The running script in your head can be a source of power or a reason to give up. Often, this script comes to us from parents who had a tough life and are trying to prepare us for more of the same. However, with work, you can figure out how to flip the script on your personal narrative to create positive change.
One of the greatest miseries of growing up in addictive household is that you can’t depend on the adults around you. This may have trained you to give up before you got started. It may have made you comfortable in being alone and doing whatever you had to do to get away from a dangerous or depressing home. It may have trained you to believe that you could never have a better life.
Laying the Emotional Groundwork for Success
The training for a miserable life that was drummed into you may have led you to using drugs or alcohol to shut down some voices and scripts. While that shutting down may have actually worked, it’s not the same as creating a positive mindset. Flipping the script may require that you first undergo
- individual counseling
- family counseling
Here’s the thing about family misery; for some, it’s a comfortable normal. It may not be pleasant, but it is reliable. Changing your brain can be wrenchingly difficult. Your worldview was given to you by flawed but often beloved folks. If your father drank and your mom enabled, you have a choice of two bad examples on whom to base your behavior, no matter how much you loved them.
Of course, a negative mental script doesn’t just impact your home life. Work can be extremely challenging if your script is less than healthy. If you were raised to believe that you are a screw-up or not worthy, you may strive to always be perfect in your job. Because you’re human, you’re going to make mistakes. How do you respond to such an error?
You can become angry with yourself, and with those around you, or you can give up and find a new job. If this is a pattern in your life, always seeking a fresh start, counseling could help you to accept yourself as a human who MAKES mistakes instead of thinking of yourself as a human who IS a mistake.
Your script may also be based on resisting. If you rejected the behaviors of the addictive parent, you may actually still have an addictive personality even if you don’t drink or use drugs. The rigidity of your worldview may still be destructive, even if your body and brain aren’t struggling with the damage caused by chemical abuse. You may be mistrustful of humans around you, unwilling to risk being hurt or willing to cut people off for making a mistake or developing the illness of addiction. You’re safe, but the isolation can be extremely destructive.
Many who struggle with a destructive personal script are terrified of change. Because life is pretty much nothing but change over time, this can make for a miserable life. When you’re faced with changes, you can flip your script by thinking of one thing in your life that will be better after a change. If you get a new computer at work, you may be able to make faster calculations. If you have to move to a different house, you may be closer to your work, your favorite grocery or your child’s school.
Finally, be very careful about maintaining your personal “normal” if your childhood home was chaotic from addiction. You may seek a life with a person who produces chaos. You may end up working for someone who loves disruption, deadlines, and pressure because you are there to shield them. Such feelings may be normal, but they’re not healthy.
A negative worldview may feel safe. A negative view of your own value can feel and appear humble, but there’s a huge difference between being humble and letting the world humiliate you. If you find yourself ducking and covering, thriving on conflict or preparing your children for a tough life with a running script of negativity, get help. Your siblings may use your strength to get help. Your parents may even join in. Your children will have a better life thanks to your work. Help is available. Our counselors are available 24 hours a day at 833-497-3812.