Welcome to the middle path

My photo
Sporadic photos and notes from a Psyche-midwife, cheerleader, anthropologist--aka clinical social worker in therapy practice. Photos are usually mine except for those of historical events/famous people. Music relevant to the daily topic is often included in a web video embedded below the blog. Click on highlighted links in the copy to get to source or supplemental material. For contact information, see my website @ janasvoboda.com or click on the button to the right below. Join in the conversation.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Resolution #27: Don't Feed Ethel

Most of us have a loud and annoying bully in our head who tells us Bad Scary Stuff.  I've decided to name it "Ethel".  Please forgive me if you are or have an Ethel in your life that you love.

Ethel says things like:  "You can't do it.  You're a loser.  Why try?  You don't deserve to (fill in the blank:  be happy, healthy, out of debt, in a good relationship)."  She tells lots of scary stories with an authority that is quite convincing.  Ethel gets bigger and stronger every time you listen to her.  

Today's resolution:  Don't feed Ethel.   

When that doubting voice shows up, don't even bother talking back.  It's OK to talk to yourself. Tip:  Unless you're alone, don't do it out loud.

Tell yourself: "That's just Ethel, doing her deal."  Tell yourself some facts, like "I've been scared before and done fine anyway."  Or "I don't really know how this will turn out, and I won't know anything more if I don't try."  When Ethel has no attention, she tends to wander off.

Extraneous news:
Four more to go!  I can taste the relief.  Here's a couple of comments sent to me today about the 31-day challenge thus far.  I appreciate comments and conversation.  Don't be shy!

Erica, a lovely local therapist, wrote:
I read your blog this morning...  Here are a couple thoughts you engendered for me:
     When temptation is at hand...
Sometimes I think of future self as tomorrow's self (which helps that immediate gratification self latch onto something close at hand), so I ask "what will I, tomorrow, look back and thank me, today, for doing right now to get closer to that goal. 
    Sometimes, the best I can do is "damage control"--i.e. to take a hard day or down mood and at least not make it worse with dysfunctional cognitions or behaviors.  "Damage control" reminds me that not making it worse is sometimes the most positive thing I can accomplish.  Then surely the next morning I look back and thank myself for "not making it worse."  Make sense?
And my great pal Hal, who designed my pretty work website, wrote:
Miss Jana,
Hearty congrats on your sustained resolution to write January Resolutions... To ease you into February, for yer remaining 5...consider, please, if you will:
* Resolution #27: Find an Answer to All the Giraffe Ennui
* Resolution #28: Stay Away From Those Taco Bell-Bottom Trousers
* Resolution #29: Embrace Your Inner Bingo; Polka Nights
* Resolution #30: If You See That Fork in the Road, Take It
* Resolution #31: Sing the Body Electric...But Wear Rubber-Soled Shoes, Eh?
Your indentured servant,
Wally Ferblunghit
For more Hal and some good reads, check out his website:  http://hdklopper.net/ 
Today's musical vid:


BoggyWoggy said...

If I were a lesbian, I'd chase after you. If I were a gay man, I'd switch teams for you. If I were your mother, I'd pat your head firmly. Alas, I'm just your friend, so I'll just say "Thanks."

Anonymous said...

I love that you have accomplished (-4) your resolution to write daily but what will I do without my daily dose of Jana? February will be drearier. And yet, January was much brighter than it would have otherwise been so, thank you. And thank you again. Marilyn

Jana Svoboda, LCSW said...

Feedback! Thanks, M and B, I appreciate your taking the time to comment and your thoughts.