By Patricia O’Gorman, PhD
September is Recovery Month. We’ve had an entire month of reminders that we can change how we feel by changing our actions, our friends, even our diets. Hmmm?
Recovery is a different process than a cure, and much as we would like a cure for depression, addiction, and even our own negative thinking, there just isn’t one. But we have something that in some ways is even better.
Instead of being cured by something done to you, you get to do something to yourself that changes you and brings you into wellness. And you get to invite others into the party that is your wholeness.
Recovery involves paradoxes, one of which is that recovery is a process that only you can do, but you can’t do alone. Recovery involves utilizing your community to develop the support you need to make the changes you require to live the life you deserve. Recovery is so much better than a cure because it connects you to others who share the same struggles.
Detox From Your Inner Trash Talk (Girly Thoughts)
Your inner trash talk, your girly thoughts, are those societally informed thoughts that tell you if you are not perfect in your looks, in your actions, that any negative response you receive is your fault.
It’s time to detox from those and start your recovery! That recovery, too, is a paradox. Only you can do it, but you also can’t do it alone.
Yes, you need your girlfriends and even your guy friends, and maybe even your family, to support you in the process of:
- Identifying those thoughts that tear you down and make you responsible for the poor actions of another, such as an abusive boyfriend or a mean boss
- Naming these unproductive thinking as girly thoughts
- Realizing that you are not the only person who is thinking them, so you can stop thinking you are nuts
- Learning to replace this inner trash talk with thoughts that support you.
So as we approach the end of Recovery Month, celebrate by making recovery work for you. Join the process. Get support for feeling better by changing how you speak to the person closest to you: yourself. Recover from your girly thoughts!
Patricia A. O'Gorman, Ph.D., is a psychologist in private practice. She is noted for her work on women, trauma, and substance abuse and for her warm, inspiring, and amusing presentations that make complex issues accessible and even fun. She has served as a consultant to organizations across the country in preventative and clinical strategic planning. Dr. O'Gorman is a cofounder of the National Association for Children of Alcoholics, and she has held positions ranging from director of a rape crisis center to clinical director of a child welfare agency, and director of the division of prevention for the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). She is a veteran of numerous television appearances, including Good Morning America, Today, and AM Sunday and is the author of eight books including: The Girly Thoughts 10 Day Detox Plan (2014), The Resilient Woman: Mastering the 7 Steps to Personal Power (2013), and Healing Trauma Through Self-Parenting (2012) 12 Steps to Self-Parenting.