IT’S OK TO FEEL NOT OK, especially during this unheard-of crazy time.
Since I was little, I was always told: “Turn that frown upside down. It’ll be ok. Be positive. Be optimistic.”
I HAVE tried (and I have had many, many challenges) and, yes, I felt that thinking positively did calm me down and I felt happier. But I also realised that forcing myself to be happy and positive all the time can be absolutely draining and often made me feel worse… and then I’d become anxious.
Clinical psychologists say that continual positive thinking can be a burden, too. If things don’t go right, you will be saying – it’s because I wasn’t thinking positively. I didn’t get that job, because I wasn’t thinking positively. I’ve got sick again because I want thinking positively. It’s unrealistic to think that if you think positively all the time, you will be happy for the rest of your life.
SO IT’S OK TO FEEL NOT OK.
Yet, often when we complain, we are told: “But it could be worse – so you lost you job, but at least you’re healthy.” Often we don’t acknowledge somebody’s suffering. We say: “ It’ll be ok. Everything will be fine.” Life isn’t always a beautiful and wonderful experience. It is a shambolic and messy experience.
It’s about coming to terms with the fact that life can be damn awful and it’s about making sense of the things we experience and not necessarily making them positive.
The Covid-19 pandemic has thrown us into an unheard-of crazy time. We could never have imagined the depths of emotions we could feel and the trauma and magnitude of what this has caused in our lives.
I know that every day I feel different from the day before.
So I’m not overburdening myself with forced positivity. I have enough to deal with at the moment. I’m just taking it one day at a time.