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Positivity Is Not a Quick Fix

Sometimes it makes you feel worse.

When New Agers tell you, "think positive and it will be okay," they do not realize how destructive this nonsense is for mentally ill people. You see, we mentally ill folks have any number of “bad” thoughts because our brain pulls a number on us — especially if you are an anxious person or a schizophrenic, and schizophrenics can be anxious at times as well, since a big symptom of schizophrenia is massive anxiety. This is why medication taking is so important for those of us with mental health diagnoses. You positive attitude jerks don’t realize that when you feel bad, you feel bad.

Pain is pain. Pain can make a person miserable. It is hard to push through excessive pain. When a disabled person mentions pain, it is not because they want a pity party but rather, understanding. Oh, you want pity for your disability, boo-hoo. I’m sorry, but disability causes a lot of pain. So you see, people need to talk about it. Not all the time, not to be a bore, but enough so that the pain lifts. I was never a pity party in high school or at any other time in my life since I’m a fairly happy person, thank you very much.

The thing is that people who want to mention their disability do so out of responsibility. They need to make sure that they are treating themselves with caring. Giving yourself problems because of your pain is also unproductive. My therapist was once big on stuff like Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, which helps you not be as rigid as stuff ought to be; this is because OCD people are very inflexible about stuff. They need to plan events, as this is their way. When I have a low energy day, I expect people to quit pestering me about hanging out.

My friends understand that I have low energy sometimes. This is a fact of life for me. Low energy is something I just put up with. I’m busy trying to temper middle of the night highs and lows. Positivity only does so much. You have to think positively, sure, but sometimes my support group remarks that we are not always able to maintain a positive attitude. You see, feeling good about having a disability is an organic process that you do not always have to be peppy about. Medication can help you have a positive attitude while being less pushed around by depression.

The fact of life is that illness sucks. Anybody who is subjected to feeling bad a lot, well, feels bad. Sometimes being ill scares people who are healthy. There are many ways to treat pain, least of which is an over-the-counter medication. If you are going to be mean to people who take antidepressants, think that they need this medication to function. So if you are going to give them problems, think again. Responsible adults take their medication. Irresponsible girly children do not take their medication.

Since I’m not irresponsible, I have to say that I’m strict. I mean very strict. I do not skip doses when I go out; if anything, I take my medication because going out is stressful for me. Being around crowds of people exposes me to the group mind. Group mind can get dangerous. Yes, call me paranoid. Being positive doesn’t mean ignoring your instincts when somebody is bad for you. It doesn’t mean, ignore that to the exclusion of seeing that you do not need to be around this person. Dumping toxic people keeps me happy. I’m good at this. I can dump people without thinking about it too much. In the end, know that faking it until you make it also doesn’t work. Disabled people are in pain, don’t complain to them for complaining. 

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Positivity Is Not a Quick Fix
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