It’s like a wolf in sheep’s clothing. It comes out in our voices. It sounds like us. It comes from us. We believe what we are saying and we see evidence of it around us.
Depression can lead us to cognitively distort things but no matter how outlandish it sounds when we say it out loud to other people, these things are often indiscernible from truth. I tell myself lies all the time and honestly, it feels like a lie to call them lies. I kind of have to do a Peeta type of real or not real test where I picture a friend or family member similar to me and ask myself what I would think if I heard somebody else say the same thing to another person or herself. If I am okay hearing myself say it (to myself) but the idea of it being said to another person doesn’t sit well with me, I usually know it is a cognitive distortion.
If logic was all it took to beat mental illness, then this wouldn’t be a discussion. I can academically know it is a cognitive distortion without believing it isn’t true.
With that being said, cognitive distortions are powerful things and I wonder if the people who dismiss mental illness because they can’t see it might see it more easily in the words we say to ourselves and maybe it would feel more real to them. Because it sure as hell feels real to me. With that being said, I have started recording the things I say to myself and I’m going to start posting them here and on my social media accounts.
An equal opportunist, I am also eager to hear and represent others’ experiences so if you notice any harsh lies you’re selling to yourself, feel free to comment them here and maybe they will get shared in one of my blog or social media posts.
Let me know if you have any questions and give yourself a break the next time you realize you’re being a little too mean to yourself.