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Pessimism: Can you change the way you think? Losing some mental weight.


Monday, March 31, 2014

I've been a pessimist for as long as I can remember. Optimism has never come easy for me.

I grew up as a chubby little girl, over 200 lbs by the time I was a freshman in HS. I lived in the country, didn't really have a lot of friends and only had my mom and brother around for companionship. My mom lived a pretty sheltered life, only ever dated and married my father, never lived on her own and didn't teach me about life, since she hadn't had too many life experiences of her own. My dad is an alcoholic, has been as long as I can remember. He's a prison guard so he comes home grumpy and finishes off a 12 pack of beer a night. We never really got along when I was growing up, and was major part of the reason I left home at 18.

I grew up without too many of those rites of passage that you're supposed to have as a young adult. Not to sound jaded, but nothing super fantastic ever happened that I had to look forward to. I didn't go to a four year college, never got drunk with my friends in high school. Didn't even kiss a boy till I was 17. I was lonely and bored a lot of the time.

What does that have to do with the way i think? Well, I feel like your life experiences make you who you are. I've finally come into my own within the past few years, i finally know who I am and have lived a little bit, so I would like to change the way I think.

I can't change the past, and I don't look back on my childhood and say that it was awful, I have two parents who love me, it was just tough. I know, however, that I can change my future, so now, maybe with losing 150+ pounds of real weight, I can lose some mental weight that's bogging me down as well.

A few examples that come to mind recently are my wedding and my neighbors. My wedding is less than six months away and I have a bridesmaid that isn't really pulling her weight. We went bridesmaid dress shopping back in January and she told me at that time that she wasn't going to order it yet because she wanted to lose some weight first. I told her that was fine, as long as she ordered it by March, to ensure that it would be in on time. She told me a few weeks ago that she already ordered it and it should be here in a month and a half. I was skeptical, as she's lied to me in the past (why I asked her to be my bridesmaid... I don't know!), but I let it slide. So this last weekend I went veil shopping with my mom and we checked to make sure all the girls had their dresses ordered. Hers, of course, had not been ordered. I confronted her about it, in a really nonchalant sort of manner, and she said they must be mistaken, as she has ordered it already. I just let it go, but inside, I was super mad. However... I've decided, that what happens, happens. If she doesn't have it ordered and in by the wedding, not really worried about it. One less bridesmaid to worry about getting ready. I need to let the small things go.

The other example is my neighbors... she hates me. Why? I don't know... a week after I got my new car, she accused me of trying to hit her... REALLY, with my brand new car?! But since then, she causes lots of drama and accuses me of a lot of inaccuracies. Just this morning I could hear her yelling at her husband outside because I parked my car in my driveway some place that she didn't like. Its a whole, big long story, but in short, I was FUMING! Yes, she didn't say it to me, but I could her her yelling into my house, with my windows closed AND with my radio on. I couldn't stop thinking of the ways that I would respond to her if she said something, since she only seems to have an issue with me, and not my fiance.

However, I need to let things go. Why should I let her unhappiness with WHATEVER, affect me? Why should I fret over how things might go wrong in my upcoming marriage, when I have no reason to believe they will. Why do I constantly think bad thoughts about how I'm going to gain all of my weight back, when I have been doing so well with maintaining? Why get anxious EVERY time I see my neighbor outside, even if I'm in my house? She can't do anything to me when I haven't done anything wrong.

I really need to start being HAPPY and thinking more positively. I need to not let other peoples choices and decisions affect the way I think and act. I know its going to be easier said than done, but right now, that's what I need to do for me. I lost weight and it took time, I can lose some of my pessimism over time as well. It won't happen over night, but I'm going to keep at it! I must be positive!

I found an article about how thinking positively may contribute to a longer life. I already added years on by losing weight, I don't want to take them away again by being a Negative Nelly all of the time!

Any tips from the peanut gallery on how to keep this positive way of thinking and living up? Cause I could use all the help I can get!
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HIKETOHEIGHTS 4/15/2014 6:16PM

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MUSICALLYMINDED 4/3/2014 10:28PM

    We have an eerily similar past. I was also over 200 pounds by high school. My father is an alcoholic, my mother never wanted to do anything - never travels, never speaks to people, she's VERY introverted and sheltered. Hmm. weird.

And I think you should just let your "friend"'s lies just roll off. If she doesn't want to be a participant, that's fine, right? It'll all be fine without her. I hope you aren't letting wedding details bug you too much, because things WILL go wrong so go ahead and prepare for it, lol... I just hope you enjoy it, unlike some of my friends who on their wedding day just wanted it all to be over so they could relax! And that seemed very sad to me that they weren't even enjoying the day when they worked so hard to make everything run smoothly and be beautiful.

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EMMY_DUCKIE149 4/1/2014 2:59PM

    I am an odd balance of positive and negative thinking. I am absurdly optimistic about certain things, and others, I strip down and get dirty with realistic-to-pessimistic expectations. I also carry a lot of anger over things that don't need to anger me (like how your neighbor angers you).

I don't have any great advice or any cure-all. I'm a work-in-progress myself. But one of my Lenten sacrifices this year is my anger. When I find myself fuming or-- oh, jeez, my road rage-- I stop myself in mid-mental tirade and tell myself to let go. I stop whatever pessimistic thoughts I have rolling around and find something else to think about. Or turn the music on and drown out the negative thoughts.

Now, such an approach does not change the WAY I think about things. That man is still a dou-- er, jerk for yelling and honking at me to scoot up when there wasn't any room to move my car forward even though I tried to scoot up for him (actually, I believe I yelled, "You're effing (I didn't say effing) welcome, D-bag (I didn't shorten it)." I caught myself, reeled it back in, and found something else to think about. I don't think BETTER of that man. I am not less MAD about him being a poophead of a driver. But I've found that switching my thoughts lessens my anger and anxiety over it. I cut off the negativity and keep going.

The hope is to keep cutting off the negativity until it is no longer my automatic response. This will take awhile, I believe. But it's a start.

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LUVTOBOWL 3/31/2014 11:08PM

    Awe Amanda, the only thing I can say is every time a negative thought comes in your mind, replace it right away with something positive: a favorite scripture, song, event, line from a movie......

I just told my daughter, I have to change my stinkin thinkin.......

I know emoticon my friend, emoticon

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TANYA602 3/31/2014 6:14PM

    Ahhh....I think the life changer for me came along when I had a serious health scare and my dr flat out laid it on the line that I had to learn to pick my battles (including the things I fret about). While I am good about it 98% of the time, that other 2% is hard. But not worth the racing heart and headaches that come along with it. You have to find a way to focus on something else - like a meditation or mantra. So now I say to myself, if it's not life or death, let it go.
Congratulations on the weight loss and maintenance! You must feel fabulous, and I couldn't be happier for you! Enjoy your health and happiness and upcoming nuptials. You have so much to celebrate!

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ELIZEBETH87 3/31/2014 12:40PM

    I think learning to let things go is like exercising a muscle; the more you do it, the easier it gets! Sometimes I'll use the stresses of life to help fuel my workouts. Just try a few things to find what works for you :)
emoticon

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VORTEX33 3/31/2014 12:10PM

    I'm a pretty positive person. For me, if it is something that is making me unhappy and I can change it then I do. If I can't fix it then I do not get upset about it. It's simple but it works for me. I can't change how anyone else acts and reacts so I try to not let it bother me. It isn't always easy but it's how I try to live. :)

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