Saturday, March 08, 2003

That Nasty Booming Inner Voice

I was just reading an article in Oprah's magazine (stop rolling your eyes for a sec, it's the first time I bought one), and it had me laughing out loud. Not in the fakey-fakey chatroomesque lol way, but really guffawing. See, the article was written about combating that nasty voice in your head that berates you constantly, and I SO know that little voice. I hear that voice probably more clearly than the one that my vocal chords help produce. Not that that is funny, although it can be when you are comparing notes with a fellow self-loather and exploding with self-depricating laughter in stereo.

No, what was funny about this was that the author wrote the article in the form of an internal monologue interspersed with snippets of her interview on that subject with a psychologist. And her inner voice was berating her the whole time she was conducting the interview, to the point that she couldn't concentrate on what the interviewee was saying, nor the fact that the interview was actually going well. Her inner monologue was so familiar to me that I was hysterical, thinking, "Whoa, that's my inner voice talking, exactly!" As I type this, the little voice is competing with the writer voice, and it is difficult to get a sentence out with all the mental combat. "Oh my GOD, don't write that, it's stupid!""How much detail should I go into?""You sound like a psycho saying this!""Is that a run-on sentence?""It doesn't matter if it's a run-on sentence, no one wants to hear this anyway.""Shut up! Who asked you?""You suck!""No, YOU do.""YOU do.""Oh, what's the use, you're right. I suck!" (Big sigh.)

It's a wonder I can hear anyone talking to me with the cacophony going on in my head at any one moment. J tells me that he experiences the same thing. I used to think that we were two mental patients who had found each other, and could sit on the couch together, rocking and drooling in puddles of our own making, because we were the only people thinking like this. But now, NOW, I'm reading this article and thinking, man, this author is in the same sorry shape as me! There must be more of us out there than I thought. Now, should that be a comforting thought, or should I go straight to bed and pull the covers over my head until the thought passes? "Oh GOD, shut up already, mental case!"

I'll be in bed if anyone's looking for me. Not that anyone would be...

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