Generally, I’m a happy and positive person. Take away all my traumas, depression, anxiety, and whatever the hell else, I love life. However, since I’ve spent so much of my life focused on the pain of what I’ve been through, the negative thoughts can sometimes tend to crowd my mind.
I have records playing in my mind almost constantly. And they’re not very helpful. Over and over these records tell me how worthless I am, how pathetic I am, how weak I am, etc. Sometimes these records are louder than other times. And sometimes, something triggers these records to play and they’re all I can possibly hear.
Lately, I’ve made great improvements on how loud these records are. Again, sometimes they drown out everything else but, they’re a lot quieter than they used to be. They used to be so loud that writing something like this would have been impossible. They’re still kind of there right now, probably because I’m writing about them.
I’ve had it drilled into my mind all the negative things people think about me. And it really screwed with my mind because I didn’t feel like those things were true about me. And that’s it, that’s how you know they’re lies, they don’t line up with the truth about who you are.
I’m still learning how to better manage these negative records in my mind. I’m learning every day. But, here’s what I’ve learned so far.
**I am in no way a professional. These are personal experiences and what has helped me. Please seek professional help if you’re struggling with depression, anxiety, PTSD, or anything else.**
1. Let The Clouds Come And Go
This may sound a like a little bit of bullshit but, it’s actually helped me lately. Imagine your thoughts and emotions like clouds. Clouds float by. They come and go. They don’t hang around forever and your thoughts/feelings don’t need to either.
I’ve had someone suggest to just learn how to clear your mind and not think. That’s helped him. And that’s great! Maybe one day I can get to that point as well. But, right now, I’m not there. I need something kind of in between. So, I’m learning to be okay with the thoughts/feelings coming and going. I struggle hard to fight them. Or, I just give them all the power over my life. We can learn to observe them, ask yourself questions on whether they’re true or not, and allowing them to teach us or leave us.
I beat myself up so much when I feel certain ways. But, just accepting what I’m feeling is something that keeps that negative record quiet. Sometimes, even silent. This does take a lot of practice. Trust me, it’s worth it.
2. Ruin The Bad
You know how when something good happens, we instantly think, “okay, what bad thing is about to happen?”
I actually recently did this. I got some great news and ruined it by wondering what bad thing is going to happen. Sure enough, a bad thing did happen. Because, that’s life. It’s true, something bad will eventually happen. Unfortunately, that bad thing to happen was the loss of a friend.
While I was struggling with grief (and still am), I found a new thought process for myself. And I started to wonder why so many of us don’t fucking think this way!
We’re so quick to ruin our happy. We almost instantly ruin it by waiting for the next bad thing. Why not use that logic in the opposite way? I mean, it’s true either way you look at it. When something bad happens, if you wait for something good to happen, it’s just as likely as the other way around.
Good and bad come and go. When something good happens, something bad will eventually happen. But, when something bad happens, something good will eventually happen as well. That’s life.
This thought process has helped me to not soak in misery. Which I, and others, love to do. We absolutely love to just drown in our sorrows. We so quickly lose sight of the light at the end of the tunnel. Keep that light, no matter how small it may seem. Something good will eventually happen. Ruin the bad.
3. Prepare For The Bad
Yeah, this sounds like I’m going back on what I just said but, hang on!
When you’re happy, and good things are happening, we fear the next bad thing so much because in the past we let ourselves get lost in the good and forget that bad is a thing. So, when the bad did eventually come, we were devastated and now we no longer allow ourselves to get lost in the happy.
Getting lost in the happy can be an amazing thing. And I encourage it for an amount of time. However, what’s helping me is to remember that life comes with both good and bad. I’m aware that eventually, something not so great is going to happen. I’m not getting lost in worrying about what that bad thing will be, but I’m building my strength to be able to face it.
How I’m building my strength is to pray for God’s strength. I’m also reminding myself that I’ve been through some shit, and I’m still here. I can’t tell how bad the next bad thing will be. I can’t promise myself I won’t be phased by it. It’ll still hurt, I’ll still be upset but, I know now that I don’t have to stay there. I can get myself back out.
4. Have Faith
I’m a Christian, my faith has always been a major part of my life. Even when I wander and get distracted from it, it’s still a major part of who I am.
More recently, I’ve began to grow in my faith again and it’s completely changed my life. I talk to God in ways I’ve never talked to Him before. I’ve been trusting in Him more than before. He’s moved in my heart and my life in ways that sound crazy and like I’ve totally lost it. But, I’m thankful for it.
Before, I struggled so much trying to handle it on my own. I had the weight of the world on my shoulders, and it showed. I was always exhausted. Even though I didn’t do a damn thing. I would sleep on the sofa all day, sleep in bed all night, and be completely exhausted. I didn’t have the energy or strength to do anything. Since I’ve given my worries and stress over to God, it’s like the weight has lifted. Some of it’s still there because, you know, I’m human. But, it gets better. I have the energy now to tackle life, to actually live.
5. Just Hold On
I get in these places where I hold on to something so tightly that it takes over my world. It becomes all I think about. It becomes my motivation for everything I do. And then, I obsess over trying to completely let it go. Not worry about it, not think about it, not have it in my life at all.
I was talking to my therapist about letting certain things go and she gave me a new way to think about it. You can still hold on to things, still have emotions attached to it, but keep it at more of a distance. So, that’s what I’m learning to do.
There’s something that I’ve been holding on to. And I’ve been beating myself up about it, making myself feel pathetic for it, because logically, it shouldn’t matter to me anymore. But, it does.
So, I’m teaching myself to allow myself to hang on to it, but not as tightly. I don’t want to let it go completely. It means so much to me, I don’t want to see it go. If it comes to a point where even holding on at a distance is unhealthy, then I’ll let it go fully. As for right now, it’s nice to have hope.
I hope this helps anyone who needs it. If you have more ideas of things that help, I’d love to hear in the comments!