I’ve never been diagnosed schizophrenic, but some days I wonder. I’m not overly paranoid or anything, but I talk to myself – a lot. Maybe that’s just a function of being a creative, but I spent a lot of my youth making up songs when someone would walk in the room and catch me ranting to myself.
I was always like, “OMG haven’t you heard this ranty new song by STP? BEST.EVER!”
So really it’s probably less schizophrenia and more an outlet to get the jumbled mess of thoughts living in my brain out into the open. Sort of like how when you’re knitting or crocheting or whatever and you have to unroll the yarn then roll it into a tight, more organized, easier to use ball, you know? I think it’s like that.
The voices that live in my head are distinctly my own, but there’s definitely a “what if” person in there and a “yeah let’s not so much” person in there too. I am a dreamer less than I am a doer, but spilling these thoughts here on the website or out into the air helps me do and unclutters my brain which leaves more empty space for a bit more clutter. You know how it is, right? Clean out your closet so you can buy more? My brain is like that.
The loudest person in my brain is the one that tells me lies, tries to keep me down, and reminds me of all of my failures. She’s a real twat, that one. But like Vivian in Pretty Woman said, “The bad stuff is always easier to believe.” And she’s right. The bad stuff IS easier to believe.
I’ll never forget this kid named Zach Brown from Middle School, and no, he’s not of Zac Brown Band fame, just an unfortunate coincidence. When we were in 6th grade, he told me that someone would have to break my nose if they ever wanted to kiss me. Prior to that I had never really thought ill of my nose, I guess I had never noticed how big it was. After that, I had a hangup about my nose until last week.
Let that sink in. 22 years ago, a guy told me I had an enormous schnozz and I didn’t get over it until LAST.WEEK.
After his mean, albeit true, but mean nonetheless, comment, I always took face-forward photographs when I could control it, I didn’t let a guy I liked look at me from the side on purpose until we were good and in lust. I’ve spent countless hours hem-hawing over whether or not I needed a nose job but I was afraid it would be a Jennifer Grey situation and I would look like an entirely new, unrecognizable person and then my fame would come crashing down around me. And by fame I mean the multitude of friends I have smattered all over the U.S. due to my gypsy lifestyle.
But last week I was looking at my nose and I saw my Mamom’s nose. She had a strong, German nose with a little bloom on the end. It wasn’t overly large when you saw it from the front, but man the side view was stunning. She had long, slender nostrils, and her nose was perfect for her face. She was beautiful. And I have her nose. She’s gone, but her nose is still sitting here on my very face and it’s mine all mine, and it’s beautiful.
It’s like that with the bad stuff, but why? You hear one time that you made a mistake on those darn TPS Reports and you question your ability to perform a job. Or you edit a book and someone else comes behind you and finds even more mistakes. Or your parent questions your parenting abilities. Or you lose a friendship and you wonder what in the ever loving depths of this Earth is wrong with you that makes EVERYONE hate you. Or when a lover chooses some other than you when their heart is supposed to be turned towards yours and you wonder why? What is it about me? Am I ugly? Is it because I have fat thighs and knees that look like elephant seals? Maybe it’s my stretch marks or this damn FUPA that won’t go away now that I’ve had three kids, a hysterectomy, and a bladder procedure. Or maybe it’s because I’m an ugly person on the inside and I really am awful to live with or not fun and maybe, just maybe, life would be better without me. And then those thoughts affect every relationship you have from the moment they enter your brain until the day you die. Then what? You’re left wanting and wondering what life would have been like had you just. not. cared.
Why is it easier to let people get inside your head and rent space there when they’re not paying you rent for that space, and when they certainly haven’t asked your permission to be there. Or maybe by allowing them to camp there for free you’re giving them that permission.
How do you move forward from that? How do you get outside of those bad thoughts and counter them with truth that is your very own. Truth about who you are as a person? Do you even know who you are or have you let people’s perceptions of you, people’s comments, and your own nasty inner voice paint a picture of yourself that tells nothing but lies? Who ARE you? Do you even know? You have something to offer this world, do you know what it is?
I started a habit when I was in high school where when I found myself saying something negative about someone, even if it was just a thought about someone who had passed me on the street, I would say or think three positive things about that person. When you don’t know someone, those things are generally superficial e.g.: Her hair was gorgeous, she had lovely lips, I liked her nose ring. Or, He had massive hands (totally hot), his skin was very nice, the dimple on his chin was attractive. Three things. Three positive things. When you know the person a little better, you can choose things that really make the person who they are such as, “She’s so generous, She’s a loving mom, her house always smells like apples.”
Changing your thought process toward other people makes it easier to flood your brain with more positive thoughts about yourself. We are, after all, our own biggest and most harsh critics. If you’re constantly critiquing other people in a negative way, and for absolutely no good reason, how do you expect you’ll treat yourself? You have to consciously tune your mind to positive, happy things in order to be able to believe and receive all the good you that you embody. Make room for those positive things, because I promise you, they are more true than the lies that the lying liar who lies and lives in your head is telling you right now. And without being able to believe the good, you will never live the kind of life that you could potentially live. We all know that you get more bees when honey than with vinegar – whatever that even really means.
Stop living in toxicity toward other people, toward yourself. Bathe yourself in positivity and optimism. Make a way for yourself that looks like sunshine and flowers and smells of coffee and new tires, or whatever sights and smells make you feel alive.
As Viola Davis says in The Help, “You is smart, you is kind, you is important.”
And she’s right, you are. You just have to start believing it.