What is something you wish you knew how to do?
If I have to choose one thing, I know what it is. But I’ve got some runners-up. Here are a few, in no particular order.
• write (no, like, really write books and be good enough to be published and maybe famous)
• draw (way better than I can now)
• paint (I am an artist in several ways, but I’ve always sucked at painting)
• home repairs (all kinds)
• interior design (I’m okay, but my mom is amazing at it (and she’s not an interior designer))
• play guitar (I tried, but I’m hopeless)
• let go (of physical things and of feelings)
Interesting that people always tell me I’m creative, but most of the things I wish I knew how to do (or do better) are creative things. I’m just not that good.
Okay, now on to the actual answer.
I wish I could be positive.
I have been working on this for years. Nothing has helped, and I know why.
I have an inferiority complex. I always think everyone is better than me. I always feel like I’m being compared to others, a few people in particular. But it’s entirely possible that I am the only person making those comparisons. And I haven’t been able to stop.
I lack self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-worth. I think self-esteem and self-worth are the bigger issues because I do have confidence in my ability to do a few things, but I don’t love or value myself at all. At times, I think the people around me would be better off without me. I think I’m worthless. Unnecessary. Expendable.
Another roadblock is my identity. For years, I’ve been seen as the depressed one or the negative one. That, in itself, is a comparison. If I’m the depressed one, someone else is the happy one or the confident one or the successful one. All positive identities. But not mine. My identity is negative. And it’s hard to change one’s identity—in my eyes and everyone else’s.
I do have a couple of positive identities, though. Yet I manage to make them negative. In addition to being the depressed and negative one, I’m also the smart one and the creative one. I may be smart, but where as that gotten me? I make terrible decisions, I don’t have a career, I’m not good at parenting, and I’m not happy. I think I have book-smarts to some extent, but I suck at life. Likewise, I may be creative, but see above. I’m good at some things, but I’m not great at any of them.
But—the reason nothing I’ve tried has helped me be more positive is quite simple. I have to figure it out on my own. No one will ever be able to tell me how I can change my mindset because no one is me. I don’t know what it will take for something to click inside me, but I know that nobody can make that happen for me.
No one is coming to save me. I have to save myself. That starts with convincing myself that I’m worth saving. And that’s no small feat.
However, this doesn’t mean I don’t need a support system. I do. I really fucking do. I need cheerleaders, if you will, reminding me that I can do it and that I’m worth it. I don’t have that (save for one particular online friend and sometimes, my daughter). My mom and sisters see me as the depressed and negative one. They don’t (and won’t) understand what I’m trying to do and what I need. I don’t have any offline friends. I don’t have anyone to go to in the middle of the night (or any other time) when I’m struggling, scared as hell that I’m slipping backwards, spiraling out of control. I am essentially alone in this, and that makes it far more difficult.
Have you ever read anything about coping with depression? One of the first things always mentioned is having a good support system. I have to do this without one. I’m not sure that’s possible. I don’t want to be negative about overcoming my negativity, but without a support system, I lose hope. I need a friend who truly cares to listen to me and encourage me and love me. I need a friend to hug me. In every story I’ve ever written, my main characters always have at least one person (not their love interest) who’s their ride or die. I don’t have that person. (And I really need the hugs. And the late night I’m-freaking-out talks.)
I have a list of things I plan to try in working toward a more positive Sandra. But I have to take it slow. One thing at a time. Overwhelming myself will surely end in failure.
I hope I can have some drama and crisis free days so I can focus on myself. I haven’t been able to do that for months. I’m losing my mind. The very one I’m trying to change.
I’m positive that I could use many hugs from these guys. And anything else they want to give me.
p.s. — Years ago, I had a boss who once described me as “bubbly”. I had never and have never since heard anyone call me “bubbly”. I guess I was doing very well at showing enthusiasm for my job. Oh, but it was fake.