How to stay positive

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Going through a it of a tough time at the moment. Culmination of a couple of years of 'stuff' happening and it's really affecting me / us (boyfriend).


On the drive to work today I raised the issue of an email I sent yesterday in which I had tried to explain how I felt and listed a couple of examples. He has said that I am always negative and because I am stressed it's rubbing off on him. I see his point completely and know that I need to focus on positive things.


I feel that any time in my life that something good or positive happens, something comes along to take that away from me. I want to be carefree, positive and thankful for what I do have in life. Any ideas? What do you all do to stay positive?


A couple of things that have happened: new relationship, issues with exes on both sides (resulting in telling them we would take legal actin if any further contact), his exes (yes, two of them) contacting me to bombard me with abuse and feel worthless, one of my exes passing away and getting buried on Christmas eve last year, boyfriend being involved in serious accident and still recovering from it, moving country, unhappy in job, brother diagnosed with autism (I am his primary carer), buying a house, moving to a new area, my mother being very ill, sorting my brothers housing and other affairs out (ongoing and continual stress), eating disorder trying to raise its head again (struggled to gain control and been symptom free for over 2 years now :)), breast cancer scare, trying to sort out finding if I am a carrier of a genetic condition that will impact whether/how we start a family etc.

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  • Money_maker
    Money_maker Posts: 5,471 Forumite
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    No answers but ((hugs)) for the difficult times you're going through, sometimes life's not very fair.
    Please do not quote spam as this enables it to 'live on' once the spam post is removed. ;)

    If you quote me, don't forget the capital 'M'

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  • pendragon_arther
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    I live in the Philippines and see poverty all around me. I've also lived in Kenya, same thing. Someone somewhere is always worse off. Having said that I've been where you are and got the T shirt. The best advice I can give is to start off by saying something to each other every day that has been positive in your day. You might think this is hard but if you put some effort into it it gets the brain working in the right direction. You may think this is silly but believe me it works. It's a formula.
    I also used to dislike how I looked so I spent some time picking out something I did like about my looks in the mirror, then expanded this to other parts. You may think this is narcissistic and silly but it worked. It's called mirrorwork. Before that I wasn't really noticed by women but now because my self esteem has soared this has rubbed off and women think I'm attractive.
    Another thing that works is reading self-help books. Louise Hay is very good. She uses affirmations which repeats nice and good things about oneself and repetition is one of the best ways to form a habit.
    BTW I am a retired counseller/psychotherapist/psychoanalyst and have assisted 100s of people in similar circumstances in my time.
    Think positive, discard negativity and you will reap the rewards.
    “Learn from the mistakes of others. You can never live long enough to make them all yourself.”
    ― Groucho Marx
  • charliewocka
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    Thank you both. Just having a 'woe is me' time in life. It's been non-stop for a while now and just think I need a break from things for a while. Trust me, I do know that there are people in a far worse position than me (I've spent time in DRC, Kenya and plenty of places in Asia to know that) I just feel that I am always putting others ahead of me. Even just sitting down with a cup of tea and a magazine never seems to happen.


    I think i'll try the mirror technique and start trying to find the positive, no matter how much. To start - I've just half of the most lovely ripe avocado for my breakfast. Not very often they are perfectly ripe when eating! :)
  • Angry_Bear
    Angry_Bear Posts: 2,021 Forumite
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    Going through a it of a tough time at the moment. Culmination of a couple of years of 'stuff' happening and it's really affecting me / us (boyfriend).


    On the drive to work today I raised the issue of an email I sent yesterday in which I had tried to explain how I felt and listed a couple of examples. He has said that I am always negative and because I am stressed it's rubbing off on him. I see his point completely and know that I need to focus on positive things.


    I feel that any time in my life that something good or positive happens, something comes along to take that away from me. I want to be carefree, positive and thankful for what I do have in life. Any ideas? What do you all do to stay positive?


    A couple of things that have happened: new relationship, issues with exes on both sides (resulting in telling them we would take legal actin if any further contact), his exes (yes, two of them) contacting me to bombard me with abuse and feel worthless, one of my exes passing away and getting buried on Christmas eve last year, boyfriend being involved in serious accident and still recovering from it, moving country, unhappy in job, brother diagnosed with autism (I am his primary carer), buying a house, moving to a new area, my mother being very ill, sorting my brothers housing and other affairs out (ongoing and continual stress), eating disorder trying to raise its head again (struggled to gain control and been symptom free for over 2 years now :)), breast cancer scare, trying to sort out finding if I am a carrier of a genetic condition that will impact whether/how we start a family etc.
    Try rewriting the list above with a focus on the positive things. For example, you have a new relationship, your boyfriend survived a serious accident and is recovering, you moved country, your brother got a diagnosis (presumably he already had the problems, but without the diagnosis you wouldn't necessarily have been able to get the right support), you've bought a house, you've moved to a new country and a new area, you've been symptom free from your eating disorder for 2 years, your "scare" turned out not to be breast cancer, you've got the opportunity to find out if you're the carrier of a genetic condition that lets you take control of your future family planning.

