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I really never attributed positivity to my success in recovery. I used to just think it was a byproduct of being actually recovered. However, a friend on Facebook recently said their depression only started to lift once they looked for things to be grateful for – and how her positivity really brought her out of her depression.
In reflecting on her observation, I realized positivity is a necessary practice to have both during your recovery and after it.
Because without the positivity around me during my recovery, I never would have gotten to where I am today.
I remember being so negative when I was immersed in my depression. I played it off as cynicism, sarcasm – anything I could to hide my deep, aching sadness. I made a joke of it in order to mask from my parents, friends, and siblings what I was really going through. People would often laugh at my jokes and my cynical comments.
They would say I was funny, or had a dry sense of humour. For a long time, I really believed them.
I now realize I put my negativity on a pedestal and called it humour. I idolized it.
It made people like me. People complimented me on it, so it gave me small sparks of happiness in my darkness. It almost became my drug.
However, what I failed to realize was they were only sparks of happiness. They would burn bright and hot, but then fade away just as quickly as they came. It was a constant up and down battle between the sparks of happiness and the aching pull into my depression.
The happiness would be there for a moment, but then the burnout would make me fall further down that I was previously. It was a violent cycle.
I often wonder if I would be at the same place I am today if I wasn’t around teachers, family, and friends who were positive. In fact, I know I wouldn’t be.
If you surround yourself with negative things, you will start to become negative.
On the contrary, surround yourself with positivity, and no matter how depressed you are, you will start to look at things positively as well. It starts to creep in slowly, and then before you know it you start to take a whole new outlook on life.
I’m so grateful I happened to be surrounded by positivity during my depression because it truly is one the of the main reasons I have recovered and one of the main reasons I haven’t fallen far back into my depression. There is power in being positive.
Yet, there may be situations where positivity isn’t apparent.
It can be hard to pull oneself out of negative environments. It may mean giving up friendships, relationships, jobs. I know it seems like negativity is everywhere, but it only takes that one spark of positivity to start a fire.
You may give up things that really are dear to you, but I can say that if you want to get better, you must surround yourself with positivity, even when you aren’t positive yourself.
I can also confidently say pulling yourself out of negative environments will be one of the best things you can do for yourself.
One way I stay positive is by thinking about things I am grateful for every day.
It might not be big things – it can be the smallest of things. It could be your dog, your family, the sunshine, or a great meal shared with friends. Whatever it is, cling to those positive things that make you feel alive. If you feel like it’s not enough, write down in a journal all the things you are grateful for. The list may start out as one thing, but as you start to think positively instead of negatively, the list will begin to grow. It is a great visual to really show you how precious life is.
Don’t let the winter blues pull you further into your depression. Instead, choose positivity. Surround yourself with people who can find the silver lining in any situation.
Staying positive will give you power over the darkness in your life, and that is a power you can control, so use it to your best advantage.
You will be surprised when you look back just how much it will change the trajectory of your life.
Mark is currently in high school and hopes to study International Law in the future. He struggled with depression for four years until finally winning the battle. Upon first hearing about Libero, he made the decision to bring his story about depression and how he has dealt with it in hopes to spread awareness and bring support to those going through depression. With still being in high school, he will offer a teenagerʼs perspective on depression and relationships through sharing the many challenges and victories he has faced with both. Mark hopes that through his writing he can help others understand that brokenness can lead to wholeness.
SITE DISCLAIMER: The opinions and information shared in this article or any other Content on our site may not represent that of Libero Network Society. We hold no liability for any harm that may incur from reading content on our site. Please always consult your own medical professionals before making any changes to your medication, activities, or recovery process. Libero does not provide emergency support. If you are in crisis, please call 1-800-784-2433 or another helpline or 911.