In the hospital

Originally written on October 13, 2006

“You strike me as a very outgoing, charismatic person. Someone that people would be attracted to.” — Nurse on my psych unit

Really? No kidding. To add to that, she says, “I wish you would see yourself as I do.”

Why, her opinion matter more than my husband’s, I don’t know; it shouldn’t. I’m tempted to ask, “Why do people say that to me all the time?” And then I have to answer myself, “Well, maybe what they’re saying is true!”

dramaI’ve only clung to one positive statement in my whole life. My theater teacher in high school once told me, “You have an amazing stage presence.” There was a ‘but’ that followed it but it’s the only negative ‘but’ I’ve ignored. (And it really wasn’t all that negative.) Armed with that statement, I’ve set out to act again. He was right — the ‘but’ was that I don’t seem to have a passion for it but according to others, I’m a natural. Veteran actors in my first play couldn’t tell I was a first-time actress. High praise, indeed.

I’m confident about my acting skills that I’m not passionate about but I lack confidence in most everything else — my writing, my singing, who I am, what I do… what sense do I make? I’m an anomaly.

So on my list of staving off the blues, I’ll add, “Recite a self-positive affirmation in the morning and meditate on it through the day.” My first 24 hours in the hospital and I’ve got a real and attainable goal for the next day. So far tomorrow, here is my positive affirmation:

“I am not worthless.”

My self-positive affirmations should directly combat any self-negative thoughts:

Negative thought Positive affirmation
1. I am unloved. 1. I am loved.
2. I am ugly. 2. I am pretty.
3. I am stupid. 3. I am smart.
4. I am incompetent. 4. I am competent.
5. I am worthless. 5. I am not worthless.

The pattern is to use truth to combat a lie. This is particularly difficult especially since it’s second nature for me to say negative things about myself. (In a moment of mistakes, I cry, “Oh, I’m such an idiot!”) This is a bad habit and it needs to stop. Those who suffer from depression don’t need to say this at all. Overly critical spirits need overly lenient spirits (because too lenient is never lenient enough when it comes to self). In the face of making a mistake, I need to say, “Dang it, I made another mistake! But mistakes happen and I need to learn what I can do to avoid this again.” (But don’t be so harsh on yourself if you’re having a random bad/klutzy day — laugh it off instead of getting frustrated.)

My challenge: Daily self-positive affirmations to combat negative thoughts.

Today’s mood: 7

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