Most people with an anxiety disorder can relate to the idea of a devil on your shoulder. This devil isn’t like the one you see in films and TV, it doesn’t tell you to break the law or make reckless decisions. This kind of devil undermines every choice you make. When I go out with friends it’s the little voice that says “they secretly hate you.” When I get a new haircut it tells me “there’s no way you could pull that off, you look awful.”
I’ve been told it’s often helpful to give this malicious inner monologue a name. Mine is called Brian, Brian the brain. He can be pretty unhelpful. He constantly tells me I’m not good enough. Trying to fight against him can be impossible. His voice can over power my own and does so with alarming ease and regularity.
I’ve always been a bit of an agony aunt. Whether that’s because I give good advice or I use other people’s problems as a way to ignore my own, I’m not really sure. When someone else has a crisis of confidence I’m the first to tell them all the reasons they’re amazing, yet Brian makes it impossible for me see my own good qualities.
My friends and family have always supported me. My boyfriend tells me why he loves me everyday and my parents regularly remind me why they are proud of me. Somehow Brian takes all that and tells me they’re lying.
Brian was there for me through all my faliures. His favourite words are “I told you, you couldn’t do it.”
Brian I have a secret to tell you. I made this blog, I wrote about my story, and people are listening. You may say I can’t do this, but guess what, everyone else says I can!