My Struggle with Positive Thinking

Positivity.  It’s on my mind a lot at the moment.  Very likely something to do with the fact that I recently became an NLP Practitioner, which I tend to refer to as the cult of positivity.  For those who don’t know what NLP is, it’s essentially a set of tools which can help you to re-frame your reality into something more positive, and help you to achieve your dreams.  I’m excited to be an NLP Practitioner, don’t get me wrong.  It is a powerful set of tools which will help me to be a better coach, and I’m excited to be continuing to add to that toolset over the course of this year with Master Practitioner and Train the Trainer training coming up.

I’m also still suffering from depression.  In fact, after the marriage I had, followed by the rape and PTSD, I don’t think I remember anything more than fleeting happiness.  The days when I feel I can achieve my dreams, I don’t trust.  Something happens to burst the bubble.  Always.

(NLP would now be saying to me: “Always?”).

NLP helps you to deal with inappropriate feelings.  PTSD is only diagnosed 6 months after the trauma – almost as though it’s defining still suffering after 6 months as an inappropriate time to still be suffering. So, is 9 months after being discharged from psychiatric help as ‘cured’ from PTSD an inappropriate amount of time to still be grieving for the lost me?  The me I never really got to know (under all that depression from the marriage), the me that died that night, even if my heart did still keep beating?  Who defines inappropriate?

Depression isn’t a state of mind.  I can reframe my thoughts as much as I like.  The depression is like the foundation of my soul, it’s taken up residence in every nook & cranny and it laughs at my attempts to re-programme my mind.  I can (do) jump through the hoops, I can (do) feel momentarily brighter.  Living in the now, momentary matters, it isn’t nothing.  But the constant battle is exhausting.

NLP teaches you how to pull out of being in a ‘victim mentality’.  That victim has survived for the past 2536 days, somehow, clinging on through times I didn’t think I could. I choose to honour the part of me that was the victim, that froze, that gave up the fight, that through not fighting, survived.

So, I choose another way.  I choose to soothe the hurt.  To let it know that it’s ok to hurt.  It’s ok to still be suffering.  It’s ok to still grieve.  It’s ok to sometimes lie in bed and not fight the battle that day.  Every breath of life is a win against the monster who tried to take it from me.  Yes, there are only 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour, 24 hours in a day – yes, this is the same as anyone else has, and they might do more with that time, achieve more, be more.  I am being what I can be.  And that is ok.  It is enough.