FOCUSING ON THE POSITIVE

     Life really stinks. It seems like all the bad stuff happens to you and you’re the only one suffering. No one else is facing what you are. They are all walking around in their happy worlds while you are sinking into deep sadness. You keep falling apart and they keep smiling. It’s not fair. Not only do you struggle with this horrible illness of the mind, but bad stuff keeps happening to you. Why go on? Why fight for happiness? Do you even know what happiness is anymore? It just hurts to live.

     It is so easy to get caught in this frame of mind. It’s hard to see anything past the negative. This type of thinking eats you up inside. It crushes you. When your mind is sick, it’s hard to see any good in life. Thinking positively is impossible. How do you change this thinking if nothing in your life is good?

     I’ve struggled with negative thinking practically all my life and at times I still do. I’m going to have my ninth surgery on July 27. That day three years ago I had a double mastectomy. Each time I have another surgery, I go to that dark place in my mind. The negative thoughts bombard me.

Why do I keep having surgeries? Is God punishing me? It’s not fair. My body is already full of scars. My husband is twelve years older than I and has never had a surgery. Why am I’m the one with all the problems? My life sucks. Bad things keep happening to me. It will never end. We won’t be able to pay our bills, and we will go bankrupt. I can’t go through another surgery. Why doesn’t anyone else have to go through as much as me?

The thoughts go on. They course throughout my soul and send me into a depression. I cry, I get angry, and I start falling into that hole I worked so hard to get out of. Is it worth it? How could I let my mind tear me down? I spent years learning to look for the positive. My therapist had me keep a journal of positive things, and she gave me charts to fill out. The charts had one side that said, “Negative thoughts” and the other one said, “Positive thoughts”. I had to write down my negative thought and change them into positive ones. I did the work, yet I still get caught up in that negative thinking.

When I was at my worst, I thought the negative thinking was all there was. My therapist taught me there are other ways to look at the bad things in our lives. I don’t have to see life’s challenges as black and white. I don’t have to live in pure darkness. Fighting my thoughts at first seemed impossible. As I worked on it, it slowly got easier.

Even though I still fall into that frame of thinking, I have techniques to help me fight it. I don’t have to let my thoughts push me down anymore. I don’t have to allow my depression to rule my life. I can rise above it.

I decided I won’t let this next surgery push me into the hole again. I will combat my thoughts. I can’t say that I won’t struggle with the negative thoughts, but I’m going to work hard to focus on the positive. You may ask what is good about having a ninth surgery? Well, I decided to list the positives.

Here is my list of five positives for having another surgery:

  • My hand will no longer hurt while I write and do everyday tasks.
  • I get to have three weeks off work to relax, lie in my PJ’s, watch movies, or go for a walk.
  • I get to be pampered by my husband.
  • I have an excuse not to cook dinner, do laundry, or other household chores.
  • I can sleep in as long as I want to.

See there are good things with in the bad. Each time I start feeling down, I write five more positive things in my journal. I no longer do the charts, but I journal out all my negative thoughts. Then in my journal I turn them into positive thoughts.

     If you’re struggling with mental illness and you’re caught in negative thinkin,g seek therapy. A therapist will teach you how to change your thinking. Learning positive thinking will not be easy. It’s a battle you can learn to cope with and change. Why don’t you take out a piece of paper and write “Five Positive Things”? Then start thinking about something good like you have a place to live. At first you may only be able to come up with one thing, but as you focus and work at it, more will come. Simple things can be positive like you woke up this morning. Give it a try.

     Fighting mental illness is a constant battle, even in recovery, but while in recovery you will have many coping techniques to help you stand above the hole. Recovery doesn’t mean you’re cured; it means you have learned to manage your illness so you can live a normal life with happiness. Happiness and positive thinking are possible.

     I have three weeks to prepare for my surgery. I choose to fight the worries and negative thinking and focus on the positive. I won’t allow myself to slip into a depression. Because I fight negative thinking, the light shines in my heart.

10 thoughts on “FOCUSING ON THE POSITIVE

  1. Aimee. You don’t know just how relatable your story is to me. I was once in that gawdawful place myself and it felt as if my life was a constant battle- a war I never volunteered to fight in but was drafted into. Instad of running my life, it felt as if my life were running me. Bad things kept happening and I didn’t know how to fix it. And I felt the same way you do- that everyone else was happily enjoying life- everyone but me. I felt like love and anything good was for everyone but me. That God hated me and wanted to punish me by blocking my happiness and making sure I saw everyone else being happy and getting everything they wanted- love, success, etc.

    And I hated them for it. Even worse, I hated God for allowing it to happen. I felt as if He were making me suffer and, at the same time, rubbing everyone elses happiness in my face.. It was like being starved and denied nourishment and being forced to watch everyone eat and enjoy a huge feast. It was torture.

    Therapy only helped so much because they were treating the symptoms and not the cause. All they wanted was to shove medication down me, which made me feel worse or feel like a zombie.

    What helped me was when I began reading lots of personal development. Meditation techniques, and the like, then putting them into practice. I also read books on how not to be victimized by others. That was a turning point for me.

    Sweetie, your post really spoke to me and my heart goes out to you. Know that you have a friend and I’m so glad that you’ve finally found a way to make life better for yourself. Sending you lots of love. ❤❤❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cherie,
      Your comment is so powerful and relatable. I’m glad you found away that helped you rise above this struggle. I can’t wait to read your guest post for me. Especially if it’s as powerful as thiss comment.
      Thank you.
      Aimee

      Liked by 2 people

      • You’re so welcome, Aimee. And I’ll definitely try to finish up soon because I can’t wait to finish it. I was stuck on words but I think that I can finally get the words flowing again. Thank you for all you do. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Aimee,
    I think it’s great you can find ways to turn the negatives into positives! And that you can articulate it. What comforts me is reminding myself of the verse in the Bible that says God works all out for the good of those that love the Lord and are called to His purposes (Rom 8:28). But I think an exercise in rewording negative thoughts into positives is wonderful! I’ll try that too!
    Amy

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  3. Aimee it is so good that you are being proactive about the negative thoughts. I’m confident that you will not slip down that steep slope into depression and negativity. I hope the hand surgery fixes the pain and discomfort you’ve been experiencing! That alone is a wonderful positive to list! Prayers will be said… Please let us all know how it turns out! Hugs!

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    • Murisopsis,
      Thank you for the prayers. I can’t wait to get rid of the pain and discomfort. I’ll be one handed for a while, but once I’m able to type I’ll let everyone know how I am.
      Thanks for reading.
      Aimee

      Like

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