Good evening, all.
Evening for me, probably morning for you, afternoon maybe. I know I get a lot of views from people across the world (which, holly hell, thank you so much for reading, even if all you get to is this sentence and you think *fuck, she’s boring me already* and click out. You’re still awesome to me. -cue thumbs up and winky face-)
Good -enter time of day here-, all.
I just thought I’d take a moment out of my night time to discuss something interesting with you all.
The idea of positive and negative in this world.
We’ve seemed to really . . . well, blatantly, fuck it up.
We’ve got this misconception that “negative” means “bad” and “positive” means “good”and that one is desirable and the other should be exonerated.
At this point all you word nerds out there who are frantically googling the word “negative” for the origins just ready to blast me in the comments saying “negative is literally the definition of bad, idiot”.
But what you will find is word nerds who care much more about semantics than your whining and will kindly, but perhaps aggressively and arrogantly correct you: negative is simply the denial of something, the absence or something. Positive can be seen as the affirmation of something.
Rather than continue the tradition of the original meanings of the word, we’ve transformed them into tools to use against and/or shame people into thinking or behaving how we think they should.
People tell you to “think positively”.
They tell you to “not think so negatively”.
Let’s break these phrases down a little, shall we?
When you say “ugh, this really sucks, I’m so depressed, I just can’t stop all these negative thoughts” and you get that horrendous reply of “try and think more positively about things”, do you realize what that person is actually suggesting?
Before you punch them in the face, think about this, think about how we’re all misunderstanding the terms we use on a daily basis.
By them suggesting you think more “positive”, they’re essentially saying “don’t think negatively”.
Hmm. So how do you do that?
You don’t ever think negative without having thought positive at some point in your life. Humans are like magnets: we have a positive pole and a negative pole. We don’t have one without the other, because their very definitions imply there is an opposite.
The goal isn’t to ignore negativity. The goal isn’t to pretend it’s not there and just think more positively. Do you know what that’s called? Do you know what ignoring the “negative” or more properly, the “bad” and focusing only on the bright side of everything? That’s called repression. And if you struggle with your mental health, repression will only escalate both.
When you have thoughts in your head that feel like they are overwhelming, that feel like they are horrible and “negative” and they’re pressuring you to end your existence because, fuck it, nothing goes right, everything is bad . . .
That’s fine. That’s fine and you will make it through that. It’s okay to feel fucking worthless and stupid and horrible and dumb and it’s okay to be self-loathing. It’s okay to HURT.
You’re human. You’re going to. And if you try and avoid it, it will only hit you ten times harder.
What those people are suggestion when they ask you to think more positively is to essentially ignore the negative and focus on only one side, the bright side.
This isn’t to say succumb to those feelings. It’s only an encouragement to talk those things out. The place I’m working now just avoided a horrible incident of suicide because of auditory hallucinations with the same tactic. It took four days of a lot of talking, a lot of human connection, but to see the smile on someone’s face once more when they realize the people around them have helped them through the negativity, to realize that they themselves can survive when things are horribly rough, is priceless.
They don’t tell people “don’t think so negative”; they don’t tell people “It will help if you think more positively”. They don’t say “oh, sorry, you’re sick, this is your reality from now on”. They tell people “We’re here for you, you can make it through this, and let’s talk it out”.
No hospital intervention. No cops. No forced medication. Just human connection.
That one incident to me is greater than anything psychiatry or psychology has shown me thus far in my studies.
It’s not about being negative or positive, it’s about acknowledging both and working through both.
Now all of you who didn’t believe me when I said mental “disorders” aren’t a disease, to those who didn’t believe me when I said it’s not only a “chemical imbalance”, to those of who you still believe you are doomed to live life stuck behind the idea of “mental illness”, I’ll be giving you various, very general (i.e, no names, or any information about people for confidentiality reasons) real life examples proving you wrong throughout the months, just like the one above.
The reason I say we’ve essentially fucked up by thinking negativity is something bad is we end up wanting to avoid it. We end up wanting it to leave us and trying to force it to leave us. We want it out and we want it gone. We just want to be happy.
But in all that muck we are unable to see by trying to force a part of humanity away from ourselves can easily get in the way of our own happiness. If you want to cry, then cry. If you want to scream, then scream. If you want to talk to someone, talk. Get it out. Don’t ignore it, don’t leave it there to fester, don’t put yourself through more pain.
Negativity isn’t bad. It’s not something you should avoid or hate. It’s something you should embrace. It’s something you need to be comfortable with experiencing, or else life is going to be straight hell.
When it is present in your life, it is there for a reason. It’s your choice whether or not you want to ignore it and hope it will go away, or if you want to say “Well, here we go again” and work through it.
It won’t ever go away. You’re a human, not an inanimate object.
By today’s psychological standard, we practically need to be a robot with little feeling both negative or positive to be considered “normal”.
So don’t be so negative about your negativity. It loves you. You need to learn to love it back.
Taoists will understand what I’m saying. It’s all about interconnectedness, am I right? No good without evil, no positive without negative. You need the definition of the other to know about its counterpart.