Having a mental illness and chronic pain to boot sometimes makes it a struggle for me to see the positive side in anything. The best way to describe what it’s like during a bad patch is this:
I’m a prisoner of my mind
You can’t escape your thoughts that pop in and out during your day. They just happen and pass. My inner dialogue however, tends to be more negative than not and so very hard to ignore. They’re loud and and plenty and fast and anxious and intrusive and they tell me I’m not good enough for air and they come when I’m shaving my legs or sitting in public:
My brain is an exhausting place some days.
I joke with my husband and tell him that I am my own full time job. I have to work at weeding through negative thoughts by replacing them with positive ones or “truer ones” and in the process I actually have to live outside of my brain. You know, be a functioning adult. And let me tell you, life happens both wickedly fast yet painfully slow when you’ve worn yourself down to the bones.
None of it feels like it’s in your control.
Things I do to help me try to be positive – writing things I’m thankful for, things I have accomplished, and things that made me smile. I take pictures of things that make me happy. I pin quotes on Pinterest that are supposed to turn crap into silver linings, meditation, yes to medication, deep breaths in the bathroom…
Slow down – Stop – Refocus – Restart
Sometimes it’s not enough. Sometimes I do give in and just lay there and be.
You know, the people who can simply shake a bad thing off by just thinking positively?
“Look on the bright side!”, you’ll hear them say to you.
I wish. I wish I could just look to whatever side is brightest and let it all roll off my shoulders like they do. But for me, things just stick. My thoughts stick.
And nothing makes me feel worse, nothing makes me feel like there is something horribly wrong with me than when a Positive Patty says:
“You’re miserable. You’re so negative. You’ve been bitchy.”
I truly believe that there are some people in my life who think that I can conjure up happy thoughts and magically erase the “bad juju” away – that happiness is a choice.
It’s a yes or a no.
As if I keep choosing soul crushing depression y’all…
But that’s not how it works.
Medicated – my moods ride roller coasters that Disneyland won’t ever be able to replicate.
And damn it all, life is sometimes garbage. Like doesn’t your panties twist in a bunch from time to time?
Do you ever turn into a “Stick The Sun In Your Ass Cass” kind of a gal?
I dropped a litre of milk on the kitchen floor, that hot mess that I can’t mop up because I threw my back out coughing four days ago and I shouted “Mother EFFFFFFFFFF!”
There’s nothing positive about spilled milk. It’s sticky. My dog quickly tried to lap it up like he just discovered liquid cocaine. Did an awful job of it because he’s blind. Half of it was pushed under the fridge.
Self loathing soon swooped in –
I wish I wasn’t so crippled up right meow.
I really hate winter, the corner nubs on my socks because I can’t bend to untwist them, constipation, and your mom – just kidding. I bet she’s nice.
I hate the fact that we only got 3 Christmas cards this year because I keep thinking “Well maybe I was too negative and everyone hates me”, family dysfunction, and shitty genetics.
And I definitely hate gas prices – screw you.
Negative, negative, negative.
Life isn’t always positive. It’s totally OK to feel negative when something really bad happens. Hell, it’s OK to feel negative feelings period (I mean it’s not OK, but if you feel them, know it’s OK and there’s help). And it’s also OK to express how you’re feeling as long as you’re not being an asshole to others.
And when I mean expressing feelings, I mean talk to someone, write it out (like I’m doing because I feel like imploding), art, dance, go to the gym. I don’t know – get that shit out.
We are human.
We feel all sorts of things besides happiness.
I. Can’t. Be. Positive. All. The. Time.
But every day I will continue to try look for the good and if I can’t find it or feel it — well that’s OK too.
I am not sorry if people don’t like the way I am when I am well or not well.
This is me.
Please stop telling me that I am negative.
Why not say something like, “Hey, are you ok?”
Open that can of worms.
Talk to me instead of putting me down and shutting me out.
I will leave on this positive note:
No matter how I am feeling, I am always forever grateful for these two stinky cheeses every day:
- we wanted to forget that 2016 happened but then we took drunk pictures of us wearing hideous 2017 glasses.
How do you handle people who are always telling you to cheer up buttercup?