How Can I Be Positive?

Francisco Goya’s Two Old Men.
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

It’s hard for me to come to terms with the decrease in my writing output. Although I have no shortage of things to write about, my negative perspective really gets in the way. I’m struggling with creating anything and not having the urge to just delete all of it. I became even more aware of it after seeing some videos on creative advice. Those videos reminded me of an old friend I lost touch with. She kept telling me to just write stuff no matter what, and I kept finding excuses to argue the point.

Where I am lacking is in output. I’ll get a story idea that’s exciting for a moment until I kill it with pessimism. That process is hard to write about here, and recreating it would only send me into a depressive state. So I just talk generally about it and hope that people might understand. At any rate, I know I need to stop caring about how the things I write might affect people. That’s something I can’t control.

Another thing that’s been wearing on me is the fact that I’m treating this place like it’s a refuge of last resorts, like it’s a crutch used only when I’m a moral and ethical failure. The issues I struggle with in my head might affect a lot of people, and they definitely bring out the extreme in people. Even if I didn’t write about matters religious and political, mental illness carries its own sets of taboos from different perspectives. People are still afraid of it.

Touching on some specific political matters, I’ve been doing more research into my local ballot. There are some interesting races going on in Alabama, with people I agree in principle running for local offices. Some of them are agreeable enough that I can feel somewhat okay in voting for them, although I’m still not confident they’ll be able to accomplish much (if they actually try, which is a problem in my state). At least now I have a reason to show up to cast a ballot, though I still don’t know how I want to fully fill it out.

My earlier problems and reservations with voting still exist. The process it spawns appears to not function by design. Rather, it appears to function by accident or sheer chance. If the latter is true – and I think it is – nothing anyone does is actually going to accomplish anything. Yes, some specific pieces in play might change. But the overall process is only going to shift who gets hurt.

Third, I recently had a difficult encounter with someone the other day. Without getting into specifics, I’m having all sorts of episodes popping up as a result of it. Anxiety has given way to depression, and as a result I’ve been having spikes in suicidal thinking. Just as a reassurance, this is something that is normal for someone with my condition. It is part of my reality like the sun shining or the sky being blue.

All of this is a product of pessimistic thinking. And I don’t need it.
To be clear, just because I’m pessimistic about something doesn’t mean my view doesn’t have merit. But I have to be careful around such subjects. Being pessimistic for too long is taking its toll on me. While people might think it’s fine to cajole me into doing stuff, it leaves a mark that could very well be permanent.

Right now I need to devote my energy into more productive things. I had a recent idea for a story which might do nicely as a MG (that’s Middle Grade) book for NaNoWriMo. If I can maintain my courage, I’d like to post the daily rough draft on my blog. At least then I’d be able to document some output.

Here, I’m relegating writing if I don’t get any or much writing done elsewhere during the day. The frequency of posts shouldn’t be a good thing or a bad thing. I want to get reacquainted with putting something out there on a frequent basis.

Barring any of that, I am still struggling against self-deprecation and doubt. My low self-worth makes this a difficult task. Once again, I am finding that positive perspectives require work and effort.

6 thoughts on “How Can I Be Positive?

  1. SB, I read your post thinking, “But why does he have to be ‘positive’?”

    I recently bought a “Complete the Story” writing prompt journal. My psyche rolled it’s eyes. Like Quix could EVER be a creative writer. And then your voice urged “Do it, Quix.” Yes, YOUR voice. Figuratively, of course. But, how’s that for positive?

    I’m aware this makes me sound psychotic. All I’m saying is that by reading your struggles with depression and interacting with you over the years has in part helped develop persuasive counter-arguments in my brain to things that want to mentally paralyze or kill me. Now, if only we could get that to work for you.

    Surprisingly, with that story-prompt journal I was able to complete the stories on each page very easily. Though all the stories I wrote ended up with a DARK twist. I thought I’d like to post them on WordPress, but I haven’t out of concern that people might become worried about me, or I might really upset or offend someone, or – worst of all – they’d make assumptions about me that aren’t true. I don’t have the bravery to do that.

    Is that what you mean by wanting to be positive (not writing dark stuff because others won’t understand)? Or do you mean that you want to be positive because to not do so can end up in your death (even literal death)?

    I’m not inside your brain so I can’t know if this is true, but it sounds right: yes, write stuff no matter what. I think it’s your saving grace.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your writing has a direct voice that I have rarely come across and if that is cultivated out of pessimism then I think it is a healthy way to channel it rather than to let it eat you up. Under no circumstances, delete anything. It reflects the depth and growth of your journey.

    It is easy to fall prey to what you said – “it’s a crutch used only when I’m a moral and ethical failure. ” Irrespective, this is your canvas to play with. We are all passengers 🙂

    Like

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