Wednesday, February 10, 2010

...the Optimists?

Those who know me, know that when surrounded by horse poo (keeping it PG here), I'm not sitting there looking for Pony. I'm a - Glass half empty - Clouds don't have silver linings, they block the sun and bring rain (or snow)-kind of gal.

I'm not an optimist. To say the least.

So of course during this recent bout of unpleasantness I'm forced to, therapeutically speaking, look on the bright side. OK, if not the bright side, at least acknowledge the positive rather than focusing on the negative. "but I already do" I say, "I believe in giving those around me positive reinforcement, not to focus on the mistakes but look at them as learning lessons and move on"

"No" I'm told, "Not about how you treat others, but about how you treat you"


Now there's a bit of good news...

...not!

After a few moments of stunned silence, it begins to sink in. Looking at it honestly, if I treated others they way I treat myself, I would probably be a friendless wonder, alone, and bitter. So why do I always focus on what I haven't accomplished, on what I've done wrong. Why don't I focus on what I have done, and what I have done right?

I look at my therapist like a sheep looks at a 747 and say "This will be like teaching colors to someone who can't see."

I'm gently reminded to take it a step at a time - let's look at work first.

Oh joy.

Where are the optimists when you need them!

Friday, February 5, 2010

...The Lights at the End of the Tunnel?

"You'll get through this" is a phrase I hear a lot lately. Typically it's what I hear while I sit there looking (and feeling) like something the cat dragged in, tear-blind and exhausted. Now, I know that it's probably true, that I'm not likely to die from unremitting sadness, stress and anxiety, but Jiminy Crickets, I feel like a red hot poker is being shoved into my psyche on a daily basis. What exactly do people mean by telling me that I'll "get through this"?

In it's best light, I'm sure it is supposed to be comforting. That people are telling me "this may be painful but it won't last forever." But to me that sounds an awful lot like "stay the course" and to that I say refer to the red-hot poker analogy above.

So am I supposed to just hang on, go to work, go to therapy, and hope the medication works (ignoring of course the depressing article in Newsweek about antidepressants)?

Apparently so.

You might ask - why not take some time off? - and that would be a good question and even what most people do in this circumstance. Let's just say that isn't really an option. Before you ask why. Let's just say that it's for a host of complicated reasons that would get me in trouble by writing down here.

So I have one question for the choir signing "You'll get through this"

Where in the world are
the lights that are supposed to be at the end of this damned tunnel?

a blog of exploration, discovery, and recovery