It’s not always easy to maintain a positive attitude. Life can throw curveballs at you, trip you up, leave you wondering what the hell just happened. We’ve all been there at some point. Dazed, confused, lost, and trying to figure out what the next steps should be.
Of course, there are thousands of opinions on how to handle life’s obstacles. Some people choose religion and spirituality. Some try journaling or maybe seeing a therapist. Others numb themselves with drugs and alcohol. There’s a little something for everyone.
I’m not going to try and tell you what you should do to pick yourself up, how you should view life, or even offer you an answer. That’s something you have to do on your own. Everyone is different, and the solution for one person may not work for another. We’re all very unique when it comes to mental and emotional health.
What I will do, however, is tell you how I manage. Maybe you’ll find something useful in my experience.
When I find myself slipping into one of those states of mind, when life is looking dark and I’m feeling adrift, I force myself to take stock. What I mean is, I look around myself and identify all the good things going on in my life. Sure, I could be sick or angry or hurt, but that’s not the entirety of my existence. No, there’s always more to consider.
I’m in a good relationship (twenty-seven years and counting) and I have also have a dear friend who would do anything for me. I also have two dogs that always seem to sense my mood and know when I need their attention. I have two self-published short story collections that have sold well, and I have the opportunity to express and explore my creativity.
It may not seem like much, but it’s enough.
And, of course, I write. A lot. I fill up a couple of journals every year, the pages covered in early morning or late night scribbles detailing my hopes, fears, successes, and failures. I have to admit, my journal is my therapist. It’s a fantastic way to vent.
The thing is, I know it’s easy to slip into a funk (and not the cool Parliament Funkadelic kind), to surround yourself in darkness, to feel as if you can’t do anything right, like no one cares.
It’s okay to feel that way. It’s normal. It’s natural. We all have those feelings. It’s just that some people can process things better than others. People who claim to never doubt themselves are lying. Same goes for people who say they’ve never been hurt, never cried, or never felt depressed. It’s all part of being human, of being alive. Don’t think that you’re the only one who gets overwhelmed.
Creativity, to me, isn’t just about self-expression. It’s about mental health. It’s about exploring the things in my head, the dreams, the nightmares, and everything in between. And yeah, it often helps me to get back on course. Remembering the good things in life and doing something positive, like writing or making music, are the things that keep me going.