Mental Health



Silence. Does such a thing really exist? I’m not so sure. My thoughts thunder like a triggered minefield. They criticize, they punish. They demand perfection. They repeatedly impose upon me the notion that I have nothing of value to share with the world.

Negative thinking has been a part of my psyche for as long as I can remember. As a trauma survivor, I grew up expecting terrible things to happen. I grew up believing that I was inherently worthless and unlovable.

Negative thoughts are usually the first things that come to mind in challenging situations. They fill my mind upon waking and accompany me when I lay my head on my pillow at night. Thoughts that shout: You’ll never be good enough. Your opinions don’t mean anything. You’ll never lose weight. You’ll never succeed no matter how hard you try.

The effort to maintain a positive mindset is exhausting. There was a time when negative thoughts led me to despair. I had allowed them to define me. But I have come a long way in my healing. I no longer allow negative thoughts to dictate how I live my life.

Through practicing mindfulness meditation, I have come to understand that my thoughts are simply thoughts. They only hold power over me if I allow them to do so. I have a choice. I can run with them, play them over and over in my mind, let them take hold of my perspective or I can gently push them aside.

I choose to replace negative thoughts with positive ones. Thoughts that affirm my worth. Thoughts that shine Light on my potential and my inherent goodness as a human being. Sometimes this is relatively easy to accomplish. Sometimes it’s as difficult as removing a bullet with my teeth.

This constant struggle between Light and Darkness prevents my mind from truly knowing Silence, no matter how much I desire it. Meditation does not quiet my thoughts. It merely allows me to notice them, to let them pass gently through my mind without judgment. I can still my body, relax into the moment. But my mind remains a battleground – negativity versus positivity. Positivity usually wins.

I remain hopeful that one day I will be able to awaken with thoughts of Lightness and to carry that Lightness with me throughout each day without the constant need to first push away the Darkness.

3 thoughts on “Battleground”

  1. “I grew up expecting terrible things to happen.” Yes, and they did happen which explains why disaster awaits around every corner, that edginess that is PTSD.
    Such superb writing, “it’s as difficult as removing a bullet with my teeth.” I had to chuckle because I commiserate so much with that.
    I relate strongly to this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the lovely compliment! I hadn’t really thought of my negative thinking – “disaster awaits around every corner” – as PTSD, but you nailed it. So many of us trauma survivors seem to constantly struggle to remain positive and hopeful. The damage inflicted upon us runs so deep. Hope you are well. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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