Hope Contagium

A therapy journal of self-obsession, depression and meaning.

Tag: positive

To All Who Struggle: The Dominating Story

September 24th, a response to the posts Happy Moments and All This Optimism
Dear, dear reader!

I am so touched. Really touched when I hear your words of struggle. But I am also sad. I feel an urge to cry.
There are so many things I want to say to you; I don’t know where to start…
So instead you will receive my thoughts as they come.

I know you have heard that you are not your depression. You are not your thoughts, you are not your feelings, and you are not your diagnosis.
You are you. ❤

But that doesn’t mean that the depression isn’t there – that it doesn’t affect you and your thoughts and feelings.
The reason I tell you to try to externalize the depression/anxiety is because it might make it easier to control. That way you can place the depression on a chair and look at it, talk to it, and attempt to get to know it better. When does it take control? How does it feel? All the things you already know and are good at.
As you yourself so beautifully describe, you do like the depression in a way. You feel safe in this emotion because you know it so well. I think I understand that. From a narrative perspective this is called “the dominating story”. It is the story you tell yourself. In your case, it might even be called the negative, dominating story. And this story is thick, they say. Because you have a lot of experiences that you thread into this story; all your sadness.
I’m trying to make you build an alternative story. An alternative story that is positive. Where you collect the happy moments that stand out from the negative, dominating story. In the beginning this alternative story is thin, they say. You spend time looking for these happy moments and you find that there are very few. As you yourself write. But you aren’t used to focusing on these positive things. The more you get used to having your attention on these good moments, the more you remember them… and the more they will come. Because your focus is now in this new place. So slowly, this thin, alternative story, will become thicker and thicker, and in the end it will be thicker than the negative, dominating story. Suddenly, this positive story will be the one you tell people when they ask who you are. I hope that I’m explaining myself clearly.

It’s the way you think that can make a difference. That can make you look at yourself in a new way. And tell others about yourself in a new way.
I already feel that you are moving forward. Forward towards a brighter future. Because you want to get there and you are searching! Your thoughts and reflections are so important; who am I? Who is the authentic, the honest me? What kind of life do I want?
These reflections upon life are constructive and you will carry them around all your life. Especially if you do want to live a life following your heart. This is how I want to live. I often ask myself questions to be certain that I am where I want to be in life.
Remember, that your reflective thoughts already are a positive aspect in your life. As well as looking for happiness is. Inside yourself.

Everything I’ve said probably doesn’t fit into the negative… Into the depression? Maybe these reflective thoughts should be connected with your alternative story? This is a story that says you are a deep, thoughtful and sensitive human-being, who wants to be somebody for others. Make others happy. Make a difference. Who sincerely wants to be honest, first of all towards yourself.
Isn’t that a fantastic human-being? I think so! Because this is a young person fighting to live a life with beautiful and meaningful values. Despite a though past. Despite a diagnosis. Despite a whole lot of things that make this hard. A strong-minded person with all your fragilities.

This fantastic, strong-minded, and sensitive person is you dear reader. And you should be proud.
I am. ❤

All This Optimism

I’m gonna take another shot at this “happy moments” thing. Today I’m a bit more positive and I’ll try to focus on glorious moments or small victories. Like the time my little sis was crying because she felt stupid about erasing a game she had been playing with Mama. I was a master in comfort! First, I reminded her that everybody does stupid things and that those stupidities teach us lessons. Then I distracted her guilt and sadness by telling her a story about when felt really stupid. She stopped crying and it was easy-peasy over with! Oh, did I mention that my first step was to pick her up and give her a hug? What a good job. I’m gloating because I usually have an anxiety towards physical touch and a very hard time accepting my little sisters sadness – something I’ve always been ashamed of.
Another proud moment was when I picked up seven children, one by one, and lifted them over the fence so that they could get a good look at the passing by tractor. Even the fat kid got a couple of turns – and let’s face it: I don’t got a lot of muscle. I was so good with these kids. I took them on adventures in the playground, they learned from me and I always included everyone of them.
How about the time I took a five-year-old and her father home in the middle of the night? They were strangers and the father was inappropriately drunk and made disgusting sexual gestures towards me. But this little girl was sleeping on the cold floor of the central station and I couldn’t have it. I held little Nou-Nou in my arms all the way home so she could sleep comfortably, I gave them a bed to sleep in and food in the morning. Yes, I thought they were homeless when they weren’t, but nonetheless it was a beautiful gesture. Let’s not forget that it’s only thanks to Levin the gesture became a reality!
But hold on – when have I been happy and not just done good? When did I do good for myself?
Well, I like myself when I finish a book, then I feel I’ve done well. The time I worked in Urban Outfitters AND worked as a dresser at fashion week was pretty impressive (considering my depressive state).
So sitting here thinking, being positive, makes me realize:
“Okay, so good things do happen and quite a few of them.”
They’re just so darn invisible in all this darkness. Remember your dreams Marmaladescreams, your real dreams. They are beautiful. And all this optimism is thanks to my new contact person Zenia.

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