I’ve had about 20 years of chronic physical illness. In the course of healing my body, I’ve had to put intense scrutiny on my emotional reactions and their impact on my overall health. It has been both extremely difficult and supremely rewarding.
Below I've compiled some of the insights I've gleaned from the decades of struggle. Why should you have to work this hard, too? You shouldn’t! I've distilled this hard-won wisdom into a simple format. You’re welcome, friend.
Here are 10 easy steps to free yourself from all your Inner Demons: negative patterns, intrusive thoughts, or the burden of self-doubt.
1. Wake up in the middle of the night and silently flip on the lights. Stomp the demons before they have a chance to hide.
2. When you feel a demon closing in, shout “BNARDOJ DENGOT BLOTEI!” while holding up both palms.
a. This roughly translates to “bedevil not my horses” in an ancient dialect related to Aramaic.
b. Addressing the demon in its language will briefly stun it, so that you may hit it with a tennis racquet.
3. Make a schedule for yourself and try your best to adhere to it. Sunlight, regular food and sleep, and moderate exercise will regulate your biorhythms, allowing mind and body to return to health.
a. While you’re at it, can you sort out nuclear fission? Thaaaaaaanks.
4. Sometimes a demon will appear as someone you love, and will trick you into believing it because your love has made you blind. Short-circuit that demon! It is best to stop loving or trusting anyone.
5. You can sometimes siphon away a demon’s control of your mind by sobbing or cackling. It jiggles their tentacles’ grasp on your brain. Then BAM!, tennis racquet.
6. Find a mirror. Argue with the demon until you win. Do not let the demon distract you. Do not believe the demon’s lies. Note: make sure you have ample time, as demons are both wily and wordy.
a. THAT IS NOT YOUR MOTHER
b. THAT IS THE DEMON
c. GO AWAY, MOTHER, WE DO NOT HAVE TIME FOR THIS
7. Studies show that inner demons are repelled by Justice+Simian’s ‘00s banger “We Are Your Friends.” Unfortunately, it also repels most people over the age of 35.
a. We recommend making this your ringtone.
b. Calling yourself repeatedly will have the bonus effect of making you seem very busy and popular (again: sorry, people over 35.)
8. In bygone eras, emotional stability would be regained by balancing the humours: bile, black bile, sanguine, and…Dengue Fever? We now know this is absurd. Modern medicine recommends taking a super dose of Benadryl and blacking out at a Williams-Sonoma.
9. Demons cannot enter a threshold without first asking permission. Wrap your head and heart in aluminum foil to provide an extra barrier against their proboscises.
10. With some creative thinking, that restrictive straitjacket can be transformed into one prolonged self-hug. The intense self-criticism can’t get you now! You’re too busy loving yourself.
Now you're Demon-Free and loving it! Peel off that foil and go get yourself a croissant. You deserve it, you beautiful, strong, emotionally stable warrior.
As always, thanks to the inimitable Scott Fogel for the art.