Not only do we have to deal with ridicule, and distaste from people that don’t understand mental illness, we have to deal with ridicule, and distaste from ourselves. The constant beating up of ourselves that goes on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Names I wouldn’t even call a stranger, yet I’ve said them to myself thousands of times... Over, and over again... Loser, freak, fatso, idiot, stupid, jerk...
These are words I heard over and over growing up, and they continued to be pounded into me long after I left home. Whenever I was going through a tough time, I would tell myself it was my fault, and call myself any (or all), of those abusive names. I got really good at it, and I made sure I surrounded myself with people that would reiterate those words whenever I started getting down on myself.
It was almost like I found them comforting because those names were all I knew, and they were how I had come to think of myself. Until approximately a year ago when I read “The Secret,” and it really got me thinking I could turn my life around if I could just get rid of the negativity in my head, as well as the negative people in my life. I found what I like to call my twelve commandments, and I have them posted in my office, on my calendar in the kitchen, and on post-it notes throughout the house.
It hasn’t been a cake walk, and there are definitely days when I think saying commandments, or thinking positive thoughts are dumb (for lack of a better word), especially when I’m in the middle of a trigger, but it’s been the first year of my life when I can actually say I deserve to live.
I cut out the negative people in my life, and I don’t push myself to go into situations that cause me stress. I avoid watching the news or reading the paper because there are shootings, and stabbings every day, and depending where my head is at, hearing about a crime can throw me into a full blown trigger. Last but certainly not least, I say these commandments to myself almost daily.
1. Stop All Criticism (Accept yourself as you are)
2. Forgive Yourself (Let the past go)
3. Don’t Scare Yourself (Switch scary thoughts to something that gives you pleasure)
4. Be Gentle and Kind and Patient (Treat yourself as you would someone you love)
5. Be Kind to Your Mind (Gently change your thoughts, so there is no self hatred)
6. Praise Yourself (Tell yourself how well you are doing with everything)
7. Support Yourself (Find ways to support yourself)
8. Be Loving to Your Negatives (Lovingly release the old negative patterns)
9. Take Care of Your Body (Cherish and revere the temple you live in)
10. Do Mirror Work (Look into your eyes and say “I love you, I really love you,” at least once every day)
11. Love Yourself... Do it NOW.
12. Have Fun (Smile. Laugh. Rejoice.)
Stay safe and stay strong. Thanks for following.
These commandments were posted on Facebook without an author, so I’m not sure who wrote them, but if they're yours let me know. I want to thank you, as well as give you the credit for giving me some great tools to help turn my life around.