This time last year, as 2009 was coming to a close and a new chapter of my own life was unfolding, I made a pledge to keep a positive outlook for the next year.
Because I tend to distract easily, forget quickly and ignore advice and people when wrapped up in my own dramas, I needed a tangible piece to an intangible idea.
The page and the idea worked wonders as a tool to keep myself in a positive frame of mind, and at last check, 2,800 others on Facebook seemingly agree.
I realize within me there is some gravitational force that pulls me into crushing delusions of grandeur — that’s part of my disease — and the Keep It Positive experience at times became an exercise in ego. But at its core, it was always about the idea that I don’t have to walk around this earth with a scowl, a heavy heart and a sour disposition, something I was used to doing for much of my life.
There are those who talk about going through prolonged funks, and the need to return to some former cheeriness. In all honesty, that’s not the case with me. I was brought up in an environment of negativity, so it became a piece of me, a part of my spiritual fabric. Any happiness I exuded for many years was a veneer at best and an outright lie at its most painful.
I can say this now, with total honesty, because I wrestle with my former self and those ingrained tendencies on a daily basis, and I think I’m winning … the new me, that is. The happier, more positive me.
Before you ask to drink my blood, eat my body and bless your children, know that I’m still mean, still surly, still geared toward moments of unhinged rage and sadness. But those episodes occur in degrees. The roller coaster of my life — with its irrational, deluded highs and its miserable, incomprehensible depths — is becoming a quarter-driven kiddie ride outside the doors of a supermarket. Steady, with no surprises.
Most important in all of this, in a year that saw many resolve-testing events for myself and my family, there was never any sense of desperation that had marked even the early days of my sobriety. My 2010 was different than any year before in that the other shoe never threatened to drop, there was no longer that looming sense of dread.
Naturally that had some to do with a chemical-free mind and a focus on health, but it also had to do with the conscious reframing of who I am and how I want to react to given challenges and life in general. It all starts with the choice to be positive, and to keep fighting for positivity even when it seems like you’re getting a standing eight count.
This is about me; every line, every word. It’s about me and it’s about you. Some who have read my pieces in the past understand this, and some don’t. I get that.
We all arrive at the same destination for different reasons and through different paths, but aren’t we all just seeking a little bit of happiness in our lives? I think so. Happiness is only attainable through positivity; they are inextricably linked concepts, two sides of the same coin. To arrive at happiness, or to continue that present course in 2011, we all need to Keep It Positive. I need to Keep It Positive.