A while back, a thoughtful and wonderful person, sent me this little jar in the post. She sent it, as she was aware that my mood was particularly low, and that I was really struggling to find the strength and optimism I needed, to keep battling my OCD and Depression.
The fact that she had thought of me, and had sent such a thoughtful, and really, beautiful, gift, already lifted my mood and spirits; however, within the little jar, were 31 other little gems, or pearls of wisdom, designed to do the same, each day, for the rest of the month.
Suffice to say, for one reason or another, I haven’t been able to muster the motivation to open the jar, and pluck the first piece of positivity from within. I think it’s because, when you are feeling so low, you often find the thought, or notion, of anything positive, to be positive only, in the sense of being positively infuriating. When everything seems so fucking miserable and shit, you don’t want to see the positives, or to be reminded of them, you just want to make like an ostrich and bury your head in the sand. Trite clichés, and peppy Pollyanna cheerleading, seem to serve only to rile you, and make you want to bury your head even deeper into the sand.
However, wallowing and dwelling on the negatives is only going to result in a duvet diving downward spiral, and as irksome as it may be, and as pointless as they may seem, focusing on the little positives you can find in your day, or situation, really is the antidote.
No matter how small you have to go to find a positive, that’s the place to start. Even if it’s just, I don’t know, I enjoyed the release I got from ripping that fart out! That’s as good a place as any to start; after all, I guess we are starting from the bottom! Right? And, in doing so, like that hot cloud of methane you enjoyed releasing, your mood too, will slowly begin to rise. Not the prettiest of analogies I know, but you get what I mean, I hope?
In much the same vein, it’s really important to both, acknowledge, and praise yourself for, the “big little victories”! If all you were able to do today was, brush your teeth, or have something to eat and drink, or speak to a friend or family member, or take a shower, these are the “big little victories” that will help to lift you, up and out, of your slump in mood. Don’t allow your depression, or negative thinking, to belittle them, as it surely will try to do. Remaining positive about these positives is so important.
Don’t compare yourself to others, or yourself a few weeks ago, and chastise yourself for not being able to function to the same level. In doing so you risk diminishing the big little victories. You need to put things into perspective and context. Mental Health issues can, at times, be extremely debilitating. As such, it’s not fair to compare your achievements, daily or otherwise, with someone who is unencumbered by a mental health condition. Likewise, the you of two weeks ago, was in a better place in terms of your mental health. You’ve had a bit of a downturn, and as such, it’s not fair to hold yourself to the same standards and expectations you had of yourself a few weeks ago.
All you can do, is what you can, on any given day!
Learn to celebrate the “big little victories”, on days when you are down, with the same gusto as you would, a “bigger” victory, on a day when you are feeling comparatively better. Sure, at face value, one act may seem to be greater than the other, but this is a false inequivalency. Just brushing your teeth, when in a trough, is just as impressive as managing to go out for dinner with friends, when you are in a peak.
This is something I have really learnt and do my best to apply when I find I have hit a rough patch. Although it probably would have been better, had I opened the Jar immediately, and began reading one positive quote each day, at the time of it’s arrival in the post, I am going to do so today.
I won’t beat myself up for not having opened it sooner, as, “we win, or we learn”, (In this case I have learnt, which is a positive in itself) and, aside from that, I have managed to do my best to focus on the positives every day, to do positive things every day, and to be positively positive about having done so!
Seen as Today is the 3rd of the month, it will be a bumper edition, with 3 positive quotes from the jar, having not picked one yesterday or the day before. After that I hope to share with you guys a positive quote for the rest of the month. Hopefully it will have a positive effect on us.
The first of which seems vert apt!
Thank you T, for such a lovely gift Xx