There is a page in my journal marked "space for negative comments*what is your inner critic saying?" It is blank. My sister brought over the journal that I got her for her birthday and while we were comparing pages I explained that I've left it blank because I don't like to make a place for those words and feelings in my life anymore. Then she said, "Well, that makes sense. Your negative thoughts are much...darker...than other people's." And I thought, "Hunh. Really?" and then, "Of course, really!"
I seem to have been born with a larger "self-destruct" button than the majority of the population. By that I do not mean the old, "I have an addictive personality!" thing--not at all. I mean that when push comes to shove, when I'm between a rock and a hard place, when I'm hurt or scared or angry (or, if I'm going to be completely honest, off of my medication) my knee-jerk reaction is to hurt myself. It's been years since I acted on one of those urges, but never more than a few hours since one of those urges has sucker-punched me.
And so, one of the lessons that I've learned, and that I must constantly re-learn is, "This is part of who I am." Like my curly hair and my crooked knees and my loving heart, this is something that I will always live with. It sounds so simple. If you call ignoring unwanted, rapid-fire images of self-harm simple.
Luckily, this isn't my first rodeo, and my loved ones and I have built a fairly solid line of defense, the first rule reading:
Don't give it your attention. Because it fucking loves it.