The power of positive thinking

12 Aug

1:31 pm

I wish I had this power!

Seriously, I have been thinking a lot lately about why some people ruminate and others don’t.  I have spent my entire life thinking a certain way, and it’s not easy to change that.  In fact, it’s not really that easy to see it, to understand it, and to embrace the fact that NO, I don’t have to think this way.  It feels good, and safe, and scratches some itch to keep doing things the same way–and some part of this ruminative thinking is healthy and is what’s helped me process my reality and life–but I guess at some point, you just get miserable and tired enough to TRY SOMETHING ELSE.

I keep a journal, and that’s where I dump all my negative thoughts–but, when I think about those thoughts from an above-myself view, I see that I, me, this person, this alcoholic, doesn’t actually see them as negative.  To me, they’re just thoughts–my thoughts, the ones I always have, the type of thinking I’ve always done.  From the ground, I am this, that; she and he is this, that; I am feeling down and it’s because of this, that; I don’t believe that this is going to work because of this, that.  You get the picture.  If only I could see that most of my conclusions are based on no facts; they are of my brain, inside my head, not informed by any fact or stimulus coming at me from the real, outside world.

It’s not that simple, though, to decipher negative patterns from legitimately angry or sad or even happy or joyful thoughts–these are thoughts that help guide you on your path, and inform your decisions!  It’s not easy to realize when let’s say, PMS, is changing your thought patterns, and for no apparent reason, you just feel irritated, angry, heavy, negative.

What I have been trying in small increments to do is to think above or around the negative thoughts.  To ignore them, to bypass them and like, go to yoga instead.  There is this part of my brain–maybe it’s Wolfie, the alcoholic drinking voice; maybe it’s his cousin–who says, YOU HAVE TO consider these thoughts, you have to legitimize them by taking them seriously; at the very least, you have to acknowledge them.  And, I might be wrong here, and I might be feeling around in the dark, but I’ve come to realize that NO, you don’t have to do any of those things.  You can just move on with your day, trashing thoughts and feelings that are ruminative–you can just keep moving, it’s OK.  Don’t confuse moving forward with running away.  (And, my favorite aunt once said, It’s OK to run away sometimes, too.)

So, yeah, I’ve been in my head lately.  I got a job contract renewal, so that is GREAT news–nine more months of staring at my computer for eight hours a day, in my office, alone.  Getting paid well, though, which is a relief because…I have expenses, and I have dreams that need major coin (I want to buy a house soon, I think).  I am grateful, even though it’s not a “dream job.”  And frankly, I don’t have the time, money, or energy to do a “job I love” (an oxymoron?) for a lot less money but one that is out in the “real world,” with actual other human beings.  (Btw, A LOT of people work remotely these days; it’s a great thing, so why am I even EVER complaining about it!?)  Actually, I’ve been on a quest to find that perfect new job, that perfect new career–which means, I’ve basically turned job searching, trolling the job boards, teasing out job descriptions into a hobby (sad, I know).  And what have I learned?  Well, that most writing, content, or communications-related jobs are just the same job.  Really.  So many jobs, so much of the same thing.  I can see myself doing something along the lines of international development or public health, but that will have to be a future focus.

We are doing “aight” here in our new home, but it’s very likely we’ll move back to where we came from (the tropics–ahh) when our lease is up.  I don’t want to be negative here, because I have major issues, it seems, with meeting and making friends, but:  I have never lived in a place that is so seemingly averse to community engagement.  A major complaint among people here is that there is no sense of “community,” and everyone asks why.  I think I’ve figured it out:  people here don’t want it.  If they did,  they’d work toward it.  Like, it’s a chore for people to say hello, to make small talk here; I have never lived anywhere like it, honestly.  I’m from the Midwest, and um, we talk to each other there.  I lived for many years in San Francisco and then, SoCal; even if they can come across as superficial, Californians are super-duper friendly.  I think New Yorkers are some of the most genuine people I’ve ever met.  And, we moved here from a place where two Cat 5 hurricanes ripped through the landscape; if people hadn’t come together, no one would have eaten, had ice, showered, or been able to read a freaking book for six months!?  I think sometimes I forget that younger people are JUST NOT USED TO COMMUNICATING IN REAL LIFE; I think growing up always online has created people who are oblivious to their surroundings, which, um, include other human beings.  Just my two cents.

On that note, I am going to exhale, and try to have a GREAT day.  Thanks for listening to my brain on static, and now I am going to turn off the radio for a while.

(Wine?  Yep, I’ve been thinking about it a bit more than usual–more than I have in the past few years–but I won’t drink.  “Boredom” is a symptom of something else, and I know it should not be treated with booze.)

7 Responses to “The power of positive thinking”

  1. mishedup August 12, 2018 at 5:06 pm #

    You know…

    in meditation all thoughts are equal. You note them and move on by returning to the breath or a mantra.

    Thoughts are always gonna be around, and I admit to that same proclivity to negative rumination…it’s a hard one to let go of. I tend to the “glass half empty ” side of life myself.

    meditation has helped me to take the importance out of the thought, if that makes sense..not sure how to say it. I am able to note the thought and then move on, do something else, whatever, and not go down the spiral that comes with some of those thoughts. Many times I will write about it, because things do need to be addressed, but often that is enough to allow me to let it go.

    Your situation is hard…making friends is hard in a good environment…I’m so sorry you have to go through this. But congrats on the job, and that working from home thing is a sweet deal when you live far from your job, right?

    I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes.,..”Let everything happen to you, beauty and terror. Just keep going. No feeling is final”. Rilke

    Let all the thoughts happen, and try to not label them good and bad….just keep going, Everything changes.
    xox

    • Drunky Drunk Girl August 12, 2018 at 8:06 pm #

      Thanks for this insightful comment. I have to really work myself up to meditate. For now, I do yoga and the gym, and at least those activities help quiet my thoughts while I am doing them!

      • mishedup August 13, 2018 at 4:12 pm #

        OhI get it with the meditation, I work myself into it too…and then t’s easy for a while, then I slack off and then it’s hard again!
        A work in progress. Yoga is constant for me tho, and i find i meditate there too…so it’s helpful.
        xo

  2. Ainsobriety August 12, 2018 at 10:48 pm #

    My brain used to be a run on stream of self criticism, negativity and fear.
    For years and years.

    I have found stillness through sobriety, yoga and meditation, medication, Brene Browns book the gifts of imperfection and therapy.
    I do A lot of flow yoga to quell anxiety, yin yoga to cultivate the ability to be still and quiet and I study yoga philosophy, to inspire my soul.

    I do think medication was necessary for me to be able to hear the negative thoughts and realize they weren’t necessarily true. I never considered that.

    Perhaps you need a new tool in your tool box…

    Hugs and love
    Anne

  3. Adrian August 14, 2018 at 9:48 am #

    Yes. You can … just move on with your day and keep moving. That is actually the ticket.

  4. Deanna Thurman August 17, 2018 at 7:12 am #

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. It’s not always easy to get out of your own head and see the world for what it really is, instead of the scary, dreadful, and risky place that your brain says it ‘should’ be. Which is not to say that the real world can never be scary or shitty, of course. It can be, and sometimes it really is. But sometimes, its just our own mind standing in our way and telling us that we can’t achieve our goals or live our dream life because its just too damn hard! I’m so glad that you were able to find a way to get over that self-perpetuating circle of negativity and fear. I hope you can find happiness and success moving forward in life, and inspire many others like me.

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