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The more I research this topic, the more complex it becomes. Like all things, it is a two-sided coin. On the one side, suggesting that the ‘Inner Voice’ is the one that provides our emancipation, allowing us to ‘be who we want to be, when we want to be it’. The flip side intimating that the ‘Inner Voice’ is one that provides us with an egotistical view on life, purporting ‘I think therefore I am’ (with thanks to Descartes).

Okay, let’s put that debate to one side, if only for the reason that it appears to revolve around irregular outbursts from the ‘Inner Voice’, as opposed to a constant chatter, babbling away in between and during our social, professional and downtime activities.

I’m sure that I am not alone when I put up my hand to say that my ‘Inner Voice’ knows no bounds; never gets a cold, a sore throat or the flu. It’s always there, jabbering away, (as my Mum always says), like a child with verbal diarrhoea!

Now I should make it very clear that ‘The Voice’ is not directing me to commit an act of social depravity, an atrocity, or a heinous crime. It is however consistently undermining my self-esteem and character; for the most part causing me to ‘2nd Guess myself’, while my self-confidence ‘shatters like glass all around me’!

Up until 2004 I thought everyone struggled with their own ‘Inner Voice’. Those who had, what was often referred to as, a strong internal fortitude, won out; whereas others, like me, just battled on, developing strategies to ‘shut the voice up’, such as talking too much ourselves; pursuing active, often hectic social lives; immersing ourselves in tasks involving long bouts of concentration; reading books, magazines and newspapers. Anything to switch that damned Voice off. 

Post 2004 I became acutely aware that although not everyone has ‘The Voice’ inside their head, many people do. The difference not being their internal fortitude, inner strength, charisma, extroversion or good looks; it was their brain and associated grasp of the need for mental health and well-being.

These people knew it was not right, or healthy, to constantly put up with this painful ‘internal chatter’. Just like with an ongoing toothache, headache, a sore foot or an aching back, they sought out their Dentist/GP/Orthopaedist etc. They talked about it; they got it looked at; then they got it fixed!

By the way in 2004 I had my first breakdown, as a direct result of Anxiety, manifesting itself as clinical depression. Through the expert endeavours of my GP, Psychologist and Employer at the time, I was able to recover to the point where I could once again function and contribute. From then on the sincere support of family and friends has enabled me to ‘keep on track’. That and my firm believe in ‘Realistic Optimism’.

‘The Voice’ is still there, however so am I; now being forearmed with strategies to cope with it. Sometimes ‘The Voice’ is too strong and overpowering at which point I lapse back into pre-2004 mode, however not in silence! My family are made aware, my GP is made aware, my psychologist is made aware, between us becoming a ‘force terrible’ for ‘The Voice’; one could even go as far as to say ‘putting it back in its box’ (excuse the pun!)

Those who know me, also know that since 2004 I have had 2 more ‘anxiety related breakdowns’, one in 2011, with the most recent in 2016. Neither was as big, or as debilitating as the first, however both knocked the stuffing out of me and out of those who care about me.

The headline states: Don’t let your ‘Inner Voice’ define you!  If your takeaway from this blog is that providing you have the motivation to 'Talk about', to 'Communicate about', to 'Share with others', then no matter how disruptive your Inner Voice is, one thing it cannot compete with is multiple voices talking back!

I hope this helps others experiencing long, medium or even short term conflict with their ‘Internal Voice’. Please don’t wait until you have your own ‘2004 experience’ to act.

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