A few days ago a post came up in my ‘On This Day’ feed on Facebook. It’s contents talked about my dad and his daily struggle with living with dementia.
To kind of paraphrase it talked about my dad and what he’s done since receiving the diagnosis. Rather than let it take him completely he fights it every way he can. He does mentoring, public speaking, raises awareness, whatever he can do.
It made me think a lot about the way we react to things. Some people react well, some don’t. The thing that I have taken from it though is it’s not what happens it’s what you make of things that matters.
You can have bad news or have a bad situation and sometimes you can make something almost positive out of it.
Some people let the negativity control them and allow themselves to wallow in it. I’m not necessarily saying that’s a bad thing. Sometimes we need to need to feel bad or hurt. It’s like grief, we need to be able to go through it to get an understanding of what has happened. But we shouldn’t let it be a deciding factor of how we live our lives, of how we look at things.
If you look for negativity, you’ll be able to see it present in all things. It will colour everything around you and inform every decision you make in life. It will drain all the colour from your life.
Look at my dad. Yes, there were times after his diagnosis where everything overwhelmed him and weighed him down. He talked about suicide like it was a valid option as he didn’t want to burden anyone or unnecessarily suffer himself. This was his absolute lowest. But he managed to make something better out of it. He managed to find a way of dealing with it in his own way, on his own terms.
Anxiety comes from a fear of the unknown, a fear of what could be, those infinite repercussions of things that haven’t happened. We start to dread what we don’t know and it’s these negative thoughts and feelings that others seem to provoke and feed. We can to try and fight them with a similar approach we have when we deal with anxiety. We need to control what we can, which is the now, the present. You can affect change in yourself and your immediate surroundings. This will, in turn, affect other things around you.
I decided after my last major episode to try and take myself out of those negative states. I live more in the moment, allowing myself more control over everything. I’m not saying not to say no to new experiences or opportunities. Seize them, take advantage of them, pursue the opportunities they can offer you. By being yourself you can gain more strength and peace. I’ve been able to help and support others by just being more aware of myself. It’s something we can all do. And it all comes from accepting who you are and that positivity can change things.
Just look at the way the mainstream media seems intent on creating a constant state of fear and hatred in our lives by perpertuating an eternal saturation of negativity. Rather than foster healthy debate it seems intent on taking one side of an argument (or occasionally both) then fanning the embers of hatred until both sides become a mass baying for blood. Good news doesn’t sell as much as bad news and I know bad news travels faster and further than good. That’s human nature. But surely that’s something that we can change and we should change? It’s something we should at least morally question. If we know deep down that something is wrong we should do all we can to fight against it.
I know people who are removing themselves from social media as they can’t stand the constant hate and anger that’s being thrown around. And that’s sad. Something that should be really be about bringing people together and connecting us is starting to tear us apart.
In these times of constant negativity and fear mongering we need to remind ourselves that positive things happen, even out of the most negative of situations. We should ignore this constant war of propaganda that the media uses to stir up hate (and more sales). Stop allowing yourself to be lead by hatred and people throwing up statistics as facts. Everything can be manipulated. Live from your heart, live from doing positive actions, live from helping others, live from doing good, live from taking bad situations and making them the best you can. There is good in everyone, and we’re all able of making choices good and bad, right and wrong. Hug your friends and family, tell them you love them and how much they mean to you. We’re social creatures and we live in a giant community that’s ever expanding, ever pushing it’s boundaries further away. We should learn to live more openly, not closed up. We need to spread a massage of love, not hate. We are one big family. We should be helping each other not hindering. We should be making this world into a better place, not staking out our separate claims of greed.
The title of this volume of my blog comes from the song “Love Of Life” by a band called Swans. You can find a YouTube video of it here Swans – ‘Love Of Life’
As usual if you want to talk to me further you can do me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also I’ve created a closed support group on Facebook also called The Order Of The Dog. It’s there for people who suffer from mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression, as well as people who want to support others and get a better understanding of it. It’s a closed group is only members can see and reply to what is posted. Finally, please feel free to share this blog with anyone and anywhere where you think it might help.
The Order Of The Dog