We all feel down from time to time. How do you combat the blues? What’s one tip you can share with others that always helps to lift your spirits?
A few minutes ago, I finished watching the season 2 finale of the British television show My Mad Fat Diary and Rae Earl has been having an exceptionally hard time. She was on the outs with her mom, her friends are all mad at each other, and her best friend is nowhere to be found. Upon speaking to her therapist Kester, he asked her to tell him why she thought she was a bad person, why she always breaks things, why she was a disappointment. The second half of their conversation went as such:
Kester: Now I want you to tell me what you don’t like about yourself. But be honest with me. Don’t be clever, don’t be angry. Be honest.
Rae: I’m fat. And I’m ugly and I ruin things.
Kester: Try and find some sense of how long you’ve felt that way
Rae: I don’t know. Since I was about 9 or 10
Kester: So this is an opinion that you formed a long time ago about yourself. I want you to imagine a 10 year old version of yourself sitting on that couch. So this is the little girl who first believed that she was fat and ugly and an embarrassment. I want you to imagine her sitting there right now. Now tell that little girl she’s fat.
Rae: I’m not gonna do that.
Kester: Tell that little girl she’s ugly
Rae: I don’t want to.
Kester: Tell that little girl that she’s an embarrassment and she’s useless because that’s what you do everyday when you say that to yourself. And you convince yourself that you’re an embarrassment. A burden. Do you think she’s ugly?
Kester: Or fat? No? Or an embarrassment? Or horrible? Or worthless?
Rae: Stop it! Just stop it! NO! Alright, no.
Kester: What do you want to say to that little girl? If she said to you that’s how she felt about herself, what would you tell her?
Rae: That she’s fine. That she’s perfect.
Kester: Then that’s what you need to tell yourself every time you feel that panic. That anxiety. You need to soothe yourself like you would little girl. Yeah?
Kester: You need to tell yourself that everything is going to be okay. If you commit to that then I promise you, you will be able to face anything. And it starts right now. Everything starts right now.
I’d say that’s pretty good advice for any situation. It never helps to put yourself down, especially if other people are already doing it. You can’t count on anyone else to pull you up, especially if you don’t want to be pulled up. You have to do it yourself. You have to be kind to yourself and then you can be kind to others.
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