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A mental exercise



Imagine yourself walking through the most wonderful place you can imagine, taking in the scenery, enjoying the atmosphere.

Now imagine you're not alone on this journey, but accompanied by a person not entirely unlike yourself.

"Isn't this a pleasant day?" you may ask.

"No, it isn't. And you're an idiot for asking such a blatantly stupid question," your companion remarks.

"But everything is just the way I like it," you may say.

"You don't deserve this. You are worthless," is the companion's only reply.

Now imagine you walk with this person for a very, very long time. The most wonderful place is long since gone, forever tainted by the onslaught of negativity. Your companion is still unrelenting, making sure that everything you say is met with disapproval and ridicule. You find it difficult to enjoy anything and you do not even attempt to try new things.

"I hate you," you say.

"You have no right to hate me, you worthless, lazy idiot. You have no right to anything. Why don't you just stick a knife in your throat?"

But you shrug them off. This doesn't help.

Now imagine you have been walking with them for an even longer period of time. The most wonderful place you could imagine has been replaced by the most terrible place you can imagine. You cannot leave. The companion will never leave you alone.

Imagine that your companion never went away.

This is the voice in my head. This is my eternal nemesis. This is the me who hates myself.

This is my life.


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Sounds as if your inner critical voice is trying to take over, Bezoman. Try observing and recognizing it and then understanding its purpose. You might also talk back to it with your good inner voice. Therapy can be helpful in this. I can use my self-awareness now to (mostly) shut down my inner critic. I hope you are feeling better.

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Well, I hope you didn't get too angry waiting for this reply (in reference to your other post on the forum). :o

Your Inner Critic has totally taken over the show and rules like a despot. Welcome to the party; mine does too. Your story was familiar. I'm slowly building on strengthening my other Inners.

Try and research ways of working with the Inner Critic on the net while you are waiting for psychotherapy. There are several methods of doing this. To get you started, take a look at this page and do the questionnaire at the bottom, then follow the links from that. I've recently found this method useful and am using it at the moment:

Inner Critic

Good luck. :)

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Luna, thanks for that link. I actually really like IFS ideology of integrating everything. I scored high on Perfectionist and Taskmaster. Interesting.

Bezoman, I hope you find this information helpful.

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Thanks for that link. I'm...wow.

15/16 The Perfectionist

16/16 The Inner Controller

12/16 The Taskmaster

16/16 The Underminer

16/16 The Destroyer

16/16 The Guilt Tripper

11/16 The Molder

My Inner Critic has completely taken over.

I'm glad it's not just me though. This was one of the things that had me worried the most that I would never be able to function in society.

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I am sorry you are struggling so much right now!! I really know the feeling. My inner critic is becoming more and more prominant every day also, and is leading me to be the 'not so happy go lucky' person that I used to be.

Try to find positives to over take that critic and help yourself feel better.

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Honestly, I've never been a 'happy go lucky' person, so I can't really relate. There was a time in my life where I took such a stance against my inner critic (better name for it than nemesis, which gives it too much power) that people thought I was a self-absorbed, arrogant jackass. Suffice it to say that did not go well, and in the end it only served to make my inner critic stronger.

This is going to be a struggle for me, I can already tell.

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Here's the thing, though, Bezo: you are fighting it. That means that it hasn't taken over, though it may have been winning, for a while.

But you're right, you can't afford to become his opposite, either. It's more like what the IFS folks try to do (and it usually takes the guidance of therapy): they try to integrate your parts so that they work together rather than against each other.

So yeah, I'll bet it's a struggle. I'll also bet it's worth it.

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