Scary Thoughts

11 11 2009

“They’re just scary thoughts; they’re not real.”

Grey’s Anatomy’s Lexi said this to her paranoid schizophrenic patient. This line resonated with me. I may not be paranoid schizophrenic but I think it’s safe to say my life has been taken over and controlled by “scary thoughts.” What do these scary thoughts tell me?

“You can’t make it.”

“You don’t have it in you.”

 “You better quit before you fail.”

“This doesn’t feel right.”

“You’re not strong enough.”

“You don’t have enough knowledge/understanding.”

I just realized, on hearing this line, that no one will save me, not even my medication, not my doctor, not my family, not my friend that I decide to call when I need to talk. No one. No one can save me. I just realized I have to find a way to do it on my own. I have to find something to say to myself to overcome these scary thoughts. I think I realize now that they will not vanish. They will not go away. They ARE a part of me that I must acknowledge. Expecting them to go away is not realistic. I have realized it’s a battle between me and my scary UNREAL thoughts. I have to find a way to work around them, to fool them, to put them in the background instead of the foreground, to live and not attend to them, instead of attending to them and putting life on hold. They WILL NOT GO AWAY. I have to start finding things to say to myself to PUSH these thoughts away. Like a dialogue that takes place just before they take over. I keep letting them take over. What happened to “you’re. ok. You’re doing fine,” ?.

What can I say to myself? I am going to borrow Lexi’s line: “REMEMBER, THESE ARE ONLY SCARY THOUGHTS, THEY ARE NOT REAL, NOT REAL.” I have to, no, want to, stay in reality. I want to work, to make money, to be independent, to be healthy, to be standing tall, upright, not lying down on my stomach, afraid to face the world. In order to do this, I have to work with myself, WITH myself, not against it. I am a perfectionist whose scary thoughts have taken control. I know that I will not find a perfect situation, not personal, not professional. I have decided I want a simpler, one-dimensional job. I no longer wish to work in a school because it’s too hectic and feeds my obsessions way too easily. So, I will look for a simpler job and I will give things a try. And for now, I will remember, that these are only scary thoughts, not real. If I forget, they become real.

As for the passion I have for teaching and children, somehow that will work itself out, either through volunteer work or maybe it will just go away. Or maybe in the future I will be strong enough to do it again. What I do know now, is this: I can’t wait for help to come from the outside. I have to help myself. Find things to say to overcome, push away, diminish these thoughts if not make them go away before they take full control of me and let fear reign me in. I have got to start believing in myself; act confident in order to feel confident. I mean seriously, if I don’t believe in me, then who on earth will? And if someone else does, as others do, how will that help me if I don’t believe? My source of strength can no longer be someone outside of me. It has to be from within me. I appreciate and value my support system, but I have to be part of that support system; I can’t be working against my support system.

“Success comes in cans; failure comes in can’ts.”

“When you become frightened, become inspired instead.”




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