Hiding Behind Realism

To say that I spent most of my life as a pessimist is an understatement. In fact from where I used to stand, pessimism was a step up from where I was. As good as optimism.

I was the kid that gave her barbies cancer. They had terrible, and rather short lives in my make-believe world. Bad things just happened and I was aware of it. As I grew older I became what I used to term a realist. I wasn’t being negative, I was being realistic. It was easier to accept disappointment that way.

These were the things I told myself. Seriously.

I struggled with depression and wrote it off as realism. I planned for the worse, actually I expected it. And that’s exactly what I got. LOADS of it.

Just before I turned 30 I’d fallen into a serious bout of realism. Everything just sucked. The weather sucked, my city sucked, of course my job did too. I was unhappy and though I claimed I wanted to change, I realize now that I was quite happy with my unhappiness. It proved my realism point. It justified it all.

On a rather low day my Mom – who hated seeing me this way – told me about a book she read called The Secret. She gave me the run down and explained it was all about thinking positive to attract positive things.

Ha! Yeah right, I thought. Positive? Happy? I actually said something to the effect of “I’m to busy being unhappy to be happy.”

See where I’m going here?

And like most things that people suggested I brushed it off. Chalked it up to touchy-feely nonsense. I’m a realist, don’t you know!

Then something happened. That darn book kept being mentioned EVERYWHERE. It’s like something was conspiring against me. Call it the Universe or God or a Higher Power but whatever it was, it was aimed at me. After several encounters I finally called my Mom and said “Fine! Give me the darn book!”

And I read it….in two days.

Now I’m not saying The Secret saved my life. I’m saying it got me thinking. I’m a logical, prove-it-to-me person. I question things, I analyze them and then I process the info. After reading the book I started thinking Why Not?

As in – well what I’m doing isn’t working so let’s give this a shot.

And darned if it didn’t work. I started thinking positive. I started imagining myself in a better mood with all the things in my life just falling into place. And they did. Pretty soon I was giving other things a try. Meditation, positive affirmations and smiling. Yes even smiling had become a challenge for me.

The more positive I was, the better things turned out. I started seeing life in a completely different way. Instead of being a realist (pessimist) I became an optimist!

Was some higher power sending positive energy in my direction? Was I conspiring with the Universe to attract all that awesome energy my way? Or was it a simple case of acknowledging that I needed to change my attitude?

To be honest I don’t know.

I’d like to believe the World is all connected and each positive thought attracts another. There are endless articles on quantum physics that suggests that’s how the Universe works.

But let me tell you, it doesn’t matter. I made the decision to live my life looking on the bright side and I’m much happier for it. 🙂

8 thoughts on “Hiding Behind Realism

  1. Angie – a wonderful post. I agree wholeheartedly that making the effort to turn our attitude inside out can make a distinct and lasting difference in our life.

    The caveat I would mention is for those individuals dealing with clinical depression. For those who are dealing with major depression or other such issues, I believe some form of therapeutic intervention is probably required; however, once that intervention (cognitive behavior therapy, perhaps even drug therapy) has begun, the deliberate self intervention of positive attitude can have a tremendous effect in stabilizing and maintaining mental health.

    Seeking positive influences in our lives, setting ourselves up for success in little ways…these are the things that eventually change our life for the better, I agree with you.

    Big hugs!

    1. Absolutely! I agree with you 100% it’s always better to seek the advice of a professional.

      For me, I consulted a psychologist who also encouraged me to use meditation as a way to deal with depression. I’m not a fan of taking drugs, in any form, myself which is why I opted to seek alternatives. It’s always best to speak with a professional when dealing with severe depression and other mental health issues.

      Thank you Jo-Anne!

  2. I can see exactly where you were going, I get depression in severe bouts…I’ve tried medical intervention, which works, but I’ve finally been offered CBT this time, I don’t want to get stuck on antidepressants again.
    It’s taken far too much time across my forty years to realise that being positive can actually change my life/attitude/experiences. In general life, I’m taking that advice though and looking for the good, it helps!

    1. Like Jo-Anne mentioned, sometimes we need additional therapies but at least having a positive attitude can’t hurt. I wish you lots of love & success!

  3. I click favorite on this post a million times. And must confess I lul-ed when I read about your barbies. Quick story, yesterday the mister & I were listening to a lovely laid back song and I said, this is the sorta song that plays in a movie as a man is driving down a deserted highway after killing someone. And the mister said, why did he just kill someone? Can’t he just be going somewhere? And I said, nope. He just killed someone, cause I have issues. The end.

    And this is why I should be limited to 140 characters. The end.

  4. I love that the book, The Secret, changed your outlook on life. It helped me so much too. Have you read The Magic by the same author? It includes a 30 day practice and it is AMAZING. Seriously, you will see the results. I read The Magic last summer and I’m still doing one of the daily practices and it’s almost a year later! I know that good things continue to happen in my life because I believe they will. People can say all they want about these books being hokey. I’d rather be hokey and happy than bummed out and judgmental.

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