Let’s have a therapy session, shall we? I want to talk about optimism and positivity. Two great things, wouldn’t you agree? I am kind of known as the eternal optimist in my neck of the woods. I am always pushing for my friends and my family to see the brighter side of things, to search for the positives in every situation rather than dwell on the bad or what could go wrong. I push it a lot with my older sister whom I live with. She has a letter board in the living room and I made it say “Negative Nancy don’t live here no more”. Not long before that, the board used to say “What is the glass? Half full!”. I make she and my now nine-year-old niece chant both of these phrases often.
Negative Nancy don’t live here no more!
I tend to be this way at work too. I figure in most cases, work and personal life, what is being negative going to do to help better any situation? It isn’t going to do anything but give you a bad attitude. Usually, with some patience and a positive attitude, you can get through most bad situations. But recently, I have felt myself growing tired of my role as the eternal ray of sunshine. It has grown from me wanting to be positive, to it feeling like it is my RESPONSIBILITY to be positive, like it is my duty. It is like I have created this character and I am not allowed to break from it. Which makes it sound like a bad thing. I am not trying to brag like “oh I am so positive all the time” and give myself an undercover compliment. You know when you are in a job interview, and they ask what your weakness is, and you say something like “I am a perfectionist,” or “I work too much and don’t like to leave things unfinished” as a way of complimenting yourself? This is not what this is. In this case, I am finding out that for me, being so positive all the time, is resulting negatively on myself. I am pouring so much out into everyone else with this character that I must be, that I am EXHAUSTED. The pressure I have bestowed upon myself is just ridiculous. As if I have any power at all, that if I am not positive on any given situation, that the world might crumble for that individual. As if I am the only thing keeping their head above the water. It is an incredible weight.
I have felt myself growing tired of my role as the eternal ray of sunshine.
Since I am the one who is always so positive and glass half full for everyone else, then I feel like I am not ALLOWED to feel negative our doubtful for myself. And since I am not ALLOWED to be this way publicly, it leaves me to have to feel negative, and down, and any other kind of bad emotion by myself and deal with it alone. Not having anyone be there and be positive for you because they don’t know that you need it, can feel really lonely. It doubles up on the exhaustion. Again you are pouring everything into everyone else, and left to try and recharge on your own. This has no bad reflection on the people around me, the fault is entirely on me. I have gotten so good at keeping a positive front, that I do not let my feelings show (or at least I think I do a good job at it) that something is wrong. I am very much in the mind set that I AM FINE, and can deal, and do not need help.
It is such a mix of great quality traits, turning on you to create a vicious cycle. One of your own making, fueled by everyone else expecting you to be this way because you have made them believe that this is you all the time, when in reality, you are drowning. I am drowning in my support for others emotions and I am not quite sure what to do about it. And let me tell you, emotional exhaustion hits different at the end of the day than physical exhaustion. It makes you incapable of doing what you need to do at the end of the day to feel successful or happy, which in turns makes you more unhappy.
And let me tell you, emotional exhaustion hits different at the end of the day than physical exhaustion.
Now this isn’t a feeling all the time. There are perfectly good days where I am positive, everyone else is positive, and things just go great. But some days can start to spiral and crumble because of a single moment. A whole day down the tubes, and most times it feels like there is no way to stop it. It feels like you are pushing everyone up above you until you’re at the bottom alone, with a body full of anxiety.
I am somehow able to verbalize this to myself and write it down here, and it seems simple to stop or change, but the immense pressure and rules we place on ourselves are a lot stronger than we realize. A simple task, ask for help. Complicated rebuttal, I CAN’T. I SO cannot be an inconvenience to anyone that I will choose to do everything I can on my own.
I’m not sure where I am going with this, I just felt the need to talk about it somewhere after multiple and increasing mental breakdowns that I try to not let show and will just deal with internally. If you understand me, let me know. If you have suggestions, let me know. I need to find a balance of being there for myself, just as much as I am there for others. Your encouragement is welcomed.
Thanks fiends for listening.
Love, Anxious Britt