I’ve lived with a bully my whole life.
For as long as I remember, it’s been there. Mocking me. Criticising me. Attacking me.
Telling me I’m stupid, disgusting, worthless.
Bombarding me with a constant barrage of negativity.
“Why did you do that? You’re such an idiot. Surely you should know better than that by now. What a loser. You’re pathetic. No wonder your life is such a mess”.
My bully is especially powerful when I’m depressed. It becomes extra large, extra loud and extra cruel.
And try as I might, I can’t escape – because my bully lives inside my head.
It wasn’t until I started therapy, that I realised that my bully was separate to me.
I’d lived with it – and depression – for so long, I’d taken on its spiteful words as my reality. It said I was worthless, so I believed I was worthless; it told me I was a waste of space, and I felt awful for existing. It had complete power over me.
Counselling helped me uncover the truth.
Those thoughts – the horrible, soul-crushing messages pinging around in my brain – were just thoughts. Not reality. Not truth. Not God-given fact.
And what’s more, those thoughts didn’t come from me: they came from an over-zealous inner critic, the bully I in my head I dubbed my “sh*tty committee”.
One day, when I was feeling exceptionally brave, I decided to confront the bully in my brain.
I made a list of all the negative things it said to me, and read them out on camera:
[Warning: this video contains swears!]
Making this film changed my life.
Facing up to my bully – hearing the horrible things it had to say, the horrible things which for YEARS I’d accepted as fact – was MASSIVE. Initially, awful (you can see me start to cry in the film) but oh so powerful, and liberating too. Confronting my sh*tty committee was my first wobbly step towards learning to like myself.
Six years on, and things have changed dramatically. I’m no longer my own worst enemy.
My bully still lives with me – it always will – but it no longer controls my life. When it pipes up (which it still does, a lot) I can calm it or I ignore it. I am strong enough. My new-found self-worth protects me.