“Accentuate The Positive”
You’ve got to accentuate the positive
eliminate the negative
Latch on to the affirmative
But don’t mess with mister in between
These are the lyrics from a fairly well-known song which was sung by the likes of Bing Crosby, Same Cooke and probably many others and it kind of says it all really. With my new-found love of all things anxious (well, not exactly love but at least trying to get a hold on it) I am doing my best to turn the negatives into positives.
Easy right? Not exactly.
When you are in the middle of a depressive episode or having an anxiety attack it is always easy for someone on the outside to say to you “Think of the good things you have”. However, when I am having a bad day the exact opposite will happen. Something bad will happen (although in the grand scheme of things it’s not exactly the end of the world) and I will spend the rest of the day mulling it over. This inevitably opens up more questions that I cannot answer and so the cycle carries on. If I start to worry about an event coming up then I will go over every possible worst case scenario for that event. Often I will work myself in to such a state that I will cancel the said event and not go.
However, yesterday was a different day. I went to the beach with my daughter and my parents and we played crazy golf on the pier as the weather was awful. To be honest, most beaches in February will usually be cold and miserable so the day was doomed from the beginning. Anyway, I digress. My mum got a hole-in-one on the first 2 holes and continued to dominate the rest of the game. We’re not a competitive family by nature but a game of crazy golf can tap in to a part of brains not normally used in everyday life. My dad came 2nd, me 3rd and my daughter 4th but the amazing thing was we were all scored under par. With the game finished we then made our way to the 2p machines. You know the ones, the coins on 2 levels that slide toward the abyss and various cheap key-rings and toys laid on top that are almost impossible to win. In fact it would be cheaper to buy the items in a shop when you add up how much you actually spend trying to win them. After a tub full of key rings were won (including an awesome Iron Man one that I was most proud to win) we made our way for some lunch. This in itself was uneventful but then I felt odd. The kind of odd that pre empts a panic attack. I had no idea why I felt this way but I knew I had to get out. I made my excuses and went for a walk along the seafront. I found a seat in a little shelter and proceeded to watch the waves rolling in and breathed deeply to calm myself down. I returned to the cafe, my parents paid for lunch and we all went home. I got out my colouring book, put my headphones on and found a chill out playlist on Spotify (other music streaming sites are available 😉 )
The point of my rambling is that from the negativity of the onset of a panic attack I was able to recognize what was happening and do something about it. Thus making it a positive. I’m sure I won’t always react like this but yesterday, even if just for that day, it felt like I’d nailed it and was on a path I hadn’t been on for some time.
“You’ve got to spread joy up to the maximum
Bring gloom down to the minimum
Have faith or pandemonium
Liable to walk upon the scene”