“Just Be Positive”

I feel this post should come with a warning of ‘excessive language’. So there you have it.

“It’s not that bad.”
“It could have been worse.”
“There’s always a silver lining if you just look hard enough.”

Okay, stop right there.

Those words are all well and good, but

When said in the wrong way, or at the wrong time, it really pisses me off. And I know I’m not the only one.

It’s so invalidating. “Shut up and just listen. Listen to me, instead of spouting that bullshit.” I want to say.

Happy, positive quotes don’t make me feel better when I’m in a bad place. It makes me feel horrible. Because what’s wrong with me that I don’t feel that way? That these words don’t make me see things differently? That I can’t just repeat it over and over again and make it really sink in when I need it to?

I am just so sick of hearing people tell someone who has just opened up to them, that they should just look at the bright side. No, I’m sorry, but the sun doesn’t shine all the time. Sometimes it’s fucking dark and the rain is coming down in torrents. Can we control the weather too?

“You’re bringing it upon yourself”. Fine. Then that’s my burden to bear. It’s not your problem.

Just because there are people out there who have it worse than me, doesn’t mean that my problems and feelings are insignificant and should just be swept under the rug. That’s why I’m in the place I’m at right now. Where everything I had locked away in a great big closet and tried to forget about has come spilling out. There are things scattered everywhere, while I’m desperately trying to pick them up and shove them back in. But the more I try to shove it back in, the more I realize there just isn’t enough space anymore. So now I have to sit with, and sort through all these things. It’s overwhelming, and I don’t know where to start.

“I can’t drown my demons. They know how to swim.”

I’m allowed to feel like my life is shit sometimes. Just because I feel like that, doesn’t mean I’m oblivious to all the good. I can still appreciate a beautiful sunset, be grateful that I have a roof over my head, food to eat, somewhere warm to sleep. Despite what it seems like, I do count my blessings. But sometimes, I just can’t.

I’ve realized that by putting all this pressure on myself to “just be positive”, to be optimistic about everything just makes my anxiety sky rocket. I’ll be positive when I feel positive. I’ll embrace that positivity then. That feeling. But I also need to embrace the less optimistic emotions when they arise. Because they’re a part of me too.

I struggle with work. I don’t just get stressed from time to time. I’m almost constantly stressed. Why? Because I have to work harder to keep myself together and ‘stable’ than a lot of other people. It’s been this way with all my jobs. Even the one I enjoyed. The one I enjoyed still had me running to the bathroom when I got too overwhelmed, to hurt myself. On the surface, everything looks fine and dandy. But underneath, that’s where the struggle really is. Just because I’m apparently ‘high functioning’, doesn’t mean that things are easy. Yes, I’m truly grateful for my job, but I still get those moments where I just want to walk out and not go back. All thanks to these fucking emotions that aren’t happy just showing their faces… No, they have to punch, kick, bite and scream too. I had a face off with the scissor in my stationary holder today. It was a battle. But I ended up screaming instead. Silently, inwardly with all the force I could muster. I was so frustrated. In that moment, life and work just seemed shit. I wasn’t capable of seeing the good right then and there.

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Looking for the silver lining in a moment of turmoil, is like glossing over the very real pain and emotions. A silver lining can be found after I have calmed down somewhat, or when I’m ready to see it. Because pointing it out will not help me see it any clearer. I need to experience that moment for myself.

When we’re in the throes of something, forcing ourselves to just ‘be positive’ isn’t helpful. We’re essentially shutting down our very real need to accept what’s happening, to be able to deal with it effectively and move on. Healing doesn’t come from seeing the bright side. It comes from dealing with the emotions that arise, in our own time, and at our own pace, so that the bright side of our experience or pain can be seen in all it’s glory. And sometimes there just isn’t a bright side. There’s maybe just a less dark side. But sometimes that’s okay too.

“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” I fucking hate lemonade.

Rant over.

 

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36 thoughts on ““Just Be Positive”

  1. Reblogged this on SUMMER STARTS TO SHINE and commented:
    I STARTED A REVOLT A FEW DAYS BACK, ON BEHALF OF MYSELF AND MANY BLOGGER FRIENDS I KNOW WHO ARE BADASS MENTAL ILLNESS BATTLERS…WE ARE COLLECTIVELY GETTING QUITE SICK OF HOW PEOPLE RESPOND TO US SOMETIMES WHEN WE BLOG ABOUT OUR PAIN…THIS IS A GREAT POST WRITTEN BY A SURVIVOR SISTER OF MINE. AMEN. THIS GIRL SAID IT STRAIGHT! LISTEN AND BEHOLD, THE VOICE OF MY BEAUTIFUL RAYNE x

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Amen.

