I’ve dealt with anxiety and depression for as long as I remember. Unfortunately, this is a commonality in most people with substance abuse problems. I’ve been medicated for my anxiety and depression, I’ve been hospitalized for them, and I’ve been very very drunk because of them.
Since getting sober, I’ve had to take each and every second of those inevitable feelings raw. I haven’t had a buffer, like alcohol, to dull them or black them (i.e. me) out. Just me taking them straight up, as they come, with no remorse.
Some days I wake up ready to take life by the balls and manhandle the day. On those days, I’m happy, I’m upbeat, I’m unstoppable, and I’m positive.
Some days I wake up wishing I hadn’t, with a pounding in my chest and the feeling that I’m suffocating before I’ve even taken my first breath.
It is what it is.
If you ask anyone about me, they’ll probably tell you first off that I’m a drunk (haha shocker there…) but they’ll also probably tell you that I’m witty, sarcastic, funny, and mostly cynical. I don’t mean to have a negative outlook on life and people, but I can’t help it. I know great things happen sometimes, but I’m always waiting for the other foot to drop.
In an effort to not let my anxiety and depression consume me and drag me back down into the drunken bliss of rock bottom, I’ve been making efforts to be more positive. Honestly, on the days that I wake up not feeling right, it’s literally so fucking difficult to be positive.
But I promised myself I was going to better myself and get myself healthy, and my mental health is a huge part of that. Which is why I want to discuss “The Five Positives.”
In hopes of being less cynical and Wednesday Addams-like, I’ve begun to force myself to think of five positive things every morning. I usually go over them while I’m staring at myself in the mirror getting ready for work, saying them out loud, sometimes snap chatting them to my closest friends, and 100% of the time telling my dogs. Some mornings, it’s so hard to come up with one thing, let alone five. Yet other days, I breeze through and end up naming off like twenty things. But as long as I come up with at least five, I can continue about my day.
The weird thing is, some days, it’ll actually change my entire mood and outlook on the day.
I would recommend anyone feeling down or stressed, anyone dealing with anxiety and depression, and anyone recovering from substance abuse utilize the five positives. Here’s the catch though, you can’t go fishing for compliments and have someone else come up with them for you. You have to look inside yourself and find five things that are sincerely positive about you, your life, your surroundings, etc.
A lot of times my five things are generally very similar from day to day or at least revolve around similar things.
I’ll be honest, I’m writing about the five positives today because I’ve been having a shitty, “woe is me,” miserable, waste of a suckfest kind of day. I’m not really sure why, but I have. And I was off from both jobs today so I had all day to sit around and think about being miserable, in turn, making myself more miserable. I struggled all day to come up with my five positives. So here they are:
- I have two wonderful and sweet pups that I got to spend all day today with since I didn’t have to go to work.
- While I may not have money to throw at everything I want right now, I’ve gotten all of my credit card debt, medical debt, and student loan debt either paid off or on a payment plan.
- I was able to prep meals for lunch at the hospital this week, which means I don’t have to eat out for lunch on the days I work this which means I save money.
- I was able to get my laundry done (meaning clean scrubs for work, yay!), dust/vacuum/clean my room, and scrub my bathroom. All of which makes me feel like I might actually have my life together.
- I plan to spend my evening reading my book, “You are a Badass” by Jen Sincero, which will help me continue to think in a positive way. Plus I’m not wasting my life scrolling through other people’s stupid lives on Facebook.
It literally took me all day to come up with those five things. All day I’ve had endless moments of self-loathing, uncertainty, and self-doubt. I also had quite a few moments where I thought, “Eh, one beer won’t kill me…” until I redirected my train of thought to focusing back on my sobriety.
So I sincerely advise anyone, for whatever reason they feel necessary, to work on finding five positives for every day.
And yes, I did use a picture of my dog Molly as the feature image for this post because she and her brother are the most positive things in my life and I love them more than anything in the world. I mean just look at her, she’s beautiful.