …immediately substitute an opposing thought. For example, when you begin to think, ‘I can’t do this!’ say, ‘I find it easy and rewarding to do this.’
- 2. …think of exceptions to the thought and dwell on the exceptions for a few moments. If you are feeling, ‘I’ll never succeed at ‘X’ task,’ think about a time when you did succeed at something. Tell yourself ‘I succeeded at ‘Y’ so I can certainly also succeed at doing ‘X’.’
- 3. …substitute a general encouraging thought such as, ‘I love and respect myself,’ or ‘I am safe,’ whenever you find yourself beginning to think negative thoughts.
- 4. …substitute an uplifting phrase or a short prayer from your spiritual tradition for the negative thought.
- 5. …use (positive) affirmations to help you improve positive self-talk.
The authors explain—
We didn’t develop our negative self-talk vocabulary overnight; it took us years to develop the negative ruts our mind can spin in. Similarly, it can take a long time to consciously change negative thought patterns—several weeks or months, or even a few years. Be persistent!
As Joyce Meyer says—Monitor your thoughts!
Of course, our negative self-talk becomes more intense when we are stressed and it gets harder to monitor our thoughts. It’s like we slip into this tub and it’s cold as hell, but slowly it starts feeling really warm until we are bathing in this comfortable bath…those damn negative thoughts just overpower us and pick up speed. Hey! That’s when the anger starts growing. The mad in us sprouts up, and then look out for anyone who’s near!
We have to pay attention to our thoughts! As I say all the time, that evil whore the devil will wiggle its way into the smallest of holes in our mind and play its little games. I hate that bitch!
Here’s another time when those negative thoughts come in: The shoulda-woulda-coulda moments!
From the workbook—
Do you ever find yourself going ’round, and ’round, and ’round in your thinking, constantly going over, and over, and over what you or others could have done, should have done, would have done, if only you had…or if only they had…Stop that thinking! We cannot successfully second guess ourselves, nor can we change anything that happened to us in the past! We cannot change anyone else’s behavior, especially their behavior in the past! The more we try to change the past, the more we will find ourselves stuck and unable to move toward a more positive future.
The only time we have to act on our recovery (thinking positive) is in the moment! We can try to be more present in the moment. We can learn to release regrets from the past, and fears of the future, whenever we find ourselves dwelling on them. Don’t let negative thoughts steal the time you have to work toward (a better life)!
I included the above because I, personally, go round and round with this…and others around me do the same. You can’t dwell on something that you shoulda did! Say you gave up a job to do something else and you could kick yourself square in the ass for doing so because your life would have been so much better.
This is the biggest crock of shit I have ever heard. I never do this. For one reason: Everything happens for a reason! God moves our lives for His purpose.Trust me. Read biographies. Go ahead read as many as you can. You will find how the moves in their lives take place. Maybe, you could look at it this way: Maybe, if I’d taken that job, there might have been an accident and I woulda lost my life. Or maybe, if I’d taken that job, I’d have been directed down a bad path and either I’d be caught up in drugs or gangs.
Just think about that for a minute. There was a reason that you didn’t take that job. Most of the time, it wasn’t for the reason you thought. Say it was a girlfriend or boyfriend or another opportunity. That reason was put before you to prevent you from doing what was not intended for you. God does have His ways.
The worse thing I think I’ve ever heard from another person’s mouth is their shoulda, coulda, wouldas because of another person. This is bad thinking for the person thinking it and it a very bad thing for the other person because it all comes down to blaming…and that is just wrong and negative-driven.
I look at my own life. I could say—If I woulda done that, then I would still have my family home and my kids.But…I look at my life now. It’s not what I have that is important. It is what I have accomplished because of what I did not do…that woulda deal…left out! This shoulda, coulda, woulda deal just breeds negative self-talk, just breeds depression, just breeds anger.
If you trust in God…there should not be any shoulda, coulda, wouldas. You should trust that He’s moving you to where He wants you. If you are experiencing really tough times currently, stop for a minute and see what God is trying to teach you…and He is trying to teach you something. Trust.
I write about this stuff a lot because it’s very important. It’s also very personal for me because I have a very hard time with trust, which leads to my anger self. I don’t like her very much. She’s the part of me that I want, more than anything in the world, to change. I’m tired of her. I’m sick of her. I want to do away with her! She’s ruin so much in my life.
There’s a lesson there! Patience.God’s been trying to teach me patience for years now. I’m so stubborn. I need…so desperately need to have patience and trust in all that God does in my life. I do know that strife is sent to us for a reason. I do know that hardship is sent to us for a reason. I do know that the slow down or the complete halt is sent to us for a reason.
What’s my issue? Not having the patience to allow God to complete His work in me. I have a very anxious heart! I also know that sooner or later God wins. He always does. Love the skin you’re in. Use some of the techniques here to turn your negative self-talk into positive. I’m doing the same. In doing that, we can turn our depression and anger into happy! May God be with you on your journey. You are beautiful. You are worth it.
[Note to my steady Readers: It is my infamous 3:00 as I complete this writing!]
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Additional On Abuse…Codependency, Narcissism, Trauma…and Healing
(Each page has loads of additional books (in every format), videos, instruction materials, and inspiration gift ideas.):
I Know Why the Cage Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World by Malala Yousafzai
Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited by Sam Vaknin
Pathways to Recovery, A Strengths Recovery Self-Help Workbook by Priscilla Ridgway, Diane McDiarmid, Lori Davidson, Julie Bayes, and Sarah Ratzlaff
Power: Surviving & Thriving After Narcissistic Abuse by Shahida Arabi
Stop Walking on Eggshells: Taking Your Life Back When Someone You Care About Has Borderline Personality Disorder by Paul T. Mason and Randi Kreger
The Anger Control Workbook: Getting Through Treatment and Getting Back to Your Life by Dr. Matthew McKay and Dr. Peter Rogers.
Triggers: Creating Behavior That Lasts – Becoming the Person You Want to Be by Marshall Goldsmith and Mark Reiter
Additional Readings On The Law of Attraction, Spirituality and the Mind
(Each page has loads of additional books (in every format), videos, instruction materials, and inspiration gift ideas.):
Battle Field of The Mind: Winning the Battle in Your Mind by Joyce Meyer
Cathechism of the Catholic Church Published by Doubleday
Chicken Soup for the Soul by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, and Amy Newmark
Christ the King Lord of History by Anne W. Carrol
Daily Devotions: Wisdom From the Bible to Light Your Way by Gerard Kalan
Essence of the Heart Sutra by The Dalai Lama
Fasting to Freedom: A Revolution of Body and Spirit by Ron Langerquist
Money, and the Law of Attraction: Learning to Attract Wealth, Health, and Happiness by Esther and Jerry Hicks
No Matter What! 9 Steps to Living the Life You Love by Lisa Nichols
Notes from the Universe: New Perspectives from an Old Friend by Mike Dooley
Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife by Eben Alexander, M.D.
The Answer: Grow Any Business, Achieve Financial Freedom, and Live an Extraordinary Life by John Assaraf and Murray Smith
The Astonishing Power of Emotions: Let Your Feelings Be Your Guide by Esther and Jerry Hicks
The Law of Attraction: The Basics of the Teachings of Abraham by Esther and Jerry Hicks
The New American Bible Published by World Catholic Press
The Secret by Rhonda Bryne
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
War Room: Prayer Is a Powerful Weapon by Chris Fabry