The Power of Positivity
It’s something we hear a lot about, don’t we? The power of positivity and all the wonders it can do for us. Are you having a bad day? Don’t worry, just be positive! Change your outlook on life and it can lead to great things. Sounds great, doesn’t it? But is it all it’s cracked up to be?
Many of my therapists have said that positivity is just one of the stepping stones for a full or partial recovery. Speaking as a depressed person, I’d like to tell you that this is a lot harder said than done! With a brain full of negativity, being positive takes considerable energy and willpower that you just might not have. Moreover, it takes time to change your outlook, particularly if you’re stuck in a negative cycle. Time and energy, energy that you don’t always have.
In my own journey, I find it very hard to be positive. There are plenty of days when I feel that the darkness will never end. The proverbial light at the end of the tunnel has been switched off. Whether it’s the depression talking or a part of my genetic makeup, being positive is just something I don’t seem wired to do.
Being positive is just so hard…
Through Grey-Tinted Glasses
Imagine for a moment you’re looking at a beautiful countryside scene. Brilliant blue skies, a few fluffy white clouds, the lush green leaves of the trees swaying in the breeze, the yellow sun in the sky and a field of red flowers reaching towards the sun. Sounds lovely and picturesque, doesn’t it?
Now take all the colour out.
That’s right, imagine that you’re colourblind. You’re looking at exactly the same view but everything is different shades of grey. No pretty colours, just grey.
In my head, this is what it’s like for a depressed person to try and be positive. Beside you are people telling you about the wonderful myriad of colours swirling around them but you can’t see it. It’s as if you have grey-tinted glasses draining all the colour out of the world, leaving it that bleak, dark place that lacks any form of positivity. That is the challenge that I and so many others face daily. The positives are there, we just can’t see them.
Now, I’ve got nothing against colourblind people, don’t get me wrong, it’s just the best example I can think of to describe how I feel. It really is as if someone has fixed those grey-tinted glasses to your face and you can’t get them off no matter how hard you try. I mention this because someone was once telling me to be positive and, when I said that I try but positive thoughts just slide off, that person told me that I wasn’t letting them in. It was as though I had a choice in the matter. The way I see it, it’s part of my wiring.
The Better of Two Negatives
Paraphrasing the lesser of two evils a little bit, I think the better of two negatives is the best way to describe my outlook on life. Stuck with my obscured view of the world, the one without those positives around me, I often feel as though I’m going through the motions in life and my motivation comes from the lesser of two negatives. I know some might argue that that, in itself, is a form of positivity but they really do feel like negatives to me.
I know that seems bleak but sometimes I think it’s the only way I’ve made it through. I try and be positive – I really do – but sometimes it takes all my energy just to hold on. My friends keep telling me that I will get there, that I’ll make it, that I’ll come out of the darkness. Sometimes I believe them.
Isn’t that positivity?
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