Defeating False Stories: Reach Out to Get Down to the Truth
You ever realize your thoughts about yourself are lies that you have to monitor, and needed to be debunked with facts? Recently the actress, Lena Dunham became a trending topic on twitter due to the content from her interview with Amy Schumer where she projected her thinking onto a black male athlete. After the backlash, she wrote an apology about struggling with her self-image when around models, and that she projected her insecurities onto him and created narcissistic assumptions about his thoughts. These stories created in her mind reminded me of the times I have created false stories, but about myself.
I found a journal entry from 2006 when I was 18-years old. But, my response to my negative self-talk was self-evaluation.
June 29, 2006
“Today I truly realized who I am, what I think, how my mind processes, and it’s not what I want it to be, reflect...
Where’s the attention?
Hey look at me don’t you see me?
Why am I invisible to your eyes?
And his. And his.
What is it? Ain’t I pretty?
TLC sing to me cause I’m feeling unpretty.
Look at them model figures,
Picture perfect faces but look at me...
What do you see or not see?
So today I reflect on low self-esteem. Where am I going? What’s at the end of my rainbow? I need a map cause right now it’s not evident or clear or even an outline of where I’m going...reflect.
Who am I?
You finally look my way and I look down and around.
Why is that? Answer that for me.
What is it in me that makes me so timid...reflect.
Who I want to be is not who I am.
Future looks brighter than the present me...
Reflection on Who I Am.”
Fast forward to 25 years old, my first year of therapy I learned what I perceived as rejection was becoming a trigger for depression. It created a spiral of negative self-talk. Now, I'm able to see it, call it out, and fight it.
At 18, I knew enough to question it, and say whatever this thinking is I will not be this way in the future, and it is not who I want to be.
Once we recognize these thoughts, what do we do to ensure it doesn't become a habit, and turn into self-hate. You need to fight lies with truth. One way is to reach out to people who know your truth, and you will believe them when they remind you of your true self.
In the last few days, I’ve seen a few examples of ways to reach out and get to the truth of who you are.
Talk to a friend or loved one
Meditate on a scripture or talk to someone in your spiritual/religious community.
Talk with a professional therapist
1. A Friend
My first example I found in the Peanuts Movie. Having a movie night with my boyfriend I began to wonder why the writers chose to create a plot about Charlie Brown viewing himself as less than and that his love interest was one of the key people to reveal to him the person she saw. (Spoiler Alert) Att the end of the movie she tells him all the moments she saw him that revealed his true personality, to explain why she chose him as her pen pal for the summer. Charlie Brown kept trying to believe in himself but would get discouraged, her words reminded him of what he knew all along.
Monday, I went to the library and picked up the book Love Wins by Rob Bell. I heard about it during Elizabeth Gilbert’s Magic Lessons podcast. I randomly turned to the page where he tells a story of a woman bringing him a piece of paper with a number of days on it. Signifying the days since she last practiced self-injury. He used her story to talk about how we tell ourselves one story, and the way God views us is the story that we should listen to. For those with a strong faith, and belief they can use how their higher power views them. Use scriptures to remind you of the truth. You could talk with someone during a bible study, or small group to ask for support in this area.
III. A Therapist
The final example is my personal story. Right before my 25th birthday, I walked into a therapist's office for the first time. It was an unmarked door in an office building, leading into a small waiting room with a chair, and desk. The next door led into her office. There I spent about two years revealing moments of my life and receiving a new perspective that helped me break years of negative self-talk, on-and-off depression, and the reminder to take control of who I allowed in my life, those people contributed to how I was viewing myself.
Now, I can remember the lessons and apply them when depression or negative self-thought tries to fight it’s way in. Sometimes, we need someone completely distanced from us to help us see through the lies. Finding the right therapist can take time. Don’t let that process stop you from reaching out. Anytime you need to talk you can call the National Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or visit the website to chat.
When dealing with depression and even anxiety our minds create these false stories that have us believing people are talking about us, that we are not important or worthy of love, that we are not beautiful, etc. Our mind is our battlefield. It's an inner battle and we need to reach out to hear the truth from another perspective.
This week is National Suicide Prevention Week learn more about how you can help yourself or others by visiting the following websites:
Here are a few of my favorite songs when I need a self-image boost. I’ve been told a little dance party can’t hurt either!