Have you ever had the thought, ‘Is there is something wrong with me?’
Perhaps it has entered your mind when you’ve been feeling anxious or low. Maybe your moods have been up and down and you’re not sure what’s going on. Or maybe you’ve had an angry outburst completely out of the blue… then felt ashamed about it. Or perhaps your relationships have gone pear-shaped even though you put so much effort into making them work.
You end up scratching your head and asking yourself, ‘What the hell is going on?’ And then you conclude, ‘There must be something wrong with me!’
I have arrived at this conclusion many times in my life.
Several years ago, when a big wave of depression washed through my mind and body, this thought started to echo inside me twice as loud. It felt like the most honest truth. I thought I would never be able to fix this ‘wrong’ and make it ‘right’. I’d tried everything and nothing worked. The conclusion was painful and seemingly inescapable: ‘There is something terribly wrong with me.’
It’s easy to buy into that sometimes. But now I know that I was wrong. In fact, I couldn’t be further from the truth. And if you think there is something wrong with you, you couldn’t be further from the truth either.
In the midst of those dark days, I realised one very simple thing. My experience of life did not come directly from external circumstances but from the thoughts I was having about those circumstances.
In that moment, I became aware of the continuous stream of thoughts in my mind. I saw the heavy, depressing and exhausting thoughts dominating my psychology and emotionally weighing me down.
In that moment, I realised that it was my thoughts that were drowning me – and not me! And not my life!
In that moment, I understood that there was nothing wrong with me. I was completely fine. Nothing needed fixing. Nothing was lacking. I was whole. I was healthy. I was solid inside.
In that moment, I realised that ‘there is something wrong with me’ is just another thought that I didn’t have to believe. In fact, I realised that I didn’t have to believe any of my negative thoughts!
In that moment, I understood that there is a place at the core of our being that is always whole and never broken. But from time to time it can get clouded by the negative narrative going on in our mind – and that’s perfectly human too.
So what kinds of thoughts regularly arise in your mind? And are you aware that every single thought creates a very real emotional experience in you?
When we believe our thoughts, we live in a virtual reality. The negative movie in our mind can keep us imprisoned and lonely. But when we begin to see our thinking and the impact it has on us, discover the transient nature of thoughts and understand that they are essentially harmless – then we can start living with choice, power and freedom.
So today, as I am writing this to join many other voices on World Mental Health Day, I also really want to celebrate World Human Being Day. I want to celebrate our humanity, our capacity to think and have insights, our capacity to feel highs and lows, our capacity to connect and share, our capacity to be real, authentic and vulnerable, and our capacity to create amazing things, support and love each other.
My reminder to you is that there is nothing wrong with us. We are always whole. We are never broken.
And if there is a heavy thought clouding your mind right now – reach out. I am here for you. And sometimes it is really good to talk.
If you would like to talk with Dorothy, you can schedule a free 30-minutes catch up right now via her website.
When things get really difficult reaching out for expert help and support is vital. Experiencing mental health issues can happen to everyone and it can have a serious impact on our lives. If you are struggling with your mental health reach out for help right now. See your GP or check out NHS mood-zone. Support is vital and hugely beneficial when taking steps towards recovery.
This post originally appeared via dorothymartin.com. The top image in this post is by Aliyah Jamous @aliahjam.