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Old May 2 2013, 03:50 AM   #1
propita
Rear Admiral
 
Location: fresno, ca, us
I've been getting a healthier frame of mind...and I like it!

Sorry, this is long, so skip it if you wish.

I've posted in the past that I was rather depressed as a child and teen, which was only diagnosed when I was in my mid-40s.

Mom had her own issues and did the best she could with me and my brother and sister, but those issues got in the way of dealing with us kids in the best way. I know that happens in many if not most families, though, so I don't blame her or Dad. My siblings (2 and 3 years older than me), while having different personalities, were similar in their preference for not thinking or analyzing (emotional) situations, preferring denial and being "surprised" at the consequences of their decisions. In this they were similar to Mom; I was far more similar to Dad. Though Dad was a rocket scientist yet surprisingly sensitive, he didn't totally understand me.

While growing up, and with my lack of self-confidence, I constantly heard from my family that I worried too much, that I thought too much, that I should be happy, etc. The message I got was that I was always wrong, yet I was unable to "fix" things despite my efforts. I've since realized--and told Mom--that when they say I think too much, they didn't/don't realize that what to them is "too much" is, to me, just a mental exercise. Having a husband who really NEEDS to be thinking a lot has helped, though he sometimes complains that I don't think enough! But then complaining is his second-favorite mental activity after thinking.

Finally being diagnosed with a physiological cause underlying all of this--with literally decades of emotional crap piling on--I have been reevaluating my entire life a lot lately. I began realizing a year and a half ago that, while I do have some problems, my family's words and actions really contributed to me being screwed up. In fact, THEY were more often in the wrong than I.

New revelations have brought on reexaminations, but I'm getting better and faster at it. Mom still says I'm focusing on the past too much, but she still doesn't understand: I'm not focusing on the past in the way she thinks, I'm reevaluating it and giving myself a truer and healthier way of looking at it and myself. For instance, I'm not looking back and wailing, "Oh! Had I known, had it been different, how much better my life would be!" Instead I'm thinking, "I like my life now, I like myself more than I ever thought I would, and it took going through all of that crap to get me here. But for all of that, I would not be in this place that I like." I've learned that imaginary alternatives are not necessarily better, and since I like my present position in my life and mind, I see no purpose in bemoaning the past, just using it to evaluate and confirm, and to help others.

When I've mentioned this renewed mindset to others, they have positive reactions. A measure of how far I've come is that, not only do I no longer physically flinch from a compliment, I can politely accept it as a good thing.

God! It feels good to finally be able to say that, in general, I like myself. And since I'm turning the Big 5-0 this year, it's a fantastic birthday present. And, yes, I realize that including the qualification "in general" shows that I still have a ways to go. But that's just fine. I know where I stand with myself.

And it only took 45 years.

You all have let me vent over the years I've posted here, sometimes agreeing, sometimes chiding. And I appreciate it all.
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Old May 2 2013, 10:15 AM   #2
RJDiogenes
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Location: RJDiogenes of Boston
Re: I've been getting a healthier frame of mind...and I like it!

I'm happy to hear you've reached a good place. And I'm with you: It's good to think about and evaluate the past. Bad experiences can be just as valuable as the good ones. After all, adversity builds character (like Kirk said, "I need my pain").

Of course, I'm a writer and where would a writer be without painful memories?
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Old May 2 2013, 10:27 AM   #3
lurok
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Location: Lost in the EU expanse with a nice cup of tea
Re: I've been getting a healthier frame of mind...and I like it!

Some people just get better with age. Like a fine wine or cheese.
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Old May 6 2013, 07:20 PM   #4
Mr Awe
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Re: I've been getting a healthier frame of mind...and I like it!

Congratulations, propita! As long as you're just looking at the past to make improvements in the present, I think that's great, healthy thing to do! The proper diagnosis is always helpful as well!

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