As you all know I just got back into town this evening from our good old capitol-Jefferson City. I spent the entire week out there taking the Missouri Peer Specialist Certification Training. I would like to extend an extra special thank you to Christina Flis for holding down the fort here on the blogsite and to the numerous blogger friends oe mine that kept our Facebook page rolling! To them, I am eternally grateful.
For those of you who are curious, a peer specialist is a mental health consumer (me) that provides support for other consumers in the mental health field (the young adults I work with). While I will not bore you with the specifics, we are trained in using our recovery stories to provide support to others in their recovery.
I learned so much this week about the proper techniques and tools to use to promote recovery, but I found that while I was taking in all of this training, I was learning more about myself. I had what Oprah calls an "aha moment", an "epiphany" if you will. I learned that I spend a lot of time using a coping mechanism called negative self-talk.
Negative self-talk is detrimental to one's self-esteem to the point where it becomes a barrier in moving on with one's life. Negative self-talk can come in many forms: "I am ugly", "I will never get that promotion", "I will never finish my education", "I am stupid", "they must be thinking 'here comes the fat girl'". Furthermore, negative self-talk becomes our beliefs about ourselves and therefore becomes reality.
We discussed this in detail, through the tears, and I've decided that this is an area that I will work on. The trainers put it to me like this: "if you are saying something to yourself that you would not say to your children, than you should not be saying it". They were right-I DARE somebody to call my child stupid, I DARE somebody to tell my child that they are ugly.
From now on, I have made a promise to myself that I will watch for these negative threats to my character, I will catch them and I will change them. I said earlier that I am a mental health consumer, and I am, I am also a recovering alcoholic, and a recovering addict. I am a wife, and a mother, and a peer specialist. I have a story, a recovery story, and that makes me a miracle!