If I had the creative ability at the moment I would write an ode to the woman in the black Mercedes with the brain the size of a pinball and an ode to the rehabilitation center with the monotonous workers who only cracked a smile at each other at the sound of Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” blasting over the radio, I would.
Alas, I have a headache.
And thinking about them makes the headache worse.
Today I figured I’d focus on ways to stay positive instead of ranting about why I’m so negative, for the sake of my readers and for the sake of myself. Because staying positive, or calm, or content, is not as easy as staying negative.
My above encounters with those people today are two of the main reasons I 1) have a headache and 2) had to coax myself down from more road rage and rage in general and 3) had to find ways to be positive.
I think I singed my hair.
The rage. It seeped out of my pores like molten lava and coated my curls. Now I’m bald.
See kids, that’s what rage does to you. It makes you bald.
Today started off with general annoyances I tend to overreact to. I couldn’t find my wallet. I lost my water bottle. I was nervous. I took too long of a shower and had to rush out the door.
Enter bullshit #1: TRAFFIC
- Cars are the bane of my existence. No, I take that back: people who drive cars are the bane of my existence. I drive a car. I am the bane of my existence. But not as much as these other people. 20 Mph in a 30 zone? Hit the fucking gas pedal you old hag! Some people need to piss in a cup in a nurses office in fifteen minutes!
- Tourists are also somehow meandering around town. One woman in a black Mercedes was driving 10 mph in a 25 zone, trying to figure out whether she needed to turn left or right. She hit two right turns before serving back into the street in front of me and deciding to go left. Only, she never put on her blinkers. No, she looked me dead in the fucking eye from her side mirror and veered left without signaling. Looked right at me. Looked at the line of cars behind me. And decided to be a bitch. How do you come to such a conclusion? What kind of faulty wiring do you have in your head? Did a toddler line your neurons with play-dough because you’re acting like a child.
I arrived at Human Resources to take my drug test, which I’ve been preparing for. Since I’m not a chronic marijuana user (once or twice every six months), I just flushed my liver with some water and got all those pesky THC metabolites out of there. I drank some juice before I went in the office so they wouldn’t get suspicious over transparent urine.
I filled out paperwork. I walked down the block and across the street to the nurses office. The results of these really simple urine tests are practically instant. And yet, I had to walk back down the block and back to HR just for the lady to say “you passed.”
Then I had an appointment with a physical therapist for a “back exam”, as required.
They didn’t tell me you had to wear special attire. Which means I had to drive back across town to get home, and then back across town to the physical therapists office.
Enter Bullshit #2: Rehabilitation Center
- As soon as I stepped in the door a woman looked up from her computer and barked “Photo ID”. I handed her the item. She looked at it and said “you sit down now”. So I sat down. It took her a good five minutes to find me in the computer and scan my license, then walked around the corner and handed it to me. She should have handed me her fucking attitude so I could smash it in the ground instead of her face.
- My appointment was at 1:30pm. I arrived promptly at 1:25. The office was small, there was only one room for physical therapy and a break room and maybe five employees and that’s including the two receptionists. There was an older woman sitting beside me who’d been there before I came. She was falling asleep. I watched those workers walk back and forth about fifty times. I also watched the clock. Which ticked . . . and ticked . . . and ticked . . .
- I saw the physical therapist at 2:00pm. I saw him so he could tell me to turn my head to left, to the right, upward, to turn my upper body to the left and to the right, and to squat. I then lifted 45 pounds three times. It took three and a half minutes.
- Three and a half minutes.
- I waited a half an hour.
- For three and a half minutes.
Now to some people these kinds of things are just daily stressors. For me, they’re infuriating. I have admitted more than once that I have an anger problem, and I always try and relax before I drive because I know it’s dangerous to speed the way I do, to yell and flip off people the way I do. I’m aware of my behavior and that’s the first step.
I also know I snap at people. I’ve been known to batter certain people with my opinion until they give up, or if someone gives me a “look” I don’t like, I’ll call them out on it. I’ve been known to not give a shit; I will call you stupid. I get into heated arguments over dumb shit and I’ve been notorious for letting said dumb shit ruin my day.
At least I try and realize how I fucking act, instead of miss stuck up little receptionist who probably gets paid 18 dollars an hour to be a straight up bitch.
So, in general, how do I stay positive?
- I always remind myself there are two sides to a situation. Maybe the woman at the Rehab center was having a particularly bad day and didn’t have the self-control to not let her anger boil over onto me. In the same way, even though I had a negative experience at that particular time, the actual physical therapist was insanely kind and his three and a half minutes made up for that woman’s atrocious customer service. If there’s a negative in a situation, there is always a positive; sometimes you just have to look for it.
- I remind myself it’s alright to be negative. Obviously in dealing with depression, you develop a certain level of comfort in the negativity. But you never let yourself be “okay” with that negativity. Instead, you just tell yourself there’s something wrong with you, that you’re horrible and that you’re this and that. There’s nothing wrong with being negative just like there’s nothing wrong with being positive. As long as you can develop the tools to never let that negativity consume your soul (which is a life process and easier said than done when living with depression) you’ll find yourself enjoying every human emotion. I hate on myself all the time; you all know I have a history of self harm and other such un-pleasantries. I’m barely learning how to acknowledge those types of thoughts and how to accept them and let them stay there wallowing in their own pile of filth so I can get on with my day.
- If I feel myself slipping away, I engage myself in activities that get my brain focused. Sometimes that’s math, sometimes it’s writing, singing, anything to help combat that nagging feeling of falling over the edge. Keeping busy is a good way to combat depression or depressive feelings. It might keep you from falling into that dreaded state of “bed rest”. I’ve been there too many times to let myself get back there without a good fight.
- Go outside. I have social anxiety disorder too and I still try and go outside. It sucks, but I do it. In fact I hate it with a passion, but I do it.
- I realize positivity isn’t as simple as “being positive”. I think a lot of people wish that were the case. But being positive when you’re so used to feeling negative takes a lot of time and effort. It requires you think differently. It requires you recognize when your negativity is inappropriate, even if you feel like you can’t change it. I’m talking about the people who have such automatic thoughts that when you say something nice to them, they automatically combat it with what’s wrong with them or something else bad. I do that. I used to do it a lot more often, but I realize that the words I was saying weren’t entirely true; they were almost a figment of my imagination. Sometimes it’s hard to see that your mind is playing tricks on you.
I’m sure you all have good ways that work for you so you can share them below if you want. If you can’t think of any . . . well, there’s a good starting point.