What We Should All Say To Our Insecure Brains
A writing project to examine insecurity and heal some trauma.
Content Note: This article deals with a lot of insecure and trauma-infused thoughts. Some of it might be triggering to some.
Have you ever heard the acronym H.A.L.T. before? It stands for Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired. It’s a helpful pneumonic device to remember. If you’re tired or hungry, you’re going to have less patience and have a harder time processing information. If you’re angry you’re more likely to lash out. If you’re lonely your needs are going to feel amplified and if they’re not being met that’s going to affect you.
I most often deal with fatigue and loneliness. I know when I’m really tired and lonely because all my insecurities and traumas bubble back to the surface and totally bog me down.
When I realize this, I try to do what I can to alleviate. I go take a nap. I talk to a friend. I do a fun activity if I can. Sometimes it helps, sometimes not as much. But I know that these intrusive thoughts are all false. They’re just harder to dispel when I’m tired and lonely.
The following is a list of thoughts that insecure and traumatized brains often throw at us. For each one, I’ve written what to say back to these ideas when feeling good, I encourage you to say them back to your negative voice as well.
You’re A Failure
I’m only a failure if I give up. And I only give up on things that make sense to give up on (not serving me, not the best use of my time/energy, etc)
There is only one me, I’m literally as authentic as I could be. I am genuine, I speak from the heart and mean well, what more can you ask?
You’re Too Ugly
Beautiful is purely in the eye of the beholder. Why focus on the people who think I’m ugly and focus on the ones who see the real me.
‘Cause b*tch I’m beautiful af!
You’re Too Lazy
I am doing my best and that is good enough.
You’re Too Fat
I can’t personally speak to the struggle of being Fat, but I can say that all bodies are good bodies.
You’re Too Needy
I have needs and they are valid. When a need goes unfulfilled for long enough, it gets more difficult to manage. I’m in therapy to be able to regulate this better. I must be kind to myself until I can get my needs better met.
I am a friend, a mentor and mentee, and an inspiration to many people, whether I fully realize it or not.
I work hard and I take care of the people who matter to me. That’s not useless.
The definition of ‘pathetic’ is ‘causing feelings of sadness and sympathy’ or ‘very bad, poor, weak’. I make lots of people happy and inspired, not sad and sympathetic.
We all have our struggles, we’ve all been through something difficult. You can’t truly know how strong you are until you know what will break you. I’ve been broken multiple times, and rebuilt each time. I am stronger than ever.
You’re a Freak
Everyone has quirks and everyone is unique. As such, I am no more a freak than anyone else.
You’re Not Okay
It’s OK to not be OK. We can’t always be OK 100% of the time. I’m able and willing to ask for help when I need it, and there are people around to provide that help. I am very fortunate and lucky in that regard.
You’re Not Good Enough
I am more than good enough, but I can’t control what others think of me and if they’re willing to give me a chance. I do the best I can and that’s all I can do.
The simple act of making this far in my life (barring any other considerations) is a triumph and I deserve to recognize it.
They Are Happy Without Me / With Someone Else
I am happy for others’ happiness, even if it’s not with me. If they have something that I want but don’t currently have, it’s okay. My time will come.
Also, I might be assuming there is more happiness there than there actually is. They may seem happy, but actually be struggling. I never want to wish against someone. I will do my best to be here if they ever need me for support, feedback, or other.
No One Will Ever Love You (Again)
Lots of people love me now and have loved me in past. Lots of people care about me. Perhaps I’m not currently loved in all the particular ways I desire to be loved, but there are more people out there to meet yet. There’s a lot to love about me and by being my best self I draw good people to me. Any way you do that math, it’s going to work out. It just takes some time.
You’re Too Old
This only comes from comparison. There are both people younger than me who are doing more, and people older who are doing less. I’m on my path and have made admirable progress for how long I’ve been at it. I’m not even 40 yet! Life doesn’t end at 30, or 40, or any specific round number. Life ends when it ends and until then I can do so much. Lots of people are still kicking butt well into their elder years and I will too.
It’s Never Going To Happen
‘It’ hasn’t happened YET. ‘It’ can happen at any moment. And once it does, the long wait will no longer matter.
Was that helpful? Are there any other negative/self-defeating things your brain says to you that you have trouble fighting back against?
Lacey Artemis is an author, artist, musician, podcaster, and more. You can find all of her work online at www.artemiscreates.com.