As I headed up to the locked ward on the third floor, I checked my reflection in the mirrored elevator doors, and gave myself one last pep talk: “Okay, Miss Sparkle Plenty, get your act together,” I ordered myself. “All right, Stella Stunning—it’s show time!”
The above is Lori Schiller’s mother’s voice in The Quiet Room. It made me lol my ass off, which really isn’t the right response to a desperately worried mother trying to pull herself together before she sees her inpatient daughter. It’s gorgeously 50s housewife style though isn’t it? And is it just me, or does Miss Sparkle Plenty sound like a My Little Pony?
No. It might work that way for neurotypicals with a normal (define that as you will) mood range, but it just doesn’t work on serious depression (erm as opposed to what, frivolous depression?). It didn’t work for Lori’s mom either. There are times when all the proactivity and positive thinking in the world accomplish absolutely nothing.
I had a CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy, it’s good stuff) counsellor who endeared herself to me forever and ensured my respect and cooperation too, by saying in the very first session,
Positive thought is illogical.
So instead of putting what is for the morose, a freaking horrific amount of energy into thinking sunbeams and smiling, it’s possible to strip it down to hard logic and see that negative thinking is equally illogical.
Bingo and eureka.
I’m not saying positive thought isn’t a lovely thing, because it often is. It can feel like hell at the wrong time though and not only that, it has the power to make me feel very, very, very inadequate. I have constipation of the positivity sometimes.
Hey little fighter / soon it might be brighter …
One small change and it’s solid fact instead of wishful. There’s freedom and relief for me in not trying to push my sad self through the eye of the positivity needle (storm?). It makes more sense to me to lose the notion of impending doom in favour of a shrug and a well who knows?
I am bipolar. I am a realist.