Monday, August 31, 2009

What gives?

You might have noticed of late the posts here have been somewhat middle of the road forays into the day to day activities of Coffeewallah-land. There's been an absence of commentary about the state of the country, the news, in fact anything that could raise the level of one's blood pressure or cause offence. In fact, this has not been about apathy, it has been a deliberate experiment in 'positive living".

What in heck is that you might wonder? Or more to the point, have I finally lost my mind? Well, I've never claimed to be normal so there might be some small insanity going on but after the crazed intensity of the early part of this year, I thought that I'd give what a friend of mind calls "being positive" a try. That is, always looking to find the good in everything, taking every situation as it is and not getting caught up in the emotion etc. It's been an interesting experiment, one that in a way has been good and in others, has made me understand that medication is not the only way you can duck responsibility for yourself.

Now other than a long standing addiction to caffeine, a newer hang-up on Reese's peanut butter cups and a habit of talking to my dog I would say that geezer-dom has been wholly embraced. I've gone from having a circle of friends and plans most evenings to coming straight home from work and settling down to a quiet evening with my book, the dog and the tv. It's not a bad existence and I'm not a hermit by any stretch of the imagination, I've still got friends, I still go out from time to time but truthfully, only when I really want to instead of feeling like I have to. So far so good. Now, just to conquer the personality quirks.

Anyway, the theory of positive living was to always approach life looking at the good things, seeing only the good in people, being upbeat all the time, in short being one of those people who sometimes make you want to beat your head against the wall in the hope that they go away because they are so constantly upbeat. One of the things you very quickly learn while on anti-depression medication is that you feel nothing or you feel everything. It is artificially induced well being where there are no highs nor lows, life tumbles along in somewhat oblivion. It is unnatural and after a while, despite how "good" things are, you long for something else. Some people might call it self destructive but as my counselor pointed out, it might also be a part of being human. What can I say, all that goodness was quite frankly, tiresome. Now there is nothing wrong with being positive and always looking at the bright side or whatever but in truth it is another way to not take responsibility for yourself, in long, there must be some middle road. What do I mean? Well, if you constantly dress things up all the time you only see the things you want to see and sometimes, fail to see the situation for what it is. Or worse, in your well meaningness, you belittle or play down someone else's right to express themselves authentically. If you constantly tip toe around always going with the flow, you never take a stand, you never acknowledge that something is not right or that it could be better. You never innovate because you're too busy pointing out that "everything happens for a reason" or that "you are where you're supposed to be", instead of maybe asking, "what the hell was the reason for this" or "screw it, this pisses me off". You're right, everything happens for a reason, maybe that reason is to question, to exercise free will or just to make you appreciate what you have or to make you want to do better.

I don't know, the answers are somewhere out there in between. But if it means that I've got to give up seeing the things that are not working and commenting on them, well, maybe this is not for me. Because sometimes, all it takes is one person saying might just be you.


Gabriela said...

Wow! That is a reflection.
I have always done the things that make me confortable. I don't agree with those people who do the things because they HAVE to, sometimes in spite of themselves. I guess life has too many things we have to do that it is totally unwise to engage ourselves in other avoidable ones.
I loved this post!

Angie said...

wow # 2
u really struck a note here for me with this one...
the positive thing kills me (n yes i knw i have issues) but it leaves a bitter taste in ur mouth when u cant say wat u really feel in the positive process...
i questioned it all the time n i was told it not a matter of being 'up-beat' as u put it here, but rather how i deal wit my 'frustrations'...either i bitch about it n let it out, or let it keep me back frm moving on

Annie Paul said...

i love Reese's Peanut Butter Cups too...

i tend to be positive but its a natural state of mind not an induced one...inducing maybe tiresome.