Earlier this evening I had someone ask me how I stay positive all the time.
I told her years and years of practice in turning the negative thoughts positive. Training my brain. And that’s not completely false. But it’s also not completely true.
The truth is I’m not positive all the time. Matter of fact, I’m positive like 30% of the time. And that 30% turns up on social media.
The other 70% is mainly in my head and it’s some heavy shit.
Having depression SUCKS. I know I’ve said this sooooo many times. But it’s the truth. I wouldn’t wish this shit on my worst enemy.
This is going to be a long one, so I hope you’re ready…Here goes nothing. My “positivity” started with middle school bullying.
Yeah, yeah. I know. Everyone was bullied. I’m just not strong enough to hold up to the “poking fun”. Or, it’s middle school—why do I still care? Think what you want, but this was so much more than “poking fun” and it’s not something an impressionable 12 year old just gets over.
I’m crying as I’m writing this because it wasn’t until so many people asked me about my positivity that it really made me think where it came from.
Back in middle school—7th grade to be exact—I had one of the worst years of my life. Sounds dramatic, and maybe I’m being over dramatic, but it’s my trauma—I’m allowed to feel that way. ANYWHO, I had these “friends” in middle school. They were all a lot smarter than me and didn’t have to study nearly as hard to get A’s (or sometimes B’s). These “friends” partnered with my perfectionism and anxiety weren’t a great match. Hindsight is always 2020, right?
I remember it like it was yesterday. We had a huuuuuuge biology exam coming up and I was seriously stressing. It was known to be “the hardest test in all of middle school”. Looking back, it really wasn’t that bad, but for someone with test anxiety and normal anxiety and perfectionist tendencies, it was a big deal.
I shared with my “friends” how stressed I was, asked for study tips, and if we wanted to study together since we all were in the same class. They blew me off and I figured it was just because they were stressing too.
A few days later, we got our grades back on that exam (I got a C by the way—my first C on an exam) and I was crushed. I swore this was going to be my grace for the whole quarter and there would be no going to high school in GT/AP classes with this kind of grade. Regardless of the dramatics, I was crushed and I shared with my “friends” how upset I was.
The next day I found a note in my locker. And although I don’t still have that note, it went something like this…
“Alyssa. Shut the f*ck up. No one cares about you or your stupid grade. It was just a test and you’re being a b*tch about it. Stop being a slut. No one likes to listen to you. Just grow the f*ck up. NO ONE CARES ABOUT YOU, SO SHUT UP.”
There were a lot of other profanities, accusations, and honestly pure shit in this letter, but I figured you got the gist.
Did I mention I was in 7th grade? I had never even held hands with a boy, and I only said cuss words when I was jamming out to Avril Lavigne in my bedroom alone. And even then, I whispered them because I didn’t want to get in trouble.
It was after getting this letter that everything seemed to change for me. I started listening to “emo” music. Started wearing all black, and later that year started self harming through restricting my food/skipping meals. Then a few years later, I started cutting. (In case you haven’t read my previous posts, I haven’t self-harmed for the last 7 years.)
This is when I first remember feeling like other people saw in me the worthlessness that I saw in myself. And that realization destroyed me like a hurricane. It was this time I always came back to when I wanted to complain or bitch or just let off some steam. I kept remembering how “no one cares”. And how I should just “shut the f*ck up”.
Now, my conscious mind knows that I’m not worthless and that I’m not alone, but a million words later, THAT is why I’m so positive on socials. I don’t know how else to be. I spent most of my teenage—adult life being positive because I knew that no one wanted to hear my complaints and eventually the positivity stuck. Eventually I found that being a positive light for others helped me feel better about myself and I the positive mark I was leaving on the world.
So, in conclusion—a million years later—I’m positive for YOU. Because I want you to know you are loved, you matter, you are worthy, and I CARE.