I Give Myself Two Thumbs Down

Think positively.

Look on the bright side.

Don’t be so hard on yourself.

Don’t worry; be happy.

Yeah; my brain’s not getting that memo. Despite hearing the merits of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or sitting through counseling sessions advocating positivity, I seem determined to stay stuck.

Negative thinking is easier. I’m used to it. I deserve it.

Let’s say a good thing happens, like a job promotion. It’s easier to remind myself of a few “facts:”
-No one else was available and that’s why I got it
-It probably wasn’t as high of pay as someone else would get AND I should get paid less
-Just wait till my boss sees how I perform; he’s likely to demote me again
-The company may collapse and I’ll be back where I was. I’d better not get comfortable.

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Cognitive Behavioral Thinking and methods like it are designed to break the ease and habit of negative thinking. I don’t know about you, but I’m terrible at breaking habits. I am so accustomed to seeing the dark side of life that I just do it. I would rather do it.

Further, as I said, that’s exactly what a person like me has coming to her. I am not smart, talented, good, or hard-working enough for the good stuff. Or -here’s the funny part- if I am, then I need to look around and acknowledge that I’m stealing that from someone else who deserves the goodness more.

Guilt.

Criticism.

Insults, even.

They are all designed to keep me in some pit of self-loathing so I do not ever rise up and see what’s possible.

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Why? Besides the ease, habit, and entitlement to rotten rewards; I’m afraid. I’m afraid of failure and disappointment. As terrible as I feel sitting around in my Venom cloak of darkness, I am convinced that situation is far better than risk. Depression must be better than hurt from expectation.

Right?

A few, happy balloon-like humans floating above the pollution say, “No.” Do I listen? Do you? If you’re anything like me, you ignore them. Sometimes, you pull out your trusty Nega-sniper and try to pick off a few. Why do they get to be happy when you know all the awful things sludging around us?

Yet, some part of me envies them. Some part of me wants to fly.

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Photo Credits:
Image by moritz320 from Pixabay
Glenn Carstens-Peters
Yanny Mishchuk
Jonathan Borba

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens

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12 Replies to “I Give Myself Two Thumbs Down”

  1. This is a great post. I was the negative thinker for 29 years. Now at 36 I barely recognize my old self, until I read this article. I found the right therapist and medication; combined with so much hard work and it turned my world around. I really enjoy your blog!

    1. Thanks, Zoey! I’ve had some time to do therapy and more of hormonal sorts of medication. If I hadn’t had a few life setbacks, I’d like to think my progress would continue. You’ve given me a lot of hope and I thank you. 🙂

  2. Hay Chelsea,
    I know what you mean, breaking the negative cycle isn’t a easy thing to do but I believe it can be done with time and lot of work.
    I hope you get there dear just keep working on it. 🌹

    ❤️✌️
    BY FOR NOW

  3. “Think positively.

    Look on the bright side.

    Don’t be so hard on yourself.

    Don’t worry; be happy.”

    Even for people without depression, that shit is hard. Worrying and negative thinking is part of how humans has survived; it’s in our DNA. It’s a predesposition we all live with. Some are just better at keeping it at bay than others.
    If you add depression into the mix, this predisposition gets much stronger. A big reason for that is the changes in our brain chemistry. (DISCLAIMER: I’m not a professional, but this is what I have learned from professionals.)
    Fighting a basic human predisposition isn’t easy. It’s a huge task that requires hard and constant work. Even just acknowledging that fact can be a big stepping stone on your way to recovery.
    Sometimes it gets too difficult. Sometimes you just have to give yourself a break.
    Remember that cognitive therapy involves much more than changing negative thinking to positive thinking. It’s also about acknowledging and understanding your way of thinking and WHY you’re thinking this way, and rationalizing your way out of it. It takes sooooo much pracitice. So try your best to not beat yourself up about it.

    Hope it makes sense. Let’s root for each other on our journeys to a healthier mental state!

    1. Wow. Thank you so much!

      I’ve been told the ‘brain chemistry’ thing, yet a counselor I went to insisted mine was a matter of negative thought processes. Potato, potahto -she never adequately explained her CBT methods so I could successfully positive my way out of that thinking.

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