I read an article recently that shook me to my core. It was an article about a famous individual who had been convinced by her anxiety she would die young, and in turn she acted out with self-destructive behavior. It triggered a thought that I haven’t had in a long time, but a struggle that followed me my entire childhood and teenage years.
As long as I can remember, I truly believed that I would die young. I didn’t think I would make it to adulthood, so when people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up or what college I wanted to go to, I didn’t give it much thought. I wasn’t going to make it to that stage of my life anyways.
These thoughts were a symptom of my out of control anxiety. It had convinced me that I would be in a car accident, shot in a random robbery or would die of a terminal illness. So I acted in that mindset. It didn’t matter if I got in trouble, I would die tomorrow anyways. And as I got older, it became worse… It didn’t matter if I destroyed that relationship… I was going to dying anyways.
I’m not sure why I never shared these thoughts as a child or a teen. I guess it was because deep down, I realized these thoughts were only fears… But these thoughts were the “truth” I lived by for more than 85% of my life.
It wasn’t until I learned how to challenge the negative thoughts that my illnesses fostered that I found relief. But it doesn’t mean those thoughts go away completely. There have been times while I’ve been driving after a bad day at school or work, and the thought comes creeping in.
“You’re going to get into an accident… None of this will matter anyways.”
The first time it happened since my Bipolar diagnosis, I had to pull over. It took some serious challenging and deep breaths to prevent that silly thought from consuming my life. But it has other effects as well. If I’m not careful and self-aware these thoughts can trigger risky actions as well – driving faster… Feeling invincible because it won’t matter anyways… Something my Bipolar Disorder feeds off of.
So how can you challenge these negative thoughts? Read this article written here… It will walk you through exactly what you need to do to find a healthy mindset.
I can’t help but wonder… If this is something I struggled with for years.. How many other people have these exact same thoughts and live their life believing these thoughts? If this is something you’ve ever struggled with, I would love to hear your thoughts and stories in the comments below.