My co-workers and I spend a lot of time poking fun at one another. We also spend a lot of time poking fun at ourselves. We were discussing talking out loud and one guy said the infamous line, “I talk out loud to myself because sometimes I need an expert opinion.”
Then another guy piped up, “Gees I can’t even talk to myself because there’s three people in my head arguing all of the time and I don’t know which one to believe!”
Needless to say, I have been thinking a lot about the voices in my head over the past couple of days. I also watched Inside Out last night for the xth time, which had me thinking of what makes me… well… me!
When I speak of the voices, I don’t mean A Beautiful Mind with creations of Paul Bettany speaking beside me. That voice would be quite too soothing in my opinion.
I think of that inner monologue that I have with myself. It takes on different personas depending on the situation and the issue at hand.
I’ve been reading the blog BeautyBeyondBones. It’s written by a young women who is fighting her war with anorexia. She speaks of battling with what she refers to as the Voice of ED; those negative thoughts that clouded her judgement and made her start believing that she was worthless unless she looked a certain way. For her, she found salvation in Jesus and giving herself over to Him helped her learn to love herself inside and out.
How she describes the Voice of ED is how I’ve always thought of the Dark Passenger. For years and years, since I can remember, he’s been inside of me, feeding me negative feelings that have made me isolated. At times he speaks for me despite how I am truly feeling inside. Truthfully, his words have become what escapes my mouth. It almost appears as though my voice is secondary at times to the negative inside of me. The negative thoughts flow so easily through my mind and out of my mouth before I can even catch up. That’s where the struggle has been for me. I don’t know where he ends and I begin anymore.
Even as I type these words the Dark Passenger keeps shouting at me that writing this is pointless. In the past I have had people make fun of the words that I write and now I have become rather insecure about it. I hate watching S.O. read my posts. Those who tell me my posts are good or well written, which I DO appreciate, have the Dark Passenger saying that they don’t mean it. They’re actually making fun of what I’m writing behind my back. This is why when people say good things about my blog posts I brush it off with something like, “Gees don’t read that. That’s the ramblings of a crazy girl.” It’s really his words coming out of my mouth.
There is always a battle happening in my head. There’s the dark passenger, who is quick-witted, cynical, and generally sarcastic. Despite me referring to it as a he, the words are in my voice. This is perhaps why these words actually come out of my mouth. Then there’s another voice I like to think of as the voice of rationalism. This is the voice that gets me out of bed in the morning. This is the voice that makes me go through the motions when I want to give up. This is the voice that the dark passenger argues with.
So in all of this, where is my voice? You find my words when I speak of what I care about. When I speak of my nephews and my niece. When I speak of my family and friends, especially those who are no longer with me.
Generally when I speak of S.O. it’s in a joking manner. This is because I’m scared that if I let people know how much he truly means to me he’ll be taken away. It’s almost as though it leaves me vulnerable. I cannot let anyone know how I truly feel. I believe that this is ammo for people to hurt me with later.
The truest form of my real voice… is truly DumbOptimist. This is me. An open forum for you to read my words, my thoughts, my feelings. These are the words I cannot eloquently say out loud.
This is where I tell the cynical dark passenger to shut up for a while so I can truly share. I tell the voice of rationalism that sometimes my thoughts are irrational, but I have to share these words otherwise I’ll go pop bottle all over the place.
I share through DumbOptimist the things I cannot say out loud or that I cannot form through the spoken word. I always think better with a pen in my hand to write my words, or type them, depending on the medium.
Over the years, the Dark Passenger has been telling me that no one would understand what I was going through; that I’m a freak, psychotic, fucked-up. Everyone would walk away if I told how I truly feel. Once I actually started speaking out loud how I feel I found this isn’t true at all. I’m not alone. I’m still scared to share many aspects of my depression. I think that it will leave me open to vulnerability, to judgement, to someone just saying that I’m a lost cause and leaving me. Or just condemning me to a much worse fate.
But that’s the risk you have to take. You have to take care of yourself both physically and mentally. This includes exercising your mental muscles too. That includes sharing, not allowing the pressure make you explode, and actually achieving self-love. And for those who may walk away, they’re the ones not strong enough to love you.
Okay, so this is where I bid adieu.
Cheers and Stay Smiling.