Best Strategies For Negative self Talk

Hi everyone, am having an especially difficult time lately with negative self talk and am hoping that others may be able to share their best coping strategies. I relapsed again recently (meth addiction) but am now 5 days sober again, so nearly 1 whole week. I am proud of myself but am also feeling a lot of guilt. I also suffer from chronic anxiety and had a very bad panic attack earlier today and cried myself to sleep. Am feeling the lowest ive felt in myself in a long time. Just day to day basics are very hard at the moment. I live in a very small country town and there are sadly no support services here. I found Talking Sober a little while back and has been my saving grace. I dont know what i would do without being able to come online and read so much from this forum. Thank you so much to everyone for sharing both your struggles and success. And to everyone for being their for one another

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Hi Hope, 5 days is great :+1: well done!! I think in these early days just taking things one day at a time is the way to go…all you need to get done today is hit that pillow tonight sober, yesterday is done and you can worry about tomorrow when it comes. I think what is important is that while your focusing on today you treat yourself with kindness…its hard enough to get sober without berating yourself with guilt…push that to one side for now and treat yourself well…in the beginning i wrote actual lists of things that made me happy, what i was grateful for, things that i could do to bring myself comfort and try to do those things while your going through such a tough time, that will give you the best chance at succeeding afterall why wouldnt you treat yourself with kindness? You have an illness…think of someone you care about and how you would treat them if they were feeling how you are now and try to give yourself that level of compassion, we are all here for you, stick around and keep talking, sending love and hugs :heart: :people_hugging:

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Congratulations on your 5 days, I know that it takes a LOT to get there. :people_hugging:

I suffer from negative self talk as well and know it can be debilitating. I work hard to remember that we have good days and bad days and both are normal. Finding ways to be okay with not always feeling okay seems to be a life’s work at times. So I am sending some hugs your way and my way too. We all need a little self care. :people_hugging::heart:

Today is truly the only day we have, we can be sober and clean today. The past, it is gone. We can learn from it, what not to do, what did work, but beating ourselves up just hurts and for me, makes me feel a lot worse.

You are a human doing your best and working so hard to have a healthy life. That is a big deal. You have strength you don’t even know. I know you feel down sometimes, we all do. You mess up sometimes, we all do. And you are still always worthy and deserving of love and kindness…giving that to yourself can help. So for practical stuff, I try to read something calming or inspiring. I may write stuff down in a journal. I may read more here. And especially I may go for walk or run or bike ride (or think about it and then beat myself up more for not doing it)…so even just a 10 minute walk outside can be something. A warm bath or shower. A can of spaghettios with meatballs, comfort food or mashed potatoes or ice cream or hot cocoa.

I am sorry about your panic attack, those are hard. Remember to breathe if that happens. I look at the gif below if it happens to me…it helps. Sometimes just focusing on breathing quietly in general helps calm my body and mind.

Our body minds and spirit has been thru so very much. Quieting and loving our selves helps a lot. Sending warm hugs and calming breath to you. :heart::people_hugging::heart:
giphy-1

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Practice is your best friend along with having grace for yourself.

I used to (and sometimes still am) awful hard on myself. When I was a kid, my parents would get annoyed/yell at me for standard kid stuff…falling/getting hurt, making a mess by mistake, etc. Little things that are deserving of grace rather than anger.

Eventually as an adult, I noticed myself scolding myself and getting angry at small things…again, getting hurt, making minor human mistakes, etc. I worked at flipping the narrative in those instances by intentionally counter-blanacing those negative thoughts with “it’s OK, you only made a small mistake, and it was only a mistake”, or similar. Something I’d say to a child or a friend, but I had been incapable of extending the same to myself. It’s become reflexive at this point - now I can bang my head on a cabinet by accident and my blood pressure doesn’t move an inch anymore. I stay calm. I just carry on with what I’m doing and accept it as the minor thing that it is.

I still have my moments but they are significantly fewer.

Intentional practice!

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My strategy for self talk is always to try and reply to myself as if I was a beloved friend. Since I know myself the best, I can challenge any thoughts I have. Negative thoughts might get met with the kind reply of, “How do you know that?” or “Is that actually true?” or “Why do you think that?”

But then it is up to the other part of me to reply honestly to myself. This lets me look at something from a distance, but also up close. Also talking to myself like a beloved friend includes comforting myself like I would a dear friend who is going through a hard time and also with encouragement.

This can be really unnatural, but the more you consciously try to implement it, the more ingrained it will be over time. I grew up with no emotional support and I realized that if no one else could give me what I needed, then I’d better find a way to give that to myself. Gently challenging your own negative inner commentary will also help you to understand where some of it comes from and also will hopefully help separate subjective emotions from what is objectively true.

Please take whatever of that is helpful and leave the rest. I wish you the best.

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Here’s some tools from Smart Recovery that have helped me:

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A coach told me to talk to myself love like someone I love. I constantly thought of everything I wasn’t instead of everything I was. I wrote lists, I self videoed myself. Every day I make a point of practice saying one thought I can believe about myself from my list throughout the day. The list gets longer, it’s benefitted me immensely. Today, I am a survivor. :kissing_heart:

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When I’m getting a little too hard on myself, I like to sit myself down and say “Me”, ( I know it’s me cause I’m wearing my underwear), “you gotta back off a bit bro”
“We’ve been going through some challenges here, and if we (you errr me) can’t be our biggest fan and supporter, then who we really got?”
I usually nod in understanding and respectfully accept that if not me, who?
Then I place some nice notes to myself, where’d I least expect them, (my lunch, tied to a pebble in my shoe, around my tooth brush), you know, subtle places with words of wisdom and haiku’s that will come out when I know I’m gonna need em most.

Anyway trying to help, keep it light, but really supportive reminder notes sometimes help keep the focus and on track.

Be well friend.

PS, great job on 5 days. Let’s keep ‘er goin’ strong.

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:blush: :heavy_heart_exclamation: :100: Lv that! :athletic_shoe::athletic_shoe::athletic_shoe::athletic_shoe::athletic_shoe:

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