Tuesday, November 9, 2010

My Bad... I Guess?

It's just after 8 and already today has left a bad taste in my mouth.  Fantastic.

You see, I tend to take things very personally, and this morning I have already felt attacked, even though I'm sure it was meant to be anything but an attack.  Let me explain.

I am notoriously pessimistic.  I am Eeyore personified.  Well, at least, I used to be.  You see, I'm on a medication called Fluoxetine, aka generic Prozac.  I'm not ashamed of that.  I don't try to hide it.  In fact, I bring it up sometimes to joke about it or be thankful for it!  

I remember I used to hate that I needed medication to be "normal" and I even tried a few times to live without taking the meds (which, for the record, turned out to be a poor idea - who knew?).  Then my mom and I had (roughly) this conversation:

Mom: What do you dislike about it?
Me: I hate being dependent on something just to be normal.
Mom: I see...  Well, are you dependent on your glasses?
Me: Well, yeah, I guess.  But that's different!
Mom: How?  You need the glasses to see normally, right?  You wouldn't just stop wearing them because you didn't like it.
Me: Uh, no.  That'd be pretty dumb.
Mom: Right.  So why is depending on them to live any different than depending on medication?
Me: Um...  Huh...

In my mind, the meds had been more like crutches, easing me back to recovery.  But in reality, they're just as necessary as my glasses or my inhaler.  I depend on these things to live the best life I can, and there's nothing wrong with that.

Anywhoozles, I digress (or digest, for you Family Guy fans).  My point is I used to be the poster child for depression, pessimism, and anything else moody like that.  People who have known me for awhile remember this and, sometimes, still think of me that way.  Which means when I try to be optimistic, people often think I'm being sarcastic or just plain rude. 

And that...  Ooh, that rubs me the wrong way.  I take it very personally when people think I'm incapable of looking at the positive side of things or being in any way optimistic.  Really?  Do you all think I'm that horrible?  Thanks, that's really reassuring.  I feel awesome now.  Woo.

So, as you can see, things that aren't meant to be attacks can sometimes feel like attacks to me.  I get defensive and my pessimistic former self starts creeping back.  The sarcasm thickens, the mood darkens, and it takes everything I have not to lash out.  

Here's a thought - try giving people the benefit of the doubt. Oddly enough, sometimes they really do change; sometimes for the better!  If a friend or coworker or family member or neighbor does or says something out of character, and it's a GOOD change, go with it.  Don't question it.  Don't assume it's a fluke or that it's meant to mock.  Have a little optimism.  It goes a long way.

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