Debilitating Pessimism

3678744357_f6d99d0c81I’m a cup is half empty, everything sucks, negative almost to the point of disability kind of person. I’m so negative that, sometimes, it’s hard to even see the positive.

My theory has always been that pessimists are always surprised and never disappointed. It’s served me well up to this point, but I am working on it. I have a friend who calls me out every time I say something negative. I do it so often that I don’t even notice it myself. When I’m around him, he calls attention to my negativity so frequently that it ends up annoying both of us.

I wish I could be a little more optimistic and I’m trying, at least I’m trying not to be so negative, but I find it difficult to find anything to be optimistic about, which is actually my negativity talking. I’ve been in survival mode for so long that I have a hard time even seeing a future, let alone planning for one.

Survival mode is when you are living from day to day like a wild animal. I’ve been in that mode since I was fifteen and had to fend for myself. It’s ingrained in me. Find shelter. Once you have shelter, find food. Once you have food and shelter, see to other immediate needs like heat. Never plan ahead, never think about tomorrow because there might not be one. Today is all that counts. Truly “living in the moment” ain’t all it’s cracked up to be, let me tell you.

That’s where I’ve been most of my life. I’ve been on the run just making ends meet long enough to survive to the next day. Survival mode has kept me alive and fighting, but it hasn’t served me all that well in the long run. It keeps me from making plans and setting goals. It keeps me from thinking about anything other than sheer survival.

The good news is, because I tend to look at life this way, I’m great in a crisis. But, life isn’t just one big crisis like I tend to see it. It’s time that I stopped merely existing and started planning for a future. And the only way I know how to do that is to stop being so pessimistic all the time. I’m trying to change, but my negativity keeps getting in the way.

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