i’m calling bullshit
We humans are all filled with little neuroses and idiosyncrasies, aren’t we?
When I was struggling with major depression and anxiety issues a few years ago, I used to go along to my weekly counselling session, take my medication and wonder why the hell I was crazy when everyone else appeared so… normal.
I’ve realised a few things since then. Firstly, suffering from anxiety and depression didn’t make me crazy. Secondly, a staggering amount of people experience experience anxiety and depression in their lives. Thirdly (and with affection), I think the whole damn lot of us homo sapiens are quite mad!
We have our quirky natures. Our pet hates. Our staunchly defended habits. Our comforts, our foods, our music. Most of all, we have the dialogue that plays over and over in our heads each day. I have read that up to 95% of our thoughts are habitual. I don’t have a proper reference for this, so feel free to question the veracity of that statement.
However I know that if I consider my own thought patterns, not much of it is new. The same doubts and insecurities surface day after day. The same beliefs about the world. The same ideals and values. The same notions of what I’m good at and who I am.
Many of the thoughts are helpful. I know who I am, what my values are and why. I am lucky enough to have clarity on what I want to do with my life and have the means to pursue my dreams. Some thoughts, however, are ridiculous.
Example 1: I looked at my arms in the mirror today and thought they didn’t look very toned. Helpful? No. Important? Nup. Does anyone actually care about whether my arms look toned? I seriously doubt it.
Example 2: When I’m feeling sensitive, it only takes a funny look from someone to make me doubt myself. Thoughts start playing over in my head: does this person like me? Maybe they hate me. Maybe they’re just pretending to be my friend. Maybe…I’m a failure, bad at my job and at writing and at EVERYTHING. Maybe I’ll get fired from my job and never be able to work again!! #lovemelodrama.
Example 3: When I was in year 11 I gave up the flute after 7 years of playing. My teacher didn’t think I was good enough or committed enough and I believed her. I’ve regretted it ever since. And it turned into this melancholic internal stand-off where I wanted to pick it up again, to play regularly and improve my skills, but I felt like a failure so I couldn’t even start.
Until, 7 years on, I just did.
I have a friend who is a brilliant flautist and teacher and she offered to give me lessons. It got to the point where there were just no more excuses that I could hide behind to soothe my flare of insecurity. So I said yes.
We all have a flute story. That thing that we love to do, or want to try, or dream of having, but somehow we have convinced ourselves (or allowed others to convince us) that we’re not _____ enough to make the dream a reality.
So, I’ll do you a favour. I’m calling you on this one. You know what I’m talking about. Whatever it is, make it happen. Find a way. I believe in YOU.