I have a negative brain. It’s a chemically negative brain, so it needs an intake of chemical to keep it ticking over and it does for the most part. The lows are fewer and further between, and the contentment is what I exist on for most of the time.
But sometimes things trigger. Being in a negative environment soaks through and worms it’s way into my brain. Being tired and seeing no end to an endless pile of marking; wanting to plan brilliant lessons, but ending up in front of a laptop at one in the morning and doing a half-hearted job of it and feeling constantly battered by expectations and demands.
But recently I’m met some really positive people, and you know what? That can soak through too. That can push past the black clouds and let a bit of light in. Positive rays can be stronger and more forceful than the negative, and that’s a good thing, right? I’ve talked to people recently who have made me feel unbelievably supported, people who message out of nowhere to just ask ‘are you ok?’ People who will take time out of their day to support, advise and motivate. That’s how good friendships start. That’s how connections are made.
And yet there are those that dislike the positivists. There are those that berate them and seemingly want to wallow in moaning and negativity. That was me, and it made me very, very ill. It made me ill enough to need to fight very hard to feel anywhere near ‘normal’ again. I feel no shame in admitting that I touched rock bottom and thought there was no way back. But I’m back. I’m not all the way up, and have to accept that I may never be, but to be at a place where things are ‘OK’ is better than I ever could have imagined a few years ago.
There are a million and one things in life to be grateful and thankful for. Maybe it’s my age, or having come from a very dark place, but I can see them more clearly now. The feeling of warm sun on your face, the sounds of a garden on a Sunday afternoon or the rain against the window when you’re snuggled up in bed.
And then there’s the things we often forget. If you have children just look at them, look at them and see the miracle. You did that and they’re OK. You made a life that will be a part of the future of the world.
Dance to your favourite song, spin round and round in delicious ecstasy. Get so lost in a book that you feel like you’re living the lives of the characters, you’re feeling what they feel, loving what they love. Eat good food, enjoy wine and bread, or if you’re like me, a creamy rice pudding.
If you’re not happy in a situation, walk away. Don’t live a life of ‘what ifs’ or because you feel you have to. There’s no shame and it’s never a failure; some things just weren’t meant to be. If you’re happy, others will be happy. Make plans to do things you want to do, whether it’s climbing a mountain, writing a book, travelling to far away lands or moving house or job. Plan to actually do it.
Never underestimate the power of feelings. A smile can go a long way. Reach out to someone who needs it that day. Remember the feelings you get when someone says ‘that’s a good thing you did’, ‘I like you’, or ‘you’re beautiful.’ If the world is a better place for someone being in it, then tell them. Bottle up the feelings that make you feel good, a hug, a moment when you laughed so hard you cried or that feeling when you realised you were falling in love.
Talk. I love to talk. I’m inherently nosey and want to know about everyone and everything. I don’t get to do enough talking and sometimes that’s the one thing that makes the world a lonely place. Listen to each other and if you want to say something, just say it. Don’t pussyfoot around, come right out and say it. Never regret not saying it. Tell each other about your lives, your feelings and your hopes. Just talk.
So don’t pull me down and don’t pull down those wonderful people that pull me up when I’m slipping. It’s good to have an opinion, it’s good to fight for what you believe is good and right, but never do it at the expense of others. Never berate people for thinking differently to you. Listen and you might learn something new; you might find yourself thinking of things in a new way and you might just find people you enjoy having a communication with. Life is hard enough, without bringing down the world around you.