I have this bad habit of falling into negative thought patterns. Like, all the time.
I’m cynical. I’m sarcastic. It’s a defense mechanism. A maladaptive coping strategy. And it’s become a habit a loooong time ago, and old habits are hard to break, as they say.
Especially during a global pandemic, when the world is burning and my anxiety jumps out and says Yes! This is what I’ve been telling you about all along! Now it’s here; the end is near! BWAAHAHAAAA!
And while anxiety is my main squeeze, lately its cousin depression asked to come stay for a while, and I’m fresh out of room and energy and this is all too hard somebody make it stop.
(As an aside, I’m doing okay. I have good days and bad, and lately I am having more average-to-good days than bad, by far. It’s just that every once in a while I get slammed with a bad day and have trouble recalibrating. Rest assured, I am coping as well as can be expected.)
The point is that I am trying to break this bad habit, or at least learn to interrupt it so that it doesn’t take over and eat all my remaining sanity.
I like mantras. They are helpful reminders that not everything sucks. And language is so versatile that you can craft any mantra that speaks to you, at any time and for any reason.
Lately, when I find myself going down a negative spiral eleventy million times a day, and I actually remember to, I silently tell myself:
I’m just happy to be here.
This is the phrase I’ve used to describe my daughter’s personality. She was/is such a happy, easy-going baby, toddler, and now kid. While other kids would be whining or going into their dark places, she’d smile and ask me what we doing now, mama? She’s the kid in that story with the room filled with poop – the kid who gleefully starts digging through the shit and yells, THERE MUST BE A HORSE IN HERE SOMEWHERE! That’s her, and she certainly did not get her sunny disposition from me, but man I want what she’s selling.
As an aside, I want people who know me to know that I appreciate uplifting messages and I use them and think them…I just also have a knee-jerk reaction to want to make fun of them, too. Like, I remind myself to be extra kind and patient these days with people, but I’m more likely to wear a t-shirt with Pete the Cat on it saying I hate you all than one that says be kind. (Please know, friend of mine who wears these shirts, I like them, I like that you wear them, and please don’t take it personally when I make fun of them.)
At any rate, here I am striking a balance. I want to invite more positive energy into my life because goodness crap, we all need it now more than ever.
Readers, tell me – what are your favorite mantras?