Thursday, November 4, 2010

Day 278: Fearing Optimism

So, today ROCKED.  I just felt so light and easygoing.  And happy.  And it was kind of like one big Joyful Moment.  And it was freeing and beautiful.  And so many other happy adjectives.

But there was a nagging fear in the back of my mind from time to time:  What if...?  What if this doesn't turn out the way I'm hoping it might?  What will that do to me then?  What if I'm wrong?  Etc., etc., etc.

Then HH and I were discussing it a bit at dinner.  I haven't really had a chance to talk things through with him because we weren't really home at the same time at all yesterday.  So, I was sharing a little of my optimism with him when he interjected with those same fears I voiced above.  And I know he was doing it to protect me.  This isn't the first time that I've thought I could "fix" me.  And then when it fails and I get depressed again, it hurts doubly because I'm devastated that I didn't fix anything at all.  And when you get down to it, that's what we're both afraid of with all of those "What ifs".

But it still hurt when HH started saying all of that.  It was like poking a pin in the happy balloon I'd been riding in all day, not popping it, but just giving it a small leak so it couldn't fly as high.  And that really took the fun out of it.

But then I stopped myself because, hello, I'm rising above this.  I can handle challenges.

I knew HH wasn't trying to be hurtful in the least, so I stopped him, too.  I processed for a minute and then I began speaking pretty much as my thoughts were processing and I didn't realize the profundity of it until the words were out of my mouth.  But the gist of it was this:

1.  I'm not expecting to overcome everything in an instant, or a day.  It took years to get here, it will probably take years to get out.

2.  I'm not expecting to never have bad days, rough patches, or even bouts of depression.  I am expecting to change who I am underneath it all.  I'm not going to be a depressed person just having a good day.  I'm going to be the happy, easygoing person that I used to be.  Life is to be enjoyable, not a chore.

3.  (This was the real Aha Moment)  So, what if it doesn't work out the way I'm hoping it will?  So what if this ends up being one big flop?  What will happen?  I'll probably be depressed.  Why is that something to be so afraid of?  We can handle that.  It's not fun or ideal, but still--so what?  Being afraid of that is a ridiculous reason to avoid being optimistic right now.  Especially when that optimism has made all the difference in my outlook today and for life in general.

So, we have two choices:  1.  Optimism and happiness, with a potential for depression  Or, 2.  Pessimism and crankiness, with certain depression.

It seems simple when I put it like that, but I think we face a similar choice frequently without realizing it. We give up the better choice because we're afraid of things not being as good as we want them to be.  Who cares?!  Choose the good and enjoy it for as long as it lasts.  This is life, so the bad probably isn't going to disappear regardless.  Why not let happiness and in as much as possible?

Today was awesome because I found HOPE and that was incredibly empowering.  I refuse to let the fear of anything (leastwise the depression that I know so well) keep me from that.


The End.

For tonight.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments and the power to choose optimism.


Anonymous said...

Gopher it!!!

Meg said...

That's good. Thanks for sharing!

Linda said...

As I read through this post, I recognized the truths that you have expressed so clearly. Thanks. Interestingly, since last week I've been thinking about the value of choosing faith over fear. To me, that's a lot like what you're talking about. I read a great talk by Quentin L. Cook on that subject and it led me to another message from Harold B. Lee. I think you have an attitude that will buoy you up when you need it.

My joyful moments lasted all day long. Meg and I made 28 qts of applesauce and 7 qts of apple pie filling. Making the pie filling was a very unique experience and involved several trips from her apartment to my car to get something else to solve the situation. We had several tender mercies throughout the process and it was kind of a miracle that things worked out. And that we kept laughing through it all.