March 19th, 2019
As a recovered/forever recovering person, I think the question I get asked the most is: “So when do the bad feelings and thoughts stop?”
I avoid this question. But I think, in the spirit of true transparency, I should answer it, and as honestly as I can: they don’t.
I still have bad feelings and bad thoughts, every day. That doesn’t ever change. What changes is that you learn better ways to deal with them. Or you learn that you CAN deal with them or, sometimes, that you even WANT to deal with them.
My generally positive attitude has been addressed by others, some curious, some hopeful, some incredulous, some doubtful. I’ve had people say to me it’s because life hasn’t crushed my soul yet.
I have to tell that it’s because it has.
Every time I look you in the eyes and smile, every time I say something nice to you or about somebody else, every time I try to help you or another person or people — I do these things not out of instinct, but because I choose to. I do not wake up in the morning with a balanced, blessed outlook on life. I am not a naturally positive human being. I look at myself in the mirror and I see flaws and I see hurt and I see scars but the biggest thing that has changed is that now I also see hope. I see today.
So the answer to the question appears dismal, but it’s not. Because anyone can choose. You can’t choose what happens to you, but you can choose how you go forward. I have days where a garbage human being will do or say something to me that could potentially ruin my own day, and my goat gets got just as much. But it’s what I do after now that matters. I take blame more, I apologize more (and more quickly), and I try to make anything I can better, too.
I choose to smile, and laugh, and be nice, and I choose to deal because that is the only thing that makes the bad feelings go away.
And they’re always waiting to come back. But being a better place, by dealing with you, means that you’re making a home in yourself that can sustain any storm.