For a very long time, I had let good ol' life circumstances turn me into an exceptionally negative person. While I've always suffered from depression and an anxiety disorder, yes, this went beyond that. A few bad years took away my faith that things improve, and that I could really turn it all around. I would still say the words "Things are gonna get awesome!", but I don't know if I ever truly felt it. And so they didn't.
Then 2012 came along and for the most part, compared to previous years, it was a good one. I took more control, eventually let go of things holding me back, learned to allow good things to happen, and I was pretty darn happy. And happy was a word I had no longer understood the meaning of, until that year made me see things a little different - a little more rose-coloured. So I decided to finally try and change how I looked at things completely. A task and a half, to be sure.
This year didn't start off on a good foot for me at all, but I was determined to become different. I started making an effort to think positively, and truly believe those thoughts. I made lists of the things I was grateful for each day, I started writing for myself again, exercising, eating well, cooking, baking, and tried meditation. I left notes for myself, reminders. I put the work in. I had to.
It all sounds like silly hippie bullshit, I know. But it honestly isn't, not when you feel you're mentally at rock bottom.
I'd love to tell you that because of all that, 2013 has been an amazingly happy year - but that would be a lie. It's been a very difficult one for various reasons. There are days that just I can't handle it. But when I lose sight of what I'm trying to achieve and how I'm now trying to live, it's ok - I just need to be reminded that no matter how much shit is thrown at me, and no matter how awful I may feel, there's a silver lining. I just need to find it in every situation. There's always some good mixed in massive amounts of bad. (Like the "little wins" I mentioned before.)
I've been regressing again a bit lately, but then an email from an old friend who I'm not often in contact with reminded me that I've made positive changes:
"I have read your blog lately, quite a bit. The same wit, the same cynicism and devilish wordsmanship is there, but gone is the lack of depth and maturity. Gone is the negativity and the feeling that all these bad things happen to you and you deserve better. Please know this is not an insult as I think we all have those tendencies, we just don’t write it down. But now, wow, now your writing has so much strength. You take ownership of your life in a way and responsibility for your misfortunes. You are a great writer at times, sometimes just good, and other times just downright Tom Robbins-like hilarious."
A few people have noticed these changes in me, and I'm glad for it. It reinforces what I'm attempting to achieve.
I'm different than I used to be. I can honestly say that. Maybe not in the most obvious ways, and most people won't ever notice - I'm still a sarcastic, potty-mouthed, nutbar son-of-a-bitch. My personality is the same. And one of my medical conditions is responsible for some of my crazy feelings and actions, which will soon hopefully be fixed. But I'd like to think that I view situations a bit differently, and therefore react more positively to them. It's not all doom and gloom. Things are sometimes awful, sure... but it's important to find the happy moments in between.
With each baby step, I just hope to keep improving & taking my own advice from this post. That's all I can do.