The Stories We Tell Ourselves

“What the heck is going on?!?”I said to myself this morning as within minutes of waking up I was already feeling angst, depression, and anger.

It began when I was doing a process of my morning routine, which includes immersing myself in a positive memory and elevating my emotional state. What has been happening lately is that I can’t seem to find a memory that doesn’t turn into a trigger. For example, this morning I was imagining a family trip to Miami Beach when I was a kid. The memory started out great – recalling the palm trees moving with the gentle breeze, the sounds of seagulls, the scent of salt water – until I then recalled how my father would wake me up super early in the morning (by that I mean 6 a.m.!), even on vacation, to swim laps at the hotel pool. Then, the downward spiral began.

I felt frustrated that something that is supposed to be helpful wasn’t helping. I felt anger towards myself for being unable to stay focused on the positive. Then I felt all kinds of things…inadequate, hopeless, powerless, despairing, even feeling imposter syndrome. I mean, after all, I do my inner transformative healing work, I support other people, I’m certified as a Peer Specialist and some other healing modalities. Aren’t I supposed to be completely recovered from any uncomfortable experience and live in bliss 24/7?

After marinating in self-pity I finally had enough! That little, itty-bitty voice brought in some sense to remind myself that I have a choice. I wanted to choose joy and peace, but that didn’t happen immediately. I decided to choose a helpful tool to gradually bring me back to that state.

That tool is to observe and write down the stories I’m telling myself and how they make me feel. Then to ask myself questions and reframe the meaning I’m making. So, here’s an example:


Feeling Generated



Why couldn’t he let me
enjoy a vacation? He was
always pushing me to swim.

Anger No 1. I can still enjoy recalling
the seagulls, etc.
      2. I don’t have to let one
aspect ruin the good parts.
      3. Thank goodness he had
me swim a lot. It made me
healthy and strong, and
gave me a sense of accomplishment.
      4. He truly wanted what he
thought was best for me.

After writing down the myriad stories I was telling myself that were creating the uncomfortable emotions and reframing I felt completely balanced and at peace.

This is a tool that has had great benefit for me and I’m glad I made the choice to utilize it.

Tell us how changing the stories you tell yourself helps. Give it a try!

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