When I was a junior in college I had what I consider to be an emotional meltdown. It was one of those years where things snowballed from bad to worse, largely due to my own thinking. I binge ate candy bars, was in therapy facing a lot of old demons, and burned down all of my previously held beliefs and values. Thankfully this period of my life later allowed me to grasp many revelations which later allowed me to discover my purpose.
But during that junior year, there was not much good to be found. I was miserable.
After classes, I remember walking home to my dorm room (I was a RA, resident advisor) thinking about all the horrible things I said, how much everyone in class must hate me, and what a lousy woman I was. I dwelled on my lumpy thighs which previously were in fantastic shape months earlier. I counted every calorie I ate in the cafeteria.
By the end of the night I would be so calorically and emotionally bankrupt that I would binge eat before bed. There was a period of time where I couldn’t sleep in my room if there was chocolate.
I had to eat it that night.
“Starting Tomorrow I will stop eating chocolate for a month and be skinny.”
It was always about what I was going to do perfectly “Starting Tomorrow.”
But more than overeating, over-thinking really made my life a living hell.
I had an inner monologue that Would Not Stop. It was a mean voice that was critical of everything I did, said, or felt.
And for a long time, I believed the thoughts this voice told me. I allowed myself to recognize these thoughts as harsh, but true.
However, ever so slowly I began to rediscover my spirituality as an adult. Around this time I also started to question the catty chatter inside my mind.
And one day while standing in my dorm room, I noticed another ego rant amping up inside my mind.
Instead of listening to my ego spouting off all of my shortcomings, I decided to give that negative self-talk a name. I called it “smurgging.”
Why smurgging? I don’t really know, perhaps because the word sounds negative, petty, and ultimately untrue. Just like the crappy thoughts I heard in my head.
Then, every time I began to hear those gross, lingering doubts and fears, I just labeled those thoughts what they really were: smurgging.
Over time, the ability to label the negative thought process left the thoughts themselves weaker, less real. I started to recognize that they were not necessarily facts, but negative beliefs that could be stopped, or at least mostly ignored.
And as they became less important in my life, they stopped popping up quite as much. Which allowed me the space to let in good, positive things that helped me grow.
Just like our homes, sometimes we gotta take out the trash that accumulates in our minds.