Humans rely on stories: the stories we tell our community, our family, our friends, and ourselves. We tell stories about why the weather turned bad. We tell stories about why we are here and where we’re going. We tell stories about why our loved ones pass away. Some of the most important stories we tell are the stories we tell about ourselves.
My own story comes in two versions: the one I tell others, and the one I tell myself. The one I tell others serves as a vehicle to explain my thoughts, feelings, and behavior to the outside world. The version I tell myself is similar, just not sanitized and much more negative and critical. I have found that this version of my story has been very self-limiting, as it has inhibited change and growth. I have avoided making changes by telling myself things like “That is impossible, you will fail because it’s always been this way.” There is good news, however: this is just a story. Because it’s just a story, it can be changed. This change can even occur rather quickly, without much resistance.
I feel that last point is what my recovery boils down to at the moment – if I can change the story I tell myself, anything is possible.