I’m a very positive person by nature, I always have been. Even though I’ve been through a lot and go through a lot each day, I always try to keep getting on with things the best I can, to look on the positive side of things. I find humour in hard times and moments of joy during dark days; I find ways to keep going as much as I can and get on with my usual routine.
Positivity is part of my personality
That’s not because it’s something I feel I ‘have’ to do, and it’s not something that I really think consciously about, it’s just part of who I am and it’s how I deal with things; it’s part of my personality. It’s how I cope with depressive episodes and hard times in life, and it works for me. It makes me happy to look at the good in situations, in people, and even in really difficult times. It makes it easier for me to remain stable to keep moving forward and to keep striving to maintain my level of functioning as much as possible.
It’s impossible to feel positive all of the time
When you have a mental illness however, by the very nature of the disorder, it’s impossible to feel positive all the time. Lately, I have had a lot on my plate and I have been feeling quite negative, quite sorry for myself, quite overwhelmed; what I am coming to realise more and more, is that it’s completely ok to feel negative.
We don’t always have to feel positive, we don’t always have to try and get on with things. Sometimes it’s ok to experience those negative feelings and that is completely valid; feeling those feelings and acknowledging them is not a sign of weakness and it’s not ‘giving in’ to the feelings. It’s natural when you are going through a lot to find that you are not able to see the positive side of things.
A journey of coming to terms with negativity
While I think I will always be someone who is naturally positive by nature even when things are hard, I am coming to terms with the fact that when I feel ‘sorry for myself’ that’s not something bad, and I don’t need to keep apologising for it or putting too much pressure on myself to get out of that mindset as quickly as possible. It will pass when it passes and I’m allowed to feel how I feel.
I am learning to stop being hard on myself for feeling this way, but it is a journey and a process for me. I am learning that it’s ok to complain, to grumble, to say that I’m struggling, to not try and just keep going; it’s ok to stop and allow myself to feel those negative feelings.