    Do they not realize we often spend time beating ourselves up for not being able to control how we feel? I got told yesterday that people would kill for the wedding I’m dreading – as if shaming me into feeling gratitude would work.

    The only one I add to this is when I’m not positive and someone goes “did you remember your pills today?”

    Umm.. fu.

    Also –> that closet analogy is the best one I’ve heard so far for how I feel. Thank you, and I am so glad you wrote this

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Exactly! We have enough shame and self hating going on, so their little platitudes really aren’t helpful. You have your reasons for dreading your wedding, and no one should tell you that your feelings about it are ‘wrong.

      Thank you PD. Yeah that closet analogy just came out while I was writing, and I was like “yes, that’s exactly it!”. 🙂 xx

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I agree… They can’t handle it, so we must shut up and just pretend everything is perfect. I think it makes people uncomfortable, because it makes them think of their own shit that they hide. Following your blog. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I am high functioning too Rayne, and I think it makes us get less support and feel more alone and not validated because we have been forced to LOOK FINE. Which is the opposite of what is going on inside of us. It creates a tremendous amount of internal pressure that if anyone could really see or feel they would NEVER react the way they do to us. I get you!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh my freaking God! I wrote a poem about this back in June under another alias. Here it is,

    *Pessimistic*

    It’s not fair to call someone
    a pessimist if there’s never
    a bright side to thier situation

    It’s like telling someone
    to think positive about the fact
    that the worst thing that could have
    just happened to them,
    has a brighter side or
    a happy ending

    ©tt72 aka she
    June 21, 2016

    And you tell it girl! At times I can not stand positive people! I was and am like you and could be down in the dumps and some “positive” person (I call these folks, “shiney happy people”) they’ll come along and tell me to either get over it, don’t think about it, find something to take my mind off of it or it’ll get better, blah, blah, blah! I’m thinking “How dare you, YOU HAVE NO IDEA!, You’re sitting up there telling things will be ok!? How do know? You can’t we my future !” Of course I’m thinking this, not saying it. But it’s how I feel and it hurts when insensitive expletive that. Rayne you have every right to feel the emotions you’re feeling and I don’t blame you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like what you wrote in your poem. It’s so true. Thanks for sharing it, my friend. Oh yes, the classic “find something to take your mind off it”. As if we haven’t tried that over and over again. I hear what you’re saying about them saying “it will get better” and that they have no idea whether that’s true or not. I tell myself the same shit, but I don’t even believe myself most of the time, lol.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Right. They have no idea how much if we could get up one morning and be “normal” what or whatever the hell that’s supposed to feel like. 😕
        One day I broke down in tears with my therapist telling her that it feels like no matter where I go, no matter how far, no matter who with, I don’t think I could ever be “happy” and that’s one the most scariest feelings of all. IT’S LIKE YOU CAN RUN, BUT YOU CAN’T HIDE. When will I ever get to feel WHOLE or COMPLETE , ya know?

        Like

  5. I like this post. I like to believe no one has anything worse than anyone else because all things are relevant. To each individual. What hurts for us may not necessarily hurt for someone else. And its with that sentiment in mind that no one should minimise another’s pain. Its very real for the person fighting it. We live with a brutal disease and at a time when we need support, we need a hug, not a stupid quote. ((hugs)) for you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I definitely relate – often the really awful feelings are related to a lot of physical activation and the body feeling triggered, which doesn’t get remedied with cognitive strategies (not to mention many of them are outright fluff); the feelings must be felt. I have become upset with my therapist around this issue many times, when she went cognitive when I just needed to be in the feeling to move through it. I think people mean well, they try. Being with someone’s pain is hard, our own, and watching others in pain, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree that spending too much time focusing on cognitive strategies, isn’t always the best way. It can actually be infuriating sometimes. People generally DO mean well, and just don’t know how to handle these things. I guess they just need to be educated on it.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and for referring me to this article. As I said in my comments to you, I can relate because I have suffered from severe depression in the past. I can relate to each and every word you write here, because I’ve thought each one myself, when in my depressive state. I think this is an important article. It highlights for people who haven’t suffered from depression, just how difficult it is for those of us who have. Thanks again! Thanks for your bravery and sharing your thoughts so openly with the world. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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