How Being Negative Can Get You To The Gym

Positive Thinking...
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via How Being Negative Can Get You To The Gym.

I read this article, not because I need motivation to get to the gym–though it would be a good idea for me (LOL)–but because I seem to think negatively most of the time. Of course I think with the wrong sort of negativity.  I think about how bad I am, not how bad “things” are.  But I thought it might appeal to me more than trying to think positive. And I was right. but I don’t know how effective it will be for me either even though it will be easier than that positive thinking psychobabble!

The idea is to think about how bad you may feel if you don’t do something rather than thinking about how good the thing will be for you. And that idea does come naturally to me. I regret almost everything I haven’t done, but there are so many things I can’t see any way that avoiding a couple would make any difference for me!

I’ve been a bit down this week–dwelling on my shortcomings is a major distraction from living when I’m in the negative pole of my bi-polarity. Unfortunately, when I’m not in the negative pole, I just think about them faster! and try harder to make them stop with frantic activity. I’ve heard that some people who experience mania actually enjoy it–like being high on drugs. I only wish that were my experience. I did find out that I’m not as strange as I thought. Others have the same diagnosis as me. I don’t remember off-hand which applies to me, but bi-polar is defined as Type I and Type II.

Anti-mania drugs like Lithium work for me to stop the bad thoughts. Unfortunately, they stop ALL thoughts! I can sit still for hours and not have anything cross my mind. I don’t have to read or write or watch TV or listen to the radio or talk to anyone and I have no desire to do any of those things. My husband thought he was living with a mannequin that was able to change clothes and get in and out of bed. So we both decided that I should not take that any more. I wasn’t waiting to die to end my misery, I was closer to being actually dead while still breathing and walking.

My doctor is willing to listen to my ideas about what may help me. In that way he’s a blessing. My last doctor was basically a jerk who made assumptions and didn’t really seem to be listening at all. He prescribed meds for me that are not standard for my diagnosis, but that I had researched and suggested. Most of the time I can function OK. But I still have spells of darkness that make me wish I didn’t have to go on living.

No one should start suicide watch for me though. I’m sure if I tried, I’d fail–so I’ll never try! The last thing I need to is to spend the rest of my days even more physically and mentally challenged from a failed attempt. I wouldn’t go with the usual “calls for help” that they say most women use–pills or some other non-violent, non-messy attempt. I’d want to go straight for the big guns–literally. But I’ve read the stories about people who survive gunshot wounds to the head and falls out of airplanes and people survive the most awful car crashes. So since I’ve come to believe that if I can fail at it, I will, then I’m sure I’d be the one to survive with the whole in my head so I couldn’t think clearly or confined to live in chronic pain from a broken body that wouldn’t work right any more.

Maybe thinking negatively is a good thing for me after all. If I had any confidence in my ability to succeed, I’d probably try. But since I’m sure my negative acts would have negative results, I won’t be acting on them.

Is that anticipation of negative regrets? I don’t know, but negativity may keep me alive.

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    • roddaut
    • June 30th, 2010

    Diane,

    ACT doesn’t make the thoughts go away. It keeps them from controlling your life. Same with negative feelings. It’s a very different approach to life. It’s different than CBT so it may be worth a look into.

    Rodney

    • roddaut
    • June 30th, 2010

    Thanks for linking to my post on Selfinfluence.net. As far as handling negative thoughts, I used something called ACT which stands for Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. It’s a way to accept negative thoughts instead of trying to change them. What I found is the frequency of negative thoughts reduced from learning it. You can find a lot of info on it online including a book called “The Happiness Trap.”

    Good luck to you.

    Rodney

    • Thanks Rodney!

      I’ve tried many things to make the negative thoughts go away–mostly I need to be as busy as possible so I can give my brain other things to think about.

      As I mentioned in my post–sometimes meds will help. Unfortunately, they take away most other thoughts too. So being busy is my main balm. Deciding what to do to keep busy and produce positive results is the trick!

      Diane

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