In Blackest Night – It’s Okay…
As part of my journey with depression, I have been trying to learn how to just chill. It’s hard work trying to let go and stop focusing on things that are outside my control but it feels incredibly liberating. It’s easier said than done but it’s a worthwhile venture if you struggle with anxiety and depression. Don’t worry, I’m not talking about becoming a hippy or getting all zen-like. It’s just a case of filtering the shit out. Like I said in my last post, by reducing how much time I’m on Facebook and other such apps/sites I’m cutting out all of the negative responses that can be drawn out of me and it has certainly helped me gain a perspective I desperately needed.
Along this journey I also came to realise a number of things that was either doing or had wrong. My approach to life has been at odds with other sentiments. For example, I looked at life through world weary eyes. Having perhaps grown up too soon, I always carried a sense of scepticism and cynicism and felt victimised by the various events that I had endured. Growing up, I felt that approach was a realistic and mature method and through continual thought processes it almost became my mantra. While I still maintain there is method to that madness and a wisdom that only life experience could teach me, I know there is a better way.
As a kid I always wanted to fit in. Although my school days were not rife with cliques of the like you see in American TV shows and movies, there were a number of ‘survival’ techniques I used to get by. From burying my love of comic books and other geeky traits to forcing myself to go out and partake in underage drinking and what-not, it was a tough grind. I wanted to be liked. I always had the belief that everyone could and should get along. I’m turning 33 in about 1 month and a half and only now it hit me.
It’s okay not to be liked by everyone. By having the ability to form opinions and develop tastes such as foods, music, movies and whatever else we are conditioned to be different. We are designed to be different. Society today seems intent on working on something that can never happen. We can’t all get along and it’s fine. Political correctness has a lot to answer for–forcing people to doubt their feelings for fear of hurting others. While tact and consideration should still play a big part, we shouldn’t feel bad because we don’t like someone. It’s only when that dislike turns ugly and is used as a mechanism for bullying and so on. I don’t like lamb. It’s as simple as that. I don’t get all up in a lamb’s face and tell it that or plaster it all over the internet. So why should people go out of their way to hurt others because they don’t like them? Just move on.
It confuses me but I’ve stopped concerning myself over it because I can’t alter or control it so why should I worry about it? Not liking a person is okay but you have to be mindful of the reasons and how you act in regards to it. I no longer slate things like movies, games and so on because, even though I don’t like them, someone (or a number of people) made them. They did more than I did. Why should I get to hammer home my thoughts on someone’s livelihood just because I’m not their intended audience? The same could (and does) go the other way with my work–my job is to offer technical support to customers and, while they may not like some of the information and answers I have, it doesn’t change the fact that those answers and information are correct. I wouldn’t and don’t appreciate being told that I’m “shit”, “haven’t got a clue” and whatever other absurd comments come my way just because people don’t like the truth. It’s a horrible experience having your best efforts in your job dragged through the mud because a small number of people don’t like or appreciate them.
The old adage “if you can’t say something nice then don’t say anything at all” has started to be a mainstay. While I still have opinions and may not like something or someone, I keep those opinions to myself unless asked or find myself in a situation where I have to make them known. What value to anyone’s life does it add for me to keep on about what I dislike? In this, I have become rather selfish in so far as I don’t really care what impact it has on others but it certainly doesn’t make my life any better so what’s the point in doing it?
This post isn’t your typical “be nicer to each other” spiel–quite the opposite. It’s just a simple case of not dwelling or focusing on things that hold little to no value for you. It hasn’t completely cut out the stress and anxiety in my life but it has changed how I perceive things and it may hold long term gains. I certainly notice a difference in myself and that can only be a good thing. If I keep chipping away at specific aspects of my thinking it may free up some processing power to be more productive and perhaps creative. Who knows?
When depression gets so bad, even the smallest ‘win’ can regain control over the blackened and poisoned mind even if it’s just for a minute. The more little ‘wins’ we have the greater the chances of reclaiming more and more territory in a psychological game of ‘Risk’.