Whatever happens in my life, there is something I must always to remind myself of constantly: everything is temporary. Nothing is permanent and that does not have to be a bad thing.
For far too long now, I have been plagued by thoughts that can only be described as dark. All the while, I have managed to be grateful for my life and all the wonderful people and things that I am surrounded by. And sometime in the last month, I got fed up with letting these dark thoughts ruin my good days.
After I forgave myself for losing a relationship with someone very important to me because of said dark thoughts, I decided I would never let that happen again.
I’m in the war of my life, at the door of my life, out of time and there’s no where to run.
— John Mayer, War of My Life
I’ve waged a war on said dark thoughts, but this war isn’t a violent one. That wouldn’t do me any good to be at [a violent] war with myself. It’s a war because it’s serious, but my methods are only ever gentle. I’ve been abusive to myself for far too long. I’m making progress: Less than two months ago, whenever a dark thought would enter my mind it would devour me and my entire being. It would be all that I saw, and if someone or something was able to distract me briefly it would only ever succeed momentarily.
It’s been a process, and there are some days when the fight is harder than other days. The light gets brighter every day, and I’m doing well to leave traces of where I’ve been so that if I ever get drawn back by those dark thoughts I can find my way around them. I know now that being ‘plagued’ by these sort of dark thoughts is actually something that can be considered a strength.
The way I see it, these thoughts come to me along with the good thoughts because I can see every situation from all sides. I like to think it’s one of the reasons that I’m so good with people; why I thrive as a volunteer manager; I don’t have a problem putting myself in someone else’s shoes and taking multiple steps. One problem is that I let what I see affect me too much; I allow myself to forget who I am and how fucking amazing I am.
[Sidebar: I used to think that I do this, not because I have low self-esteem, but because I am humble. I know better now].
The even bigger problem lies in the fact that I have developed a horrible habit of focusing on the negative. Mind you, it’s human nature to get stuck in the negative, but I’m pretty tired of it and I can’t help but think back to the first TED talk I truly fell in love with by Barbara Arrowsmith-Young on how she changed her brain as I continue on this journey. These resources and many others are my ammo for this war I’m in against my bad habits.
I don’t assume there won’t be darkness when the war is over; it would be naive and foolish of me to think that way. All that I want is for the darkness to stay in its corner, and leave me, and joy to spend our days together basking in the light.