Depression Marathon Blog

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Diagnosed with depression 19 years ago, I lost the life I once knew, but in the process re-created a better me. I am alive and functional today because of my dog, my treatment team, my sobriety, and my willingness to re-create myself within the confines of this illness. I hate the illness, but I'm grateful for the person I've become and the opportunities I've seized because of it. I hope writing a depression blog will reduce stigma and improve the understanding and treatment of people with mental illness. All original content copyright to me: etta. Enjoy your visit!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Negativity is exhausting

Recently, I had the opportunity to spend several days in close contact with someone with whom I rarely spend time. For this person the glass is always half empty. You know the type? Regardless of what is going on, this person sees the negative side of it. Anything legitimately negative is always the result of some conspiracy, and this person is always on the short end of the stick. The world, in a nutshell, is against this person. What a waste. I wish I had the days I spent with that person back.

That person, unfortunately, was quite vocal in expressing all opinions and displeasure. It wore me out! I couldn't handle it. I can't handle negativity in general. I don't listen to political news or political talk shows because of all the negative speech and name calling. I don't watch reality television. I don't listen to cranky radio personalities. I don't need that negative energy. I'd much rather surround myself with something positive.

As a result of working the steps of my recovery program, I attempt to maintain a positive attitude. I no longer feel the world is out to get me. There are no conspiracies. I'm not that important. I try to see the glass as half full rather than half empty. Given the opportunity, I look for hope in difficult situations. Don't get me wrong. I'm not always happy, joyous and free, and I'm no Pollyanna. But I now realize how much energy negativity saps from me. It's not worth it. My energy is too valuable to waste.

I'll never get those days spent with vocal negative person back, but they weren't entirely wasted. The time spent actually reinforced my desire to stay positive. Spending that time also reminded me of how I used to be. I no longer have to live that way. I feel sorry for vocal negative person. That person is completely unaware of how much simpler and pleasant life can be. I am grateful today to live simply.


Anonymous said...

You are so right! And great way to find the positives in a negative situation!!!

Irene said...

I think life lies beyond negativity and positivity. And reality shows aren't anything but gossipy drama. I lose my substance and energy more in future dread and past loathing and amplifying feelings which are simply feedback.

Positivity/negativity is too black and white and actually permits you to choose positive rather than your negative friend. It is very political afterall.

Not that I blame you, we're having trouble enough feeling drained and deflated. But I wonder what really stops the flow of vitality. Would it help to be more assertive, to honestly tell a friend to lighten up because this is just to draining on the spirit right now instead of labeling someone and casting them out like we habitually do to ourselves?

That person you may not enjoy overall, but positivity/negativity is too judgmental I think. Do we silently brew instead of assertively expressing ourselves? I know I want to be a full person myself, free to make mistakes, be in a bad mood, etc. without hopefully being voted off the island as " negative" or not.

Thank you for stirring up my thoughts. You hit home with me here.

Irene said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
etta said...

@ Irene: No worries. If you're having a bad day, I won't vote you off the island. However, if you CHOOSE to be vocally negative for days on end, I will CHOOSE to take my canoe and paddle home.

Irene said...

Clever response, Etta. Sometimes we just need to agree to disagree. There really are conspiracies out there and a need for critical thinking. But i will calmly let you paddle away as I go downstream awhile.