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Isolation and ‘My Internal Bloopers Reel’

I thought, this morning, that I would write a piece about ‘isolation’ and ‘internal dialogues’.  But as I sat contemplating what I would write, the thought occurred to me that sometime those ‘dialogues’ aren’t really ‘dialogues’ at all.  Sometimes, well for me at least, they are more ‘monologues’ than ‘dialogues’.

And sometimes they seem to go beyond that even.  Sometimes – quite often actually – they becomes scenes which my mind seems to put forward for my displeasure.   Either scenes created or flashbacks replayed purely to taunt me or to criticise or demoralise me.  It’s hard to describe really – especially to someone who doesn’t experience the same or similar things.  But because I am sure that others do suffer similar things, I want to try to describe them.

You know how when you are watching something on YouTube they will very often include a ‘bloopers reel’ or ‘bloopers section’ at the end?  A humorous set of ‘out-takes’ which are shared purely for their comic entertainment value?   Well, what if they weren’t funny?  What if instead they were just designed to point out your failings or your flaws.  What if instead they were designed just to criticise, demoralise or condemn you?

my-internal-blooper-reels

 

Perhaps my sharing a poem that I once wrote will explain it a little better…

They flicker to life
on the screen in my mind
a comedy of errors
but always unkind.

Flashbacks of failures
Corruptions of truth
projecting my flaws
sent from self-judging sleuth.

“Look how you this…”
“and see how you that…”
Stereo judgements
in statements not chat.

There’s no conversation
no defense will it hear
The judgements are passed
with my guilt always clear.

And others don’t see them
all my ‘blooper reel shows’
So as films flicker on
the darkness it grows

Oh I know they’re not real
as “you’re weird’ you all scoff
but nobody tells me
how to just turn them off

So judge if you will
and continue unkind
you’re an echo without
to the films in my mind.

In truth, I think that we all have internal dialogues or monologues going on.  And in truth I truly believe that a great deal of what I am discussing here is more about ‘intensity’ than anything else.  As I re-read that poem I can’t help recognising and recalling the intensity of feelings that I felt whilst writing it.

And I am convinced that very often whether those internal dialogues become internal monologues is directly dependant on what else is going on in our lives and is deeply impacted by situations and circumstances going on around us or which involve us.  Generally – in my experience – in respect of relationships with those who mean the most to us.

And what is interesting, I think, and also something which – in my opinion – is a key point to all this is that very often when our relationships, especially our important relationships, are not going well there can be a tendency to isolate either physically or mentally.  And that, I am convinced is just so unhealthy.

The penultimate verse in my poem above reads as follows…

Oh I know they’re not real
as “you’re weird’ you all scoff
but nobody tells me
how to just turn them off.

And the truth is that ‘turning them off’ – those acidic, caustic self-condemning internal ‘blooper reels’, or those harmful internal monologues or dialogues –  can be so very difficult, can’t it?

That’s not to say that it is impossible.  I truly believe that with the right support – albeit that this support may need to be given over a long period of time – it can be done.

And I truly believe that there is something that can be done in the mean time.

In the picture above a single ‘Admit One’ ticket is displayed.  Which is logical being as these internal blooper reels and internal monologues or dialogues are exactly that – internal.  So,  since they are internal, stepping outside of them, stepping outside of the isolation they are born and hide within, removes their power and their hold on you.

After all, if every time you entered a movie theatre they were showing films which disturbed and hurt you, the simple solution is to stop going to that movie theatre.

But that can be a very difficult thing to do can’t it?  Which is why it is so important to find the right support.  If isolation is their home then removing that isolation removes their power. Something which I still find very difficult to do.

Having the right people – even the right person – whom you can discuss these things with or whom you can rely on to help you get out of that place in your mind or who will help distract you from either going in or going further in, and who will help you, is essential.

And that is one reason why blogging communities and this guild is so important. Isolation says “you are alone” this guild, blogging communities like it, and folk who you can trust and who will be there for you in the right way, says “you are not alone”.  And that has more value than we can even imagine when it comes to our Mental Health.

And they can provide another very important support too.  When my son was very young and saw or read or heard something disturbing or unsettling – especially if that thing was targeted at him personally – we would discuss it and put it into the proper perspective.  We would also combat hatefulness with love, lies with truth and condemnation with affirmation.  The right kind of support – be it from a trustworthy friend or a trustworthy family member or a trustworthy blogger pal is essential in doing just that.

It is my sincere hope that by my sharing my poem and the fact that I experience these harmful internal dialogues, monologues and ‘blooper reels’ (as I call them) with you, I will have said to those who also experience them, “you are not alone”.

And to those who don’t experience them but who write about Mental Health related issues and who are members of this guild and blogging communities like it, I hope that from what I have shared in this post you get the message that what you do by blogging and supporting in respect of these issues is so very important and so very much appreciated.

Thank you.

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8 comments on “Isolation and ‘My Internal Bloopers Reel’

  1. It’s like you are inside my head. The self monologue is the downfall of every introvert; as a person who writes but does not speak it can be harder to find and then share those feelings with others. For myself the answer lies in mindfulness where I can examine the truth behind the monologue and then discover the solution to turning negative to positive.
    Thank you for this post; it’s comforting to know I am not alone 🙂

    • Hi NJ,

      You are most definitely not alone and I am glad that you have found a way of getting beyond the monologues. They can be just so debilitating can’t they?

