I was just sitting here wondering why am I so good at picking at the things I don't like about myself and so bad at thinking about the things I do like. (I feel like I'm beginning to repeat myself. I checked some old posts and I don't think I've written this post before.) I am very good at "negative self-talk" (as my ex-shrinks would say), really really amazingly good. And colossally bad at positive self-talk.
Ya' see, trash talk comes easily, naturally, to that little voice in my head. Usually by the time I realize what it's saying I'm already heading for the pint of of ice cream and bed. Sometimes it comes out of no where - one day I woke up in a pretty good mood, then my mind started wandering on the way into work and by the time I got there I felt like a completely unlovable loser. Other times I start kind of 'meh' feeling or something happens to kick off the downward spiral of mood.
Positive self-talk is deliberate. I have to think up nice things to say about myself. And it just feels silly to sit around and think up nice things to say. It feels silly to sit there and say them to myself. And I don't believe them. If I've been beating myself up long enough to notice, I'm already feeling so bad that everything nice I could say about myself sounds hollow, false.
The only guaranteed way I know of to shut up the voice is to go to sleep. Reading doesn't always work but it usually does. Neither challenges the validity of the criticisms.
Why can I explain this so well here but never could to my therapists?