Monday, May 3, 2010

Mary Karr, NST in the Extreme, and Prayer with Resistance

Here's an interesting add-on to the earlier post about prayer. Mary Karr, author of Lit, describes the extremely nasty self-talk she generates as she is recovering from alcoholism.

“ . . . my inner monologue—what you would hear more or less constantly, should we turn up the volume on it —went, Oh shit, stupid bitch. What’ve you done now? Fuckup fuckup fuckup . . . “

Later in the book, she notes with self-aware surprise, that prayer ultimately helped her to reduce the negative self-talk and moved her toward recovery, despite her long-term resistance to the Higher Power tenet of AA.

Prayer is really a form of cognitive restructuring, changing what you're saying to yourself, a big category of techniques that are useful in breaking the negative self-talk habit.
Mary Karr, NST in the Extreme, and Prayer with ResistanceSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend


  1. As you know, I've countered that sort of nasty self-talk with similarly nasty retorts: "Shut the **ck up! I'm not going to take that kind of abuse." And if the negative thoughts in my head are still too loud, then I drown them out by expressing my objections aloud (sometimes even in an outside voice).

  2. Any techniques that work are good from my perspective. I'd be interested to hear if any women reading this blog use as aggressive an approach to eliminating NST as you do. Maybe I'm stereotyping both men and women? I'm going to start keeping a list of no NST techniques and publish a blog post about it in a couple of months.


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