I’ve always been known as a pretty positive person. I would say that I’ve always described myself as positive and optimistic. Always smiling and strong. Never letting anyone really see my sweat. It was never a role, it just felt like who I was. Little did I know a lot of the positivity was a survival tactic. You don’t have time to be a Debbie downer or sad when shit has to be done. You just have to figure it out and keep it moving. However, as I always say, life has a way of life-ing, and I found myself questioning positive thinking and if it was all a lie.
I got sick. I thought I was going to die. I was ready to give up. I was actually planning how people would find me. Dark, right? Yeah, I know. I couldn’t believe this was me myself. I was so defeated and the only positive I saw was waking up the next morning. Now, no need to worry, I wasn’t actually dying, it just felt like it. I was taking some information my body gave to me and amplified it times 1000 in my mind. It was bad and I didn’t know how to get out of it.
What was even more frustrating to me is that I felt like this wasn’t me. I wasn’t a negative Nancy. I was a positive sunflower so who the hell was this girl preparing for her death? In the words of the undeniably talented icon, Mariah Carey, “I didn’t know her”. All I knew was I didn’t like who I was and all I wanted to do was get back to positive rainbows and sunrays because this was for the birds.
So, positivity is great right? Of course, but not when it’s a shield to protect you from your real feelings. When I got sick, all I could do was deal with all those thoughts I had been suppressing for years. I felt so defeated. There was only the end and I just wanted to be prepared for the worst instead of ever thinking there could be a happy ending. I went in the complete opposite direction.
I hated the fact that this version of me existed. She wasn’t supposed to be like this. I felt like a complete fraud. Was being positive a scam? Was I a scam? I was going through it.
So, what happened next? I went to therapy because what else could I do? I needed help and I couldn’t figure it out alone.
After many sessions and much-needed help, I realized that me in my raw, negative form was just as much a part of me as a person as the positive version of myself. It didn’t mean I had to like it, it just meant I had to acknowledge it. Once I was able to acknowledge that version of myself, I was able to work on her. It didn’t mean she would ever go completely away, but I could work with her better.
The plight of positivity is the dismissal of everything else that doesn’t fit into that category. It can be just as lethal as the plight of negativity. I had to disconnect from my ultra-positive social media followers and holistically accept myself for who I was at that moment. It wasn’t easy but worth it. I’m still working on all of this, but I wanted to share my current relationship with positivity and myself. Here are a few takeaways as well:
- You should strive to find a silver lining when it’s available but know that when you dismiss all things negative just to get there, those same things have a way of coming back around in the worst way.
- It’s okay to feel negative feelings and let them out. It’s okay to not always be positive. That doesn’t make you less strong. It’s commendable to acknowledge all your thoughts and place them as you need in order to be okay.
- Sometimes in order to survive, we do what will get us through the best. That may mean ignoring every bad thing in your life and only focusing on the positives. Just know that you shouldn’t always be in a flight or fight mode.
- You must be willing to accept yourself for exactly who you are in order to start changing in any way you deem necessary. Just because you don’t like a certain part of yourself, doesn’t mean it’s not you. You can always learn to manage or fix it as much as you can but be willing to accept yourself as you are and that will make the work a lot easier.
- Always, always give yourself room to breathe. Any internal work you do is not going to be easy. You’re putting yourself to a test of exposing the true you. It’s okay to just be as much as it is to grind towards your internal goals.
- There’s always work to be done, so it’s also okay to be content in being undone.
Art stay Undone.