Initially, most of my thoughts are negative. I can thank the chemicals in my brain for that. I spent most of my life believing these thoughts, and the awful things I told myself.
This process impaired my health and functioning in a few ways. First, I always thought very little of myself. I had no confidence, I was unstable, and I could not experience joy. I took my negative thoughts as truths, and it almost killed me.
These thoughts affected my relationships as well. I viewed distant friends as intentionally ignoring me, and I took their actions personally. I believed that if I hated myself so much, others likely did too. So I distanced myself before others could first.
The thoughts lead to fear of abandonment within my relationship. I couldn’t be alone because of my negative thoughts. They ate away at my mind and spirit, and I felt trapped inside my own dark mind.
I continued to listen and believe these thoughts, and I questioned why my mental health still was not improving.
Slowly, I began to challenge these thoughts. At first, it was very intentional and it took a lot of willpower to reframe what my mind told me. Over time it became more natural, and I no longer had to work through each thought I had.
Now, I will talk to friends and family and they comment on how I am the voice of reason or how I always find the positive of the situation. I don’t do this to be that bright bubbly person we might associate with positivity. I do this to save and protect myself. Negativity is one of my worst enemies. I’ve had to distance myself and cut off relationships due to negativity, so I try very hard to stay positive.
I always thought I was being a realist by acknowledging and listening to negative thoughts. In reality, though, I didn’t believe in myself and what I could overcome and accomplish. I couldn’t recognize the strength and light that was hidden underneath these thoughts.
I will continue to reframe my negative thoughts. It is essential to my recovery and my health. It might seem impossible at first, but thoughts are just that, thoughts.