My brain's constant negativity has been creating hardships for me over the course of my young adult life. Since moving to college, the voices have only become louder. I can't say I've gotten used to them, but I am learning to live with them. What else are you supposed to do?
1. "Are they looking at me? Am I not blending?"
During my first days in my new city, all I wanted to do was blend in. I woke up and looked in the mirror. I was faced with the task of doing my hair, but not looking like I tried too hard. I had to do my makeup so I would be pretty, but not so much that it looked like I was wearing too much. Then came the outfit. The subtle difference between not showing enough skin and showing too much, or dressing up and looking like I don't care about my appearance. My brain never stopped asking, "are they looking at me?"
2. "Why are you so picky? They probably think you are weird."
After I got ready, it was time to get food. Getting on the elevator, I hope that I am joined by no one. I get to the cafeteria and stand in line. I try to stand straight, but not like I am overly confident. As I approach the food, I notice I want my pasta plain. "If you do that they will think you are weird," my brain tells me, so I get the sauce. I even add the identical sides to the boy in front of me, to ensure normalcy. I take my food back to my room, set it aside, and make a peanut butter sandwich instead.
3. "You shouldn't go in there, you would embarrass yourself."
After a while of sitting in my room, I want to get a workout in. I grab headphones, to help me avoid any confrontation, and my water bottle. I walk towards the gym and look into the big glass walls. "You shouldn't go in there, you would embarrass yourself," my brain tells me. Instead, I walk to my car and drive to a trail where I can run, alone, and away from everyone.
4. "Do they actually need me, or do they just need me for now?"
When I get back, I get a call from a friend, at least I think they are my friend. I can't tell if they talk to me because they need help, or because they genuinely want to. I have been a crutch before, and once you are done with those you get rid of them. "He won't need you once he finds other help." This thought holds me back from trusting. I can't become too close, or they will leave, they always do.
5. "Just go to sleep."
I change into my sweats and lay down in my bed when I feel that there is nothing else I can do. After an exhausting day of constant confrontations with my personal devil, all I want is sleep. Closing my eyes, I try to complete the chapter that I call my day. My mind keeps going, but after a while, its yells turn to whispers and I am finally at rest.
If your mind talks to you, in the ways mine do, remember you are not alone. The things you are self-conscious about, others are too. Living with the devil on your shoulder is not easy, but with enough willpower, we can all get through it.