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Optimistic Pessimism

Well last night Marcia asked if I had done any more blog posts and I said I hadn’t been in the right frame of mind to do so. She suggested I do a post about being positive and thinking positive. I pointed out that it was me she was talking to and that just doesn’t happen.

So here is my version of positivity. I call it Optimistic Pessimism because I try to look on the good side of the worst-case scenario. It is quite self-explanatory I think but I shall try to describe it. If you think of the old question “is the glass half full or half empty?” Optimistic Pessimism would say its half empty which leaves room for more.

I know its an extremely simple explanation but let me give you a working example. Over the past week or two my depression and anxiety have been flaring up amazingly bad. Throughout this period, I have had thoughts I would never imagine having. Now I’ve had a few difficulties sorting finances out and paying rent. So obviously the worst-case scenario here would be I would lose my house. What are the positives of this?

Well first off, we have the fact it would be a lesson learnt to sort out finances ASAP and don’t piss off your landlord when it comes to rent. I think the second positive would be I would be forced to live somewhere else and the likelihood is wherever I live it won’t be as drafty as this house. The third positive would be in the summer I wouldn’t have to deal with such a massive garden.

Now if anything better than the worst-case scenario happens then it’s a win, right? Because you are prepared for the absolute worst. So, anything better than the worst is a positive.

This to me is a logical way of thinking, but it has some major downfalls. Imagine for a moment that you overthink everything, you suffer with anxiety and depression, and you’re trying to look at the worst-case scenarios in a positive way. Now imagine what it is like to be in a relationship where hormones are running wild. You end up not known which way is up or where to turn. You don’t know whether you’re might be slowly causing the relationship to deteriorate because of such rebarbative thoughts.

Now this is where I’ve been and I’m battling with myself every day right now to go with the flow. Accept the good when it comes and deal with any bad that may come.

So in conclusion, although Optimistic Pessimism makes logical sense to me, it doesn’t make happiness and that is why I have to slowly change the way I think about a lot of things.

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