      Many thanks for taking time to comment and for what you shared.

      Kind regards and God bless you.
      Kevin

  2. Thank you for your beautiful article and your beautiful poem! I have a son with an eating disorder and OCD who describes “voices” not psychotic or external that tell him the same things. Bloopers is a very clever word. The intensity of these voices in the absence of any other distractions or other supportive voices to balance the other side of the scale can be debilitating and leaves the sufferer locked in a cage, so to speak, with no other companions than those harsh, judgmental voices that seemingly have no “off” button. The support of others can at least lower the volume if not push them in the background to provide a break. Thank you again for a wonderful sharing and clarifying something that is sometimes hard to translate.

    • Hi CL.

      Apologies for the delayed response. But when my mind is not good I sometimes withdraw for a little.

      Many thanks for taking time to comment and indeed for your kind words. I am so sorry to hear that your son has an eating disorder and also suffers from OCD and experiences the “voices”. I completely understand your clarification of ‘not psychotic or external’ and I am so sorry that they tell him the same things as mine tell me.

      Yes, absolutely the intensity of the voices – as you say – in the absence of any other distractions or other supportive voices to balance the other side of the scale can be extremely harmful and that cage, as you put it, is one which I know only too well.

      Whilst obviously saddened to learn that your son is suffering with or experiencing these things, I am pleased that he does at least have – in you his mother – someone who does seem to have a good understanding of what he is going through and who can, as you say, at least lower the volume or push them in the background at times.

      I am not sure how old your son is but if you feel that it is appropriate, please let your son know that he is not alone and that I at least can understand some of what he is going through.

      Kind regards and God bless you.
      Kevin.

  3. i’ve read your blog post up to 2 to 3 times i love your poem. Even i like to share your thoughts with my friends too. With my blog http://limnosophy.net/how-to-remember-your-dreams/ i also try to help others, so that they can understand their dreams. They will be overcome to their dreams and understand the reality of their dreams. Because sometimes our dreams creates a virtual world before us and we move forward the Mental Disorder.

    • Hi Limnosophy,

      Many thaks for getting in touch and for your kind words.

      Yes, I think that our dreams can have an impact on our mental health.

      Kind regards and God bless you.

      Kevin

  4. Kevin, this piece was a very moving and thought provoking. Thank you for being so open and allowing us a peak into your inner self. You are certainly not alone. I don’t know what other people experience, but I wouldn’t be surprised if what you describe isn’t part of the universal human experience. Perhaps those who aren’t aware of an inner monologue are just filling their lives up with distractions like over-work, addiction, or other things in order to drown out the doubts and fears. It’s hard for me to know which is more difficult – identifying the core beliefs that give rise to the never-ending criticisms, judgments, analyses, and comparisons that seem to be constantly streaming through my mind both consciously and subconsciously, or countering them in a way that is actually effective. Maybe it’s not about turning off the thoughts or pushing them away, but accepting that they are there and being ok with it, but also recognizing that they are not true. I’ve been working with acceptance and commitment therapy and practicing mindfulness-based self compassion for the past two years or so, and I’ve noticed a big change in my mood and my patterns of thinking. The starting point is recognizing we are not alone, and building from there. Wishing you well on your journey.

    • Hey there Lulu,

      Great to hear from you again and many thanks for taking time to comment and encourage. Also, please accept my apologies for the delayed response.

      I am delighted that you found the piece moving and thought provoking. I sometimes (actually very often) second-guess myself about whether my being so open and honest is a good thing for others let alone me. And so having folk like yourself say it is helpful is very encouraging.

      It is also encouraging to hear that I am not alone in what I experience, although of course with that comes some sadness that others are going trough it as well.
      And I think you are right that it is part of the universal human experience. I have a deeply held believe that a lot of what we consider to be poor mental health is not actually something which is unique in it’s experience to some but in it’s level or severity. Did that make any sense? What I am trying to say is that I think a lot of what we experience is actually experienced by most folk just not to the level or degree that we experience it. And so I agree with you when you suggest that, “Perhaps those who aren’t aware of an inner monologue are just filling their lives up with distractions like over-work, addiction, or other things in order to drown out the doubts and fears.”

      And I fully understand where you are coming from when you say, “It’s hard for me to know which is more difficult – identifying the core beliefs that give rise to the never-ending criticisms, judgments, analyses, and comparisons that seem to be constantly streaming through my mind both consciously and subconsciously, or countering them in a way that is actually effective.”

      I also agree with you when you say that, “Maybe it’s not about turning off the thoughts or pushing them away, but accepting that they are there and being ok with it, but also recognizing that they are not true.” And I would perhaps also suggest that possibly they are there for our benefit just that we are over sensitive or over critical in their assessment? I don’t know. But I do think that the ability to reassess things and to question things we say or do – in a ‘healthy’ way, is a really positive quality to have.

      It is encouraging to hear that you have “been working with acceptance and commitment therapy and practicing mindfulness-based self compassion for the past two years or so,” And I wonder if that is part of what I am talking about really. It is also very encouraging to hear that you have noticed a big change in your mood and your patterns of thinking.

      You said, and I agree,l that “The starting point is recognizing we are not alone, and building from there.” That is something I really need to do 🙂

      Again thank you so very much for sharing and for encouraging me. It really is great to hear from you again
      Kind regards and God bless you.

      Kevin

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