I like to think that I come from a place of ‘glass half full’ and look at things from a positive spin rather than falling into the easy trap of being negative. I’ve been studying and practicing Buddhism since 2007 and have been actively meditating that whole time. And due to a very dear friend’s suggestion have dived head first into Kundalini yoga, of which I am going on an immersive retreat June 5-9 (ack!)
This doesn’t mean that I am perfect and that I don’t have some negative thoughts once in a while. Because I do, and of late I have been really trying to be more self aware on how I present myself to others. Being an office manager and executive assistant, it’s essential that I am considered approachable and essentially be a positive force here at work. No one likes a grumpy office manager. True we all can’t be cracked out happy all the time, but it’s definitely easier to be in a better frame of mine here at my new gig than at my last job. Oy, that was such a nightmare
I often say that I don’t understand anxiety or clinical depression. Why worry about things you have no control over? The Genius that is my housemate, he who never leaves his room, like ever, has bad anxiety and although he’s gotten a LOT better, he still says that his thoughts physically make an effect on him, rendering him completely unable to leave his room.
I lost my dear friend DJ to depression in November. It sliced through my heart to learn that he took his own life, that he planned out how everything was supposed to go after he did, his affairs were all in order, he just needed the right time to leave. It’s confusing and maddening to me, how someone so wonderful, talented, funny, (insert superlative here) can just be in so much pain that he didn’t want to be here anymore.
I had a glimmer into that world of depression and anxiety this year however. I sought counseling because I was deep in a whirling mind tornado of self-hate, bottomed out self esteem, just no confidence whatsoever. I am not going to say that I am over it, as I still struggle with body positivity and self-love and appreciation, but I got it now, I understand what makes someone teeter on that edge. Would I call it depression? I don’t know, I suppose it’s the easy way to describe it. I learned from talking with someone that I can’t think for other people. Others in my life will tell me I am (insert superlative here) and that’s all just words to me, unless I truly believe it of myself. My therapist said, why would these people lie to you? At any rate, it’s been quite a journey, one that I have been on for far too long. It’s a process, I am getting better at it
I started to pay attention to my words, how I expressed myself, and noticed how I complain about something and how often I am stuck in a whirlwind of negativity and complaining. Nothing in my life is worth complaining about. Not much in anyone’s life is worth complaining about, when you think about it. I have a job that I am finally happy and fulfilled in. I am still NED from cancer. I am working diligently to pay down my debt and watch my spending after quite a frantic ‘need to fill this hole with stuff’ couple of years (Now I have credit card debt and a bunch of crap I really don’t need/want/use/etc. and what hole that was supposed to be filled is still a mystery). I have a lovely place to live, I have an insanely amazing tribe of friends. So much positive and no room for negative
I noticed that in my every day conversations how people would turn everything into a negative. Everything was about them, how it would benefit them, and I would try to come up with a positive spin to what they were saying and I instantly recalled how others would try that with me to get out of my negative self-talk spiral. So so easy dishing it out, not so easy putting it into practice
In February I got the call that my best friend and confidante was away on business only to find out his partner had died suddenly. It’s tough to find ways to support someone when they are grieving and to not make it about yourself. It’s really tough. All I wanted to do was hold him, listen to him, be there in some way for him.
Two weeks ago, I got the call that my dear friend who helped me get into training for the AIDS Lifecycle had passed suddenly. As the word spread in our community of his passing, riders and friends reached out to me, to see if I was ok. It confused me at first, this outpouring of support, like why were they checking in on me, shouldn’t we be checking on his partner? It wasn’t until I realized that we were all connected, that we were all reaching out to everyone to hold us up as we grieved, that I found comfort in all of these calls, notes and texts.
Losing 3 dear souls in 6 months is like the capper on this whole complaining, negative world view thing. I am deep in the ‘put myself in their shoes’ mentality now, and being in this space has opened my eyes to a more positive mindset and gives me pause before I start on a negative path. So far it’s been putting my mind in a much better state. And I think my negative friends think twice about engaging me in their negative chatter