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 Post subject: Self talk and untwisting
PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 10:08 am 
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For me, self talk is the key conscious skill I use. That is, that I consciously think about using and choose to use. I untwist, but I don't usually think about a particular method.

Untwisting is important, but, if that's as far as it goes, it doesn't last long, at least for me. I've untwisted for the moment, but it doesn't mean much later.

To make a lasting change, I need to take the next step, self talk.

Sometimes that means repeating something over and over in my head.

Sometimes that means telling myself something at the right moment.

Sometimes it means preparing something to tell myself when I know I'll be triggered.

One recent example where self talk made a big difference.

The guitarist I like, I went to see his band last weekend. And there was a definite connecting between us. And I choose not to go say hi to him after the show.

Afterwards, at my car, I was quite overwhelmed with emotions. And I could easily have wound up crying, frustrated at the friendship I can't have. Instead, I talked to myself in my head, and reminded myself of the friendship we do have. I reminded myself of what is. (Which is, being a fan is a type of friendship, though atypical and uneven, but still real and meaningful.)

Due to that self talk, I came out feeling good, and I came out seeing it as there's something good between us, rather than seeing it as there's something lacking.

Basically, I used self talk to shift my perspective.

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 Post subject: Re: Self talk and untwisting
PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 10:15 am 
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What a great post, Ellen! It's such an important thing, self-talk. I agree totally.

I'm glad that your self-talk helped you in the situation in your example. It does make a big difference!! :D

You have really hit on an essential point in the untwisting process for me. Thanks for brining up this topic.

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 Post subject: Re: Self talk and untwisting
PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 12:00 pm 
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Another interesting self-talk note.

There's the aspect of me that I've in the past called the Little Girl part. (I like the word aspect because it words both for when the aspect is dissociated, or when it's integrated, or anywhere inbetween.) Which, that label doesn't fit anymore. I'm now going with Inner Me. :) Anyway, recently, instead of being the listener in the self talk, this part was doing the talking, helping the social me understand. Because one particular person I know, the social me just doesn't understand him well. Being connected to the rest of me, there's still the strong feelings there, but not the understanding. It's hard when the part of me that does the social interacting with the world just doesn't understand someone, but wants to and really cares. Well, inner me does understand. So inner me talked to the rest of me. And it really helps in not being frustrated with this other person, and the interactions with him.

Anyway, it was good for the inner me do be able to do the self talking. It really helps this part of me, who used to see herself/itself/myself (pronoun failure :)) as bad or defective, to see that she/it/me has her own competence, her own skills, things she's good at.

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 Post subject: Re: Self talk and untwisting
PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 12:44 pm 
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i so agree ellen. ^5 to ya! thanks for verbalizing this so well.

self talk. oh yes.

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 Post subject: Re: Self talk and untwisting
PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 1:49 am 
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Location: Reality ~ It's a great place to visit but I wouldn't want to live there!
EllenKMR wrote:
For me, self talk is the key conscious skill I use. That is, that I consciously think about using and choose to use.


I used to think that everyone had "voices" that carry on non-stop conversations in their head. I knew there were psychotic voices so whenever I was asked if I heard voices I could honestly answer "no" because I was not hearing them in my ears but in my thoughts. Then when I tried to do "mindfulness" exercises in DBT, I just could not attain inner quiet and a singular focus of my mind. There are literally several thought voices in my head all day long so being in my head is like being in a crowded room with everyone talking (or singing) at once. Even when I lie down to sleep, they continue talking. I used to be involved in the conversations frequently but when I suspected they might be demons I stopped talking to them for fear they would lead me astray.

EllenKMR wrote:
There's the aspect of me that I've in the past called the Little Girl part. (I like the word aspect because it words both for when the aspect is dissociated, or when it's integrated, or anywhere inbetween.) Which, that label doesn't fit anymore. I'm now going with Inner Me.


I always find it interesting when you mention this "Little Girl part" because you seem so okay with her being there rather than freaking out like I do about what goes on in my mind. I have wondered if there are spirits inside me or if I made myself crazy as a child. I don't know if the child psychologist I saw when I was 9 spoke with any of the voices during hypnosis since I don't even know what he was treating me for except that there was a court order for me to attend, as has been the case with most of the therapy I have attended because I would not have gone on my own. As far as I know the voices have always been with me. It was my father who suggested that I name them, beginning with the one he knew about when I was just two years old, so I did. They were there before I named them, though, so I don't know how I would have made them up without knowing what I was doing. It is not the same as naming a doll and creating a personality for the purpose of play because they were not deliberate creations as far as I can tell.

Do you get the sense that this "Little Girl" or "Inner Me" is something you created yourself or does it seem like something outside yourself? This is the biggest barrier in my recovery right now because I don't feel I will benefit from therapy if I can't figure out what the problem is more specifically. I think that at times I may benefit from the internal conversations but sometimes I am too overwhelmed to listen to them and pay attention to my environment at the same time. It is possible that when I listen too intensely I sort of "blank out" my physical existence so that people looking at me will see me staring at the wall as if I were looking right through it. I think that it is the flashbacks that cause the "deer in the headlights" expression in my eyes but it is hard to know what the body is doing when I am too focused on what is happening in my mind so that I "lose control" and end up running on some sort of auto-pilot.

Do you ever go "blank" when there is a lot of "self-talk" in your mind? Do you have trouble paying attention when this is happening? My father used to smack me upside the head when I wasn't paying attention but other people try to snap me out of it with words, which takes longer to get through than having my brain rattled. I get the sense that my blank stare causes them to think I am weird. I can use "grounding" techniques when I feel the movement in my head but once I am "gone" I can't seem to bring myself back very effectively and I think that is why I lose so much time. I don't think that I am always "blank" though because when the auto pilot takes over I can seem more normal.

Dang, just thinking about this gives me such a headache that it feels like my head is going to split open. I suppose I better take another 50mg of Trazodone so I can get some sleep since I only slept 4 hours last night.

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 Post subject: Re: Self talk and untwisting
PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 9:37 am 
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Denim, I do plan to reply, but it may be a while before I have time to sit down and do so properly. Also, I may put it in a new thread, since it's really a separate topic.

I do tend to have a non-stop conversation in my head, but for me it's a single voice. For me, that's something entirely different than the self-talk I'm talking about in this thread.

One is thinking in words, continual thinking, with the thoughts in words.

The other is a conscious act of communicating something to myself. A conscious choice, rather than just letting the thoughts happen. In fact, often it's a counter to the thoughts that just automatically come.

I do plan to reply again, probably in a separate thread, and answer your specific question. But it may be a few days, because it'll take some time and getting in the right mental space, and I've got a busy few days coming up.

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 Post subject: Re: Self talk and untwisting
PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2008 12:47 pm 
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Denim, I did reply. It's over in Conversation Corner. Here's the link. It was between putting it there or "On the Border", since it doesn't fit in any of the specific topic forums. I choose Conversation Corner because I didn't see any need to open it up as a community discussion.

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 Post subject: Re: Self talk and untwisting
PostPosted: Thu Jan 01, 2009 6:58 am 
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This is a really cool post, Ellen. Sometimes I get so caught up in my head that I forget that I'm listening and not talking. Very cool way of putting it.


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