Optimistically Pessimistic or Pessimistically Optimistic: Self-Reflection on Emotional Despair
Posted Sep 23 2012 5:57pm
What a crappy weekend.
There, I said it. I admitted it. It happened. Now what?
In the past few months of my life, I have become exceedingly optimistic. I have slowly been able to emulate the carefree tendencies of a genuinely “happy” person. At one point in my life, this was not the case whatsoever. For years and years, I was very negative. Very, very pessimistic. I was mad at the world; I didn’t know how to deal with my frustrations, and I simply bottled up my true feelings in an emotionally self-destructive manner. As time progressed, I began to discover and live out my passions. Slowly but surely, I began to find happiness in the day-to-day.
But, this weekend my positivity failed me.
Everybody has their breaking point. Everybody has a point at which they just are emotionally drained and utterly broken. I reached this point, and it hit me hard.
This might come as a shock to a lot of people. HELL, it came as a bit of shock to me. But, nonetheless, these overwhelming emotions of negativity, pessimism, and unhappiness hit me like a ton of bricks. Quickly. Abruptly. All at once.
I spent the entirely of my weekend reflecting on bottled up emotions I didn’t even realize were bottled up. I have spent almost three days reflecting on emotions that I have managed to hide from even myself. It’s been an awful, miserable, and scary few days. And I am not afraid to admit it. I have covered the entire spectrum of emotions. I have felt sadness, anger, and utter despair. I have shed tears over things I didn’t even realize were breaking me down. I have allowed my emotions to surface, and I have been left with no choice but to face them head-on.
Note: I am not asking for pity. I do not want people feeling sorry for me. I am simply sharing where I am, where I’ve been, and where I am headed–as a means to help myself and help others in this journey we call life.
I refuse to be a hypocrite. I will not blog my #ChooseHappy movement day after day, when I am slowing but surely finding myself broken. Why this sudden backlash of emotions? Where did it come from? And why now?
There is no simple answer to any of these questions. There is no one situation to pinpoint as the cause of my animosity, anger, and frustration with my life in the past few days. The emotions have been building up for quite some time, and I finally have to tackle them right here, right now.
With my recent foot injury, I have not been able to exercise. I have not been able to run. I have not been able to lift. Cue: panic. Just the other day, I shared my thoughts on my injury as an opportunity and not a setback . Blah. Blah. Blah. That thinking can only get me so far. I can say it, I can tell myself these very words, but at the end of the day– I am lost without exercise. I am lost without the endorphin rush–the utter stress-relief of a hard workout, a long run, and a truly empowering lifting session.
I mentioned in the post mentioned above that I will now have all the extra time for “other activities” because I can’t exercise. Well, this weekend I was presented with this very time. In retrospect, this “time” left me with nothing more than time to discover, analyze, and reflect on where I stand emotionally. It’s funny how after months upon months of focusing on the physical aspects of my life, I managed to simply push aside everything that I am facing within myself.
Maybe I never did become this “optimist” I claim to be.
Maybe I have simply masked my pessimism by focusing my energies on something else entirely: fitness. I am not entirely sure how to feel about this honest and sincere reflection. This weekend presented me with a scary look at myself, from the inside out.
I have been so focused on building physical strength that I have put all my efforts into masking the emotions within myself. Confronted with these emotions, I reached an all-time low: an almost unexplainable low that showed me just how much I have been neglecting the true essence of my life.
So, I have admitted where I am. I have accepted that I am emotionally drained. This injury sucks. It sucks a lot. But, without this injury I would have continued to mask these emotions. Removing my outlet for my emotions has left me with a chance to deal with them. I am angry. I am upset. But more than anything, I am not only pessimistically optimistic that my feelings have surfaced, but also optimistically pessimistic that I can and will discover exactly what it takes to refuel my soul.
I have spent several days dwelling on the negative and feeling sorry for myself. But, at least I have come to turns with this emotional despair. Maybe this injury really is a blessing in disguise.
This is exactly what I intend to do, one day at a time.
P.S. – Thank you to my dear friend, Dawn for sharing this quote with me. It resonated with me so very much today:
“If you are looking for the love of your life, stop. They will be waiting for you when you start doing what you love.”