I like to write about gratitude. I occasionally post what I am grateful for that day/week/month, or I talk to people who are struggling about the importance of gratitude in their focus to alter their depressive thoughts. I truly think it is the key for overcoming depression, even clinical depression.
I never realised how much my gratitude focus has altered my outwards perception until this week. My flatmate made a comment about how he had never heard anyone laugh as much as me, that our house probably had regular complaints about the level of noise because of my laughter.
The penny dropped.
You see, for all the horrible things that have happened, for the emotional angst, anxiety, gnawing rejection, past depression, suicidal thoughts and complete loss in being able to find out how life can change, I began focusing on gratitude as a way to stop focusing so much on the negative, and I somewhere, somehow, managed to lighten up
My world has been, and sometimes still is, completely overwhelming. When I introduced the concept of gratitude into my life many many years ago, I wrote post-it notes with all the navel-gazing comments you would expect from someone trying to make a positive change away from a negative life.
BELIEVE IN YOURSELF
YOU CAN DO IT
FOCUS ON WHAT YOU HAVE NOT WHAT YOU DONT HAVE
ACCEPT YOURSELF JUST AS YOU ARE
It took a long time. Those little mental lists at the end of each day were a way to reprogramme my twisted mind.
Today I am grateful for:
a roof over my head
being able to afford a meal
a best friend who loves me
There were days my list looked like this:
I’m not dead yet
And then days started to look like this:
In between however, I went from going
‘must think of all the good things in my life‘
‘my life is good‘
Yes, I have days where I can’t stand to be in my own skin. Or I’m tired of life. That I feel like I’m all alone. Or that no one could ever love me. However, and this is the key, I laugh at all my own silly moments.
I stopped taking myself and my life seriously
Now some of you might find this hard to believe, given what you see from the external part that I show. I am often amazed at some of the comments that people make. Some are so darling and so concerned that they warm my heart and make me feel so beautifully blessed, sometimes they seem too over the top, and sometimes they are incredibly judgemental such as accusing me of seeking pity from people. What I have realised is that it is not me taking my life seriously,
its actually you!!
Which is how come now, when I know there are a few of you wanting the gossip on who I may or may not be seeing, or when I’m being subtweeted about, or when someone judges my views or comments, or says something horrible (like my face looks lopsided) that I have to laugh, I really do, because it is quite ridiculous that someone would put energy into being negative about my life when really I’m just tweeting my random brain farts while laughing at the telly eating cheese as my dog farts on my leg.
Gratitude became the vehicle for me to notice that even the negative can make me laugh. So call me ugly, tell me I’m a bitch, accuse me of subtweeting, gossip about who I went out with last week, because I no longer care yet I do find it incredibly funny and I do laugh at people who do this now. I lol. Sometimes, I even rofl. Because of my age, I have even been known to psml. for reals.
I adore that I have lightened up. It really is my major, biggest ‘light bulb’ moment. Even though my head still lives in the dark, my heart now lives in the light, and it is wonderful.
Life is so full of horrible ness. I’m not saying that this dark, this ghastly awful shit that happens every day to people who don’t deserve it, should be made fun of or not be taken seriously. Far from it. That is what empathy, sympathy, discussion, law changes, strength, support and love is for.
What I am saying, is this day to day stuff that we in our lovely first world problem lives think is so hard, so frustrating, so serious, so damaging, really isn’t anything at all. It is just noise in amongst the rainbows of a storm, and it is up to you to decide to look at the rainbow, to delight in the rain and wind of the storm, to get blown over or away, to be soaked or to be troubled by the noise.
I know what I chose now.