A self-help/self-improvement motivational speaker by the name of Kirk Duncan teaches ways to fight negativity in your life. He provides exercises you can use. I am going to practice one here on the blog, with a slight twist.
One of the exercises he teaches is to take a piece of paper and divide it down the middle. On the left side, you write down the Top Ten negative thoughts you have had about yourself for the past few days. Once that's done, you kind of feel crappy. So then you take the right side, and straight across from each negative thought, you write the opposite, PLUS an extra positive. Example:
1. I'll never make it.
Straight across, you write:
2. I WILL make it, and I will surpass all expectations.
One negative versus two positives. Once you're done writing it all out, you usually feel a lot better about yourself, and it is easier in the future to fight those same negative thoughts. It's good to practice this regularly.
Well today, I am having a pretty awful day and I want to whine about it. I need to whine about it, because I can't let it sit in my head. So I'm going to whine, but I might as well be productive with it. Right now I feel like it's a stupid thing to do, but I tend to think that before every self-help exercise and always find out after that I was wrong about it being stupid. So I'll trust that.
I am not having a good day and I'm alone with the dogs, who I'm fairly pissed at right now.
I took my first quiz for an online class that has only 4 quizzes (plus a final exam) and I got a D. A freaking D. Great start. I feel stupid and incompetent. I just want to finish this class (and one more online one... ugh) and get my stinking diploma. At this point I don't feel like I deserve it.
Crohn's disease is back and firing away. I feel like crap. It's been nearly 4 years since I've had to deal with anything like this. Four years of medically-induced remission. I hate this. I really hate this. I'm seeing my doctor next week because it's been 2 months and it's only getting worse. I'm afraid of what he is going to put me on and what the future holds. I don't want drugs. I don't want even more radiation from tests. I don't want this stupid incurable disease. I just want to be rid of this.
After taking the quiz and to try and get fresh air to help lift my moods and maybe my physical well-being, I took Idiot and Butthead (Tonka and Hoover) outside to lay in the grass. A lady walked across the street with her labrador and the dogs were off. I yelled that they're friendly while running after them, but the lady was way rude and threatened to hurt the dogs if they did anything. I told her that's unnecessary, what I said is true, they're not aggressive. She continued to be rude. I had to literally DRAG the 2 full-grown adult male labradors (70-something and 85lbs) across the street with my bare hands, and hurt my hands in the process. Crohn's arthritis.
I came inside from the struggle with the dogs and had to lay on the floor. The whole thing wiped me out. This isn't normal, and I do not like it.
My stomach hurts. My hands hurt. My motivation to get my stupid degree is struggling.
Those are three really crappy things.
I'm not "in the mood" to look on the bright side, but I'll force myself until the mood is there.
We are not staying in our apartment this week, which means we are not running power, which means we are saving money.
I have a very talented husband who works hard long hours to support us and still loves me no matter how I feel about myself.
I'm not happy with the dogs right now, but I get to live with dogs this week. Tyler and I don't have a dog. Remember, Laura? You love dogs. You LOVE DOGS. Doggies. Puppies. They're babies. You love them. You can't stay mad at them.
I have a car. It runs. It gets really good mileage. And it's a Volkswagen.
I have clothes. Okay, this one feels stupid to write, but if I really think about it, I can actually choose what I want to wear each day. Comfort only? I have options. Formal? I have options. Professional? Check the closet, they're there. Outdoor work/play? Yep, I have things for that. Compared to millions of people on the planet, I'm pretty lucky.
I just got a new laptop. Duh! I forgot that one! It was a great price and is a great computer! I'm writing on my old laptop because I'm going to wait and use the new one for when this one is ready to be retired, which won't be long now.
I am feeling better after writing. I don't feel like I want to bawl anymore. I'm still not happy about the grade and I still feel sick. But I'm not wallowing in self-loathing and pity anymore. And I don't want to give up, which is what I wanted to do when I started writing. Things will get better and part of that is in my control.
I did this exercise for myself, but I hope others can use Kirk Duncan's exercises and find ways to think better about their lives and situations. We all face negativity, whether it's in our control or not. Even if some parts are out of our control (the dogs' actions, the disease), we have control over how it impacts our thoughts, which down the road can impact the external outcomes.