Watch Me Shine

I’m sitting here tonight with swollen eyelids from the massive amount of crying I’ve done today and feeling like a scolded child because, to add insult to injury on top of my already really bad day, I got in trouble at work. After an almost 2 hour meeting going over issues from several days ago, I was sent home on suspension for the day. Let me tell you, nothing sucks worse about being in a really bad spot financially like losing out on 5 hours of tip making. It’s just been a genuinely terrible, stressful, hard to handle day.

After this day of tears and frustrations, I’m left thinking about a conversation a dear friend of mine and I had on Sunday. I had opened up and was telling him some intensely private information about my past. The stuff that I was telling him about is some of the hardest times I’ve ever endured in my life. As I told him my story, I told him about how this is why I write to reach out to others. I want to lift others up that feel broken by life because I’ve been there. I also talked about how when I go through hard times now, I reflect back on how hard my life was then and remember that I got through it even though I felt I wouldn’t. It lets me know I can make it through anything now. Then…it was like life had to challenge this statement with today’s issues.

InĀ Where Are My Happy Memories?, I talked about how negativity has had a major impact on my life, and why my brain automatically moves to negative thinking. I’m in a position lately though, that I need to make this change. It is having a negative impact on my personal life and my professional life. And frankly, I’m tired of it. Others notice negativity, from potential romantic partners, to friends, to employers and coworkers. Yesterday was quite eye opening for me in this realization.

We can be our own harshest critics. I know this is true for many, and it’s definitely true for me. Lately though, I’ve realized I’m not only hard on myself, but others too. I want to nip this in the bud now. I want for being harsh and being negative to no longer have a solid place in my life. As I was encouraged by my friend yesterday in my steps to being more positive, I realized and told him, “This is my chance to shine.” It’s true. This is my chance to make serious and noticeable changes. This is my chance to prove to others and myself that I can be successful and get through this on the up side. This is my chance to make change and be different.

So, with this new knowledge and motivation, I’ll begin working on me again. I know that I will get through this current hard stuff. I also know that I can be positive. I know that this can be life changing. So, my friends, watch me shine.

Where Are My Happy Memories?

Two days ago, my therapist gave me a writing assignment (bless her heart, she already knows me so well). Here’s the thing though, for the last two days, I’ve been racking my brain trying to figure out what I’m going to write.

I’m supposed to write about something positive or happy memories. She explained that for those that suffer from PTSD, our brains become hardwired to always see negative first and that focusing on the positive helps to redirect the brain. It didn’t seem like a big deal when she said it, but now that I’ve had time to think about it, I totally get it. Every time I think of something happy or positive memories, I immediately associate it with something else bad. Every positive moment cancelled out in my brain by the negative. I think about events with my kids and immediately, my brain is telling me, “You can’t write about that, you haven’t been a very good mom.” I thought about memories of my dad (my step dad) when I was young, like him teaching me how to drive or playing one-on-one basketball like we used to do, and my brain responds, “You shouldn’t favor your dad, you are a bad daughter for not being closer to your mom,” or, “How can you write about your dad when your relationship is virtually non-existent now?” It’s hard enough to come up with a positive thing to write about here at all, but even worse my mind is telling me constantly that I’m somehow bad for it.

While trying to think of what the hell I’m going to write, all I’ve done is cry and put myself down and think of what a failure I’ve been. This is exactly why I went and got signed up for therapy in the first place. I know logically that the negative thoughts are lies from the years of pain and brokenness and trauma, but feeling differently is definitely going to take some work. So, for now, I’ll keep on trying to figure out, where are my happy memories?

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