Being positive from day to day is not easy. Life is unpredictable and it gives us challenges we need to go through. Some of them are the ones which make us stronger, others push us down to the ground for a while until we rise again, but all in all, those challenges are what will help us grow. So I am having a small struggle at the moment. I am sitting in my room, thinking about how to write this post for you because it is not always easy to write something down in a way everyone would understand.
Even though I might be a teenager (for who people think it should be very childish and irrational), I had an experience which many other teens hadn’t and because of that, I got the strength to write this post down for you. It is true that looking back to a negative part of my life might be hard, but sometimes looking back is what makes me believe in myself even more. Seeing how much I have accomplished and how much I have progressed is what brings a smile to my face.
Since I was little I haven’t had many friends because I was always different. I didn’t like to do things other kids liked, like playing outside in the park, jumping around, drinking, smoking, going to the clubs… What got my attention was being with animals, reading, cooking, listening to different kind of stories from older people, painting… I loved doing those things and because I didn’t want to be the same as the others, people pushed me away. At a point when you are growing up, that might be quite a punch because you feel that you are not good enough. However, being different doesn’t necessarily mean that you are bad. Instead, you should just see that as an opportunity because by being different you can discover parts of your life a lot of people doesn’t. I know it sounds weird. I mean, you must have asked yourself how can I see people pushing me away, having an ED and almost dying as a positive thing? Well, it actually is very positive. Think about it a little. How many kids get the opportunity to meet them self from the inside out, how many of them get to see their both sides, the negative and the positive, how many of them get to reach the crossing line between life and death? Not many…
In my life, I had a very strict raising regime in my family. I had to have the best marks, be the child who everyone would look up to and I had to pretend to be someone I wasn’t. My family didn’t let me develop my inner calls, instead, they were pushing me to do everything other kids were doing. They didn’t realize that those different behaviors and different paths I had made me who I way. However, that didn’t last for long, because I ended up with an ED, which has changed my and the life of my family. You can read more details about that story here, but one thing I didn’t tell you in there is how an ED pushed me to become who I am today.
The truth is we all have negative side of us, it just all depends on do we wish to accept it or do we wish to push it away behind a smile. Once I got sick, the only thing I had left was the negativity. I would wake up hating myself, through the day the only thing I thought about was how awful I was and when I would go to bed I would make a list of negative emotions with which I would describe myself. My whole day was negative for months. I didn’t live in the moment, I couldn’t see the sun, feel the wind on my skin, hear the music… The only thing I felt, heard and saw was pain. All of those years of people pushing me away and making me think that I was not enough, just jumped out of a loophole. The feelings I had then were so strong I couldn’t control them, and I ended up thinking that the negativity was my only friend. That all happened to a girl who was 11 at the point. Awful isn’t it? I bet some of you can understand those feelings in your own way. However, even though the negative part of me took control over my mindset, I still had that small rational part which was fighting inside. So the truth is, once you have an eating disorder you build up your own world in which no one is welcome. It slowly starts killing the kindness you have, the smile on your face, the possibility of you seeing the beauty that life has for you… You become your own worst enemy and you don’t know how to fight back.
Don’t think that only people with ED can end up in that state of mind. Everyone can, it just all depends on the life you have and the strength you possess to fight. My mindset pushed me to a state in which I would punish myself by not eating, but some people do the same with alcohol, drugs, self-harm… There are many different ways in which people can hurt themselves. So as I was saying, in my case, the ED took over. It didn’t let me sleep, eat, think, smile… I was a slave inside my own head. Once I got to Portugal, I met people who I didn’t know, who smiled at me every day no matter what and who showed me that I can be whatever I wish to be. They didn’t ask from me to be someone I wasn’t, they didn’t push me away because I was different, instead, they taught me how to see the negative as positive.
I know that you might think: “OH damn, Portugal again!? I won’t be able to change my mindset because I can’t go there…“ But please if you do, stop right there. Portugal was my opportunity, but that doesn’t mean that every person needs to go to the clinic there to learn the same. You can change your mindset now where you stand, in your house, in your shower, in the school… You can change it because all you need is yourself.
It all comes to our mind. Let me try to explain that with an example here: Imagine that it is raining outside. You just woke up, looked out of the window and saw a whole bunch of rain. What would you think?
Would you go for “Oh, nice! I have a whole day to enjoy doing something I love in my house.”
Or would you think “Damn it! I can’t go out. What the hell am I going to do inside the whole day?!”
The choice and the thought you chose depends on your feelings at the moment and on your perspective. You see, if you woke up happy and satisfied, the rain wouldn’t bother you. But if you woke up tired and sleepy, you would choose the second option. However, both options are possible to have, just in 2 different days.
What I wanted to show you is that you always have 2 paths, one good and other bad. Sometimes you even 4 or 5 option, but it all depends will you be open to see them, r will you believe that you only have one choice. The same stands for life. In my situation, I could have chosen to see my illness as something that took 4 years of my life, changed me forever and because of that I should hate myself or I could have chosen to see my illness as a push to open my sight, to teach others about the experience I had and to finally see the beauty of how strong I can be. It is the same with you.
What I have learned from my experience is that I should accept the negative part of me and work on it. I need to know how to fight back in the moments when life puts me through struggles, I need to progress and I need to make a difference. When I have my bad days I always remember that I have 2 paths: one good and other bad. That way, I give myself the opportunity for hope and I also give myself space to see if I am strong enough to fight. Sometimes I choose the bad side, but what I also know is that „the last negative doing/decision, shouldn’t define me for who I am“.
I define myself and who I want to be. I am the person who decides if I am ready to go forward, stay n the road for a bit or take the step backward. I am the one who makes the final decision. My friends and family can help with their advice, but I am the one taking that last shot, and so are you.
So the truth behind positivity is the perspective. You need to know how to separate the whole picture into 10000 pieces of a puzzle so that you can understand how each of them made the whole photo. When you start putting the puzzles together and once you finish it, you will appreciate the whole picture even more because you understood where and how each piece was put together. The same goes for life. If you understand why situations had happened, what good it brought to you and how it helped you become who you are (no matter how negative it was), then you will see the beauty of life and the good it brings to you no matter how bad it might appear at first.