Wednesday, 2 December 2015

The Noisy Ones

The counsellor I'm working with right now to help me through all this, has had me working on identifying the different "voices" I hear running through my head and seeing when they're talking or running things.

It makes me uncomfortable for a number of reasons, one being that we're warned about people who hear voices but I think if he was concerned for my mental health in a serious way we'd have talked about that by now.  Apparently this is normal and we all do this.  My voices that are currently running the show just aren't as helpful as I'd like I guess. 

Or that's the premise as I understand it.  Put simply.

Originally, I very easily identified two of the loudest, most persistent (and annoying and unhappy-making) voices as being one that was all about worry and anxiety and all is bad, and one that was all about you're doing this wrong and not good enough kind of feeling.  I started by giving them names and paying attention to when I noticed that those types of thoughts were taking over.  But a new one came to my attention this weekend and I hadn't realized just how insidious it is.

It's a story teller.

Now, that's not the same, I don't think as the part of me that tells stories here.  Or maybe the part that tells my life stories here is the positive part of that voice, but the part I mean is constantly running through my head what will happen.  And more than that, it's telling me what people will say, do and think.

I have conversations with people in my head where I think through what I'll say and how they'll respond and how I'll react to that and while this is happening I'm feeling it all.  Generally it's not good.  Generally the conversations I play out are upsetting in some way and then I'm upset.  Often that can spill into relationships, for example.  Like, I've run through a whole bunch of possible future scenarios of me seeing Max next Burning Man.  What would it be like if I camped with them.  How would it feel to see him.  Would I hug him?  What if I just waved hello and ignored him?  What might I say?  What was he saying to others?  What if he said this?  What if that.  What if I just went to visit their camp and stayed elsewhere.  What if I saw him.  What if I didn't want to see him.  What if no one else there wanted to see me.  What if I saw him with someone.  What if I was with someone.  What if we could kiss and make up?  Did I even want to? Do I trust him?  And on and on like this all the while it's feeling real.  It's feeling real emotionally and physically and I'm upset or stressed and then I go on a worry streak all because I've started seeing and talking through these stories in my mind.

I'll have a conversation with someone and think through all the ways it could be bad and I think I've always thought this helps me prepare or something.  But it feels now like I'm just upsetting myself.  Well, I mean, I know it's upsetting me, I just don't know that there's a positive to it.

So back to the whole "you have to identify and recognize it before you can change it" thing, I've felt really overwhelmed this past week or so "hearing" (recognizing/identifying) these different "voices" and trying to tell them to be quiet or to turn down their chatter or whatever.  It's a lot. 

And they all kind of talk over and on top of each other and meanwhile I don't even know what I, myself, think because I've been run by these voices' patterns for so long I don't know how much of my own voice I recognize.  Or hear.

Which means that I feel lost and frightened.

Those pushy, not positive thoughts in my head have at least gotten me this far in life.  Stable, safe, healthy, all that important, good stuff.  And... happy enough.

Which is the kicker. 

And maybe that's where my time with Max comes in.  Maybe the absolute happy I felt with him was so much more than "happy enough" that I came to really realize I didn't want to be just happy enough anymore.

Because like some of you have said, I have been changing.  I have been changing for a while, but I feel like there's been an extra push on that the last while.  Maybe instead of the frog slowly roasting to death in the water it didn't know had gotten hot maybe I've suddenly realized the pot I'm in is full of boiling hot water and I just have no idea how to get the hell out of it.

But yes.  Finding and listening to the voices in my head that have been running the show?  Is a lot of hard work.

I look forward to being on the other side of it.  Sooner, rather than later I hope.


Blogger Jason Langlois said...

I'm hopeful it will be sooner, rather than later. Based on the "arc" of your posts in the last year, I feel fairly confident that it will be sooner. You're a pretty bright frog, after all.

Thursday, December 03, 2015 10:16:00 am  
Blogger Victoria said...


Friday, December 04, 2015 1:55:00 pm  
Anonymous JustAGirl said...

Thanks for writing this. I'm struggling with something similar wherein I feel like the voices in my head - the pessimistic, fear-driven ones - are my worst enemy. You'll get to the other side. Stay strong!

This quote helps a bit sometimes: 'We suffer more in imagination than in reality.'

Friday, December 04, 2015 2:58:00 pm  
Blogger Victoria said...

I really appreciate you saying this. I've not wanted to write about this because I think well, no one will want to hear it, or people will just roll their eyes. So for me to hear that it maybe even helped one person a little makes me feel like it was worth sharing, so thank you.

Friday, December 04, 2015 4:12:00 pm  

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