“I think you’re much too hard on yourself,” he says. “You have a strong negative self-bias.”
“One of the strongest of anyone you’ve ever met?” I ask.
He nods. “You think everything’s your fault, whenever anything goes wrong. And it’s not.”
I know what he means. In a perverse confirmation of what he’s saying, I feel guilty because of this negative self-bias. As I do, I realize I’m blaming myself for blaming myself. Because of course I am. Ugh.
When you’re struggling emotionally, having a hard time, people are quick to tell you, “Maybe you should go in and talk to someone.” By this, they mean a counselor. Sometimes times they won’t actually come out and say it. They advise you to talk to a therapist, so you can get to the bottom of why you feel bad. And they’ll often assume you don’t know why.
When I was in this situation, when I was suffering and had no clue why, it was a good approach. But I find it to be more difficult when I already know. When I have my reasons and my causes, when I know how those things are treated and dealt with (and how to implement that help), and I’m still struggling. When all that lies before me is working on self-talk, via CBT, DBT, REBT, or what have you. When I know that after I invest a bunch of time and money explaining myself to a stranger, what will be left is physical therapy exercises for my mind. For my self-beliefs and emotions.
It’s hard to muster up the get up and go, knowing all of this, to call someone and spend hours having uncomfortable conversations that will lead to work that I don’t really want to do. Not because it’s difficult. But because it’s tedious and can feel forced.
It can be hard working on something when you already know what your problem is and what to do about it.
But sometimes it’s what you need to do.