I’ve always loved how people will tell you to “just get over it,” “fake it ’till you make it” or some other cliche phrase. Battling anxiety and depression isn’t that easy. Battling our own inner demons isn’t that easy.
I know I had said I was going to try to be more light hearted but this is just something I need to write about tonight. Its something that has really been on my mind for a while now and its even more important for me to write about after a discussion I had with a friend this morning.
Many who struggle with depression, anxiety or some other mental disorder didn’t just come into it “naturally,” so to speak. For many, this is a direct result of verbal, physical and/or sexual abuse. For many people, they were treated like they were unworthy of love and respect. They were told they were weren’t any good. They were treated less than others.
The saddest part of it all…after enough time, they started to believe those words.
For people who endure this sort of treatment, this belief that they can’t overcome their mistakes and flaws or that they are unworthy of love becomes so ingrained in their thoughts that when they hear the voices in their head putting them down, it isn’t the voice of the abuser they hear. Its their own voice talking to them.
They see happiness in others. They see people being loved in healthy ways. They see people succeeding. They want those same things so badly that it tears them apart trying to fight for it. They see the light…the escape from what they have known. Yet, whenever they try to escape from it, their own inner voice stops them. That voice, their own lying voice, tells them they aren’t worthy. It tells them they are incapable. It tells them there is no way out. It fights to hold them down until they either quit trying or they sabotage their own efforts to succeed.
Does this mean they can’t escape? No. Does that mean they aren’t responsible for their own improvement? No. But it does mean they have to conquer their own inner demons and self doubt in order to escape the fight they have with themselves every day.
As a survivor of abuse, and notice the word survivor, I had to learn how to defeat the part of me that had become so negative and self-defeating. I had to develop tools to overcome my own voice telling me I didn’t deserve what I dreamed of. I was forced to overcome those voices telling me I wasn’t worthy of my dreams. And let me tell you, it was a battle in my head. One of the biggest fights of my life. It took a great deal of work and the support of some amazing people.
Just keep this in mind the next time you consider using a cliche phrase with a friend who is struggling. Every day, in their own mind, they unintentionally hold themselves back.
I did that for years and years.
See it on Flickr.
ViSion – Naomi Bra & Panties