I had ninety nine thoughts but POSITIVE ain't one
14 Feb 2017
It was just a few months ago, but it seems like a lifetime. I and my dad were talking one evening over tea; we’ve grown closer since mom passed away due to cancer last year. We were talking about this and that, and I was venting my frustrations out when he suddenly said, ‘You know son, we’ve been talking and all this while, you only told me negative things.’ I took a beat.
That night I analyzed my thoughts before I went to sleep; I had ninety nine thoughts, and not one of them was positive. I could not remember how did it began, but I was sure it increased in the past year.
Everything did seem negative to me, I always seemed to be afraid of one thing or the other. Like, if I was told about a mistake I did at work, I would automatically start stressing that I would lose the job as I was not good enough.
I felt my colleagues laughed at my mistakes and didn’t take me seriously. I felt I left my dad too much alone after he’d lost his wife after a long partnership; I did not good care of him hence I was not a good son. In fact I was sure I was not a good son, because I could not save my mom from her cancer. I mean, there must be something I didn’t do which led to her untimely death, who else dies at 65? I didn’t have a girlfriend; interaction with my friends lessened gradually. They felt I lamented and moped too much, and I felt they were too insensitive to feel my pain; but no, I must be too much of a drag to them.
They did not like me, talking to me or spending time together. They avoided me and for good reasons, I was nowhere interesting or cool like the lot of them. Gradually I took to drinking, and it made me feel all the more bad about myself. I was miserable when one day I stumbled upon Deven in a bar.
Deven and me were school buddies, but then long time no see; out of sight out of mind. Deven talked about his depression; I snickered, depression was for the weak. Look at me, I’m standing tall after all these, right! But I found eerie similarities between his thoughts back then and what went through my mind at present --- the negativity, feeling low about myself, guilt, everything seemed to be same.
He told me about ePsyClinