Affirmations

Affirmation #22 — Serenity prayer

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God, grant me the serenity

to accept the things I cannot change,

the courage to change the things I can,

and the wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time,

One moment at a time;

Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace;

Taking this sinful world as it is,

not as I would have it;

trusting that things will be okay.

 


 

(This poem/prayer comes from Christianity, but I think the main sentiments can be adapted for any religion or lack thereof. Personally, I don’t believe in God at the moment, so I cut out and changed parts of it to a version that I like. I kept the “God, ” part in the beginning because it felt weird to me to not address someone, but I’m thinking of it as more of “the universe.”)

I read this a lot in the time after my uncle and then grandmother died.

Affirmations

Affirmation #21 — I am capable of dealing with overwhelming situations!

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I am capable of dealing with overwhelming situations!

I’ve gotten through many situations in my life that I thought were overwhelming at the time. This past summer, I worked as a camp counselor, and there were times when we had 17 campers were running in five different directions, tripping, falling, and crying, while parents arrived to pick other campers up, and other campers were in an intense, friendship-breaking argument over trading pokemon cards, and someone else had to go to the bathroom… it was a lot, but I dealt with it at the time, and over time it got easier! I can handle several things going on at once. It’s part of learning to do the job. I can deal with each, prioritize, delegate, and politely excuse myself from things that aren’t pressing. There are ways of dealing with overwhelming things, and I can do them.

I was also working at a program recently that involved selling lots of items stacked high in a garage-sale sort of event. Things topped over somewhat regularly, and we had three things fall over within ten minutes, two with broken glass! It was very stressful! But you know what, I got through it. I dealt with each fall, asked others to help, washed the broken-glass dust off my hands (no one was hurt), and then asked the person in charge if I could take a break and if we could have more help in my section. Problems solved! I think I was able to deal with it then because of how good I got at dealing with lots going on at once over the summer.

I am also capable of dealing with overwhelming things in the sense that I’ve made it through trauma and many, many reminders and flashback-y events. I have survived all of those, too, and have improved in the ways that I deal with them.

And even when I don’t deal with things in the most effective ways, I am still dealing with them.

Yes, it may be challenging, but I am capable of dealing with it!

Affirmations

Affirmation #20 — A speck of sand

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This is a speck of sand on the seashore of my life.


This is something that my 10th grade English teacher used to say. That vocab quiz that everyone’s freaking out about? It seems important now, but in the scope of your life, it is a speck of sand. It’s okay if you don’t do that well. Applying to colleges? Maybe that’s bigger than a speck of sand — a seashell — but think about the seashore.

In high school, my friends and I would remind each other, “A speck of sand on the seashore of your life!” before tests. It just adds a bit of perspective through some nice imagery. 🙂

Affirmations

Affirmation #19 — In this moment, I am safe

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In this moment, I am safe.


Look around yourself. Do you see any immediate threats? If so, please flee, fight, or do what you need to do to stay safe, but otherwise, hey! You’re okay! No one knows what the next moment will bring, but right now, you are safe.


When I’m in a car and start to get scared that we’re going to tip over when we go around a curve or something, I look around and see that in this moment, we are not tipping over. In this moment, we are safe. Then the next moment comes. I look around. We’re still safe. The next moment. We’re still safe. And then my anxiety starts to go down.

Affirmations

Affirmation #18 — I have gotten through this before, and I will get through it again

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I have gotten through this before, and I will get through this again.


Some of the things I struggle with come up again and again. (note: mentions of self harm and suicidal urges) I think that I did something wrong, I feel intense shame, and I want to hurt myself. I haven’t been sleeping or eating enough, haven’t seen my friends in a while, feel like I never get a break from the grind, and nothing is pleasurable anymore. I get my period, and the pain is so bad that I want to die. A trauma reminder comes up, and I feel so scared and overwhelmed.

In times like these, I find it helpful to remind myself that even though it seems overwhelming, awful, and like it will never end, it has ended before. I have gotten through these things before and come out on the other side. In fact, I have coped well in healthy, effective ways! I am capable of managing this.

I have dealt with strong emotions before, and I will deal with these ones, too. I have gotten through the before, and I will get through it again.

Affirmations

Affirmation #16 — I am imperfect

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cannot be perfect.

It is impossible.

I cannot do everything.

I cannot prevent everything bad from happening.

I am imperfect.

The world is imperfect.

It sucks sometimes.

It’s the way it is.

I have a life to live,

Not a death to prevent.


 

This affirmation is maybe not as uplifting as some of the others, but it can be freeing. It’s more about radical acceptance of my inability to control everything.

I was in a bad car accident a few years ago, and for a long time afterwards, I fixated on the things I could have done to prevent it and ways to be safer in the future. I was very cautious. I avoided traveling, long car trips, and driving on the highway because I feared they would lead to situations where another accident would happen. I carried safety gear around with me wherever I went. My backpack was big and bulky, but I carried it with me everywhere.

Over time, these things and many more worsened my PTSD because I was avoiding so much and made me depressed because I was limiting my life. I ended up in a partial hospital program, and, with the help of my therapist, realized that some things in my life needed to change.

Some bad things will happen no matter how hard I try to prevent them. It’s sad and awful and makes me feel scared, helpless, and out of control, but it’s true. There are some measures I can take to be safe, of course — always wearing my seatbelt, maybe keeping a resQme tool in the glove compartment of the car but not carrying it with me otherwise, practicing driving on the highway when it’s less busy so that I build up my driving skills over time, etc. — but staying in my safe bubble was making my life miserable. Thus, I have a life to live, not a death to prevent. I can’t do everything, but I will do what I can and live my life.