    It still makes for one heck of a year, and no wonder you're feeling the strain! But it's not all bad - trite as it sounds, when you take stock, you have to look for the silver linings.

    It's not easy, and it doesn't come naturally to a lot of people, but you can make it a habit. You could start by starting a diary and trying to write down 3 good things about each day (NO negatives!) - just three things, no matter how small, that made brightened you up a bit. Even if you keep coming up with negatives, find the positive spin on them. It's likely to feel a bit silly and contrived when you start out, but should feel more natural as time goes on.
    Do you not know that a man is not dead while his name is still spoken?
    ― Sir Terry Pratchett, 1948-2015
  • charliewocka
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    Thank you so much Angry Bear - putting that spin on the list really has made me feel I've been kicked in the stomach and thought 'well, actually, it isn't all bad....'


    A little bit teary at the desk now (in a positive way). Think might be looking to have a little treat and 'us' time to get on track and make sure we talk about only the good things.
  • TBagpuss
    TBagpuss Posts: 11,205 Forumite
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    Aniother thought - it sounds as though you are prety busy with a lot going on - it might be helpful to deliberately make time (put it on your calendar / in your diary if necessary) to look after you.

    This could be something as simple as setting aside time for a long, relaxing bath with a book / glass of wine / candles and music once a week, or setting aside one day a week/fortnight when you are your partner agree that you will put eveything else to one side and enjoy each other - whether it's by going out for a walk / coffeee/ pub lunch, staying in and watching a film together, having a long, lazy lie in - just a specifc time when you will focus on enjoying each other's company not on all the stresses or the things which need to be done.

    Remember to talk to your boyfriend about the positive things (however small) as well as the negative ones.

    It might also help if you are able to think about *how* you raisethe negatives, and to be clear with him about what you need - e.g. do you want him to offer suggestions about how you can improv things, do you want him to give you maore help with specifci ssues, or do you mostly need to let of steam and have someone listen sympathetically.
    It can be really fruistrating if you are the 'listener' in this scenario and are at cross pusrposes - e.g if your boyfriend hears you as asking for advice, he will try to offer it and will then get frustrated if your response is 'yes,but' or if you are talking about the same issues each time. It might be useful to think about what you need from him when you share, and perhaps try to make that clear.

    You might also find it useful if you can find other ways/people to discuss some of the issues with - for instance, are you a member of any boards etc relating to autsim? You might find that you would then be able to have some of the conversations with members ratehr than with your partner.

    Good luck.
    All posts are my personal opinion, not formal advice Always get proper, professional advice (particularly about anything legal!)
  • Counting_Pennies_2
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    And breathe........


    I think you could do with some CBT.


    Have you tried self referring yourself to Talking Therapies? It is the NHS counselling service.


    Google it for your area and see if a number comes up.


    In general while you seek this help, I would say strip out anything that is not necessary, or helpful in your life.


    Think before you act or speak. Sometimes our actions cause more upset in the future for ourselves. So think is it necessary to take particular action.


    What can you influence for the better, what do you have no control over. Act where you can, it is appropriate or helpful to you and accept, ignore, try to move on from what you can't.


    Are those people around you really that good for you. If not don't hold on to them for the sake of it. It does not always do you good.


    hth
  • McTaggus
    McTaggus Posts: 279 Forumite
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    It sounds like you had a very tough year - where did you move from?


    I went through a very similar phase when we came back to the UK in 4 years ago - lots of stresses going on, plus additional displacement stress that I didn't expect to have when we came back here, getting used to suddenly having the step children here every other weekend having not had to experience it before, plus my husband's crazy ex and her family and her demands for more money. I have to admit, it all felt massively overwhelming, and I spent a good 12 months feeling incredibly blue when we came back to the UK - which is massively unusual for me, as I can normally fight my way through pretty much anything and not let it get me down!


    Sometimes, you just have to stop for a bit, take a look at the positive bits of life, and try to re-evaluate what's making you feel depressed. When you do, try to find small ways to make them a little less stressful or depressing (put everything you have into this!). Eventually, all the bite size changes you make, make a big difference and before you know it, you're back to smiling again! Doesn't mean the bad bits aren't still there, but you're better able to deal with them!


    Wishing you the best of luck, and all of the very best!
  • FBaby
    FBaby Posts: 18,367 Forumite
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    I need a break from things for a while
    Then take it without any guilt. Go away with your OH and forget for whatever time about everything else, dedicate all your thoughts on him and your pleasant surroundings. You'll come back to the same, but with a much better mindset and it will have been all worth it.
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