It started with an innocuous event: I drove past a hairdresser’s window with a sign which proudly began
‘With over 10 years experience…’
My automatic negative thoughts responded instantly:
‘Oh my God, I’ve just started a business, I can’t put that. I have no experience AT ALL. I’m an idiot…’
Then, before the internal verbal abuse took hold, ‘something very strange’ happened: I answered. From deep within me, a different voice spoke, a voice I have tried (with varied success) to reach through countless CBT* strategies. And that strange but very welcome voice responded:
‘With over 40 years experience of board gaming…’
And there it was. Gone.
Now, I’m not an idiot (contrary to what some people – including part of me- may think) and I know it will take more than this. But it is still a massive step in the right direction for me.
My Imposter Syndrome and the general state of my mental health is perhaps best summarised by one of my inktober creations:
I have been plagued by self doubt for as long as I can remember. My own self doubt, and the part of me that actively hates me, gleefully seized onto the idea of Imposter Syndrome, then worked closely with they-who-shall-not-be-named (OFSTED) and Michael Gove, to systematically destroy me and to reduce a job I loved to a set of sticks to beat myself with.
Even in the dark times, this usually made me smile.
It is hard living with a person who you hate with a desperate sincerity. Don’t get me wrong, I have tried not to give in to ‘her’ -that nasty part of me who is so unforgiving- and I would never let her speak to other people the way she speaks to me. I have battled the air drawn monsters of my mind with varying levels of success and exhaustion. But that day, that moment, felt like victory. I had dealt a fatal blow. Surely she can’t have many life points left.
For the first time ever, the response was heartfelt, not the rehearsed mantras or stock CBT responses, which all work but sometimes even the edges of these seem a little frayed.
So, it is with untold pleasure and pride that I present my response to you:
‘With over 40 years experience of board gaming (including a dark period of being ‘too young to play Colditz, you’ll just ruin it), Cards or Die has all the gaming nerdery you’ll ever need.’
p.s. I take it back, I’m not sorry I shared this.
*cognitive behavioural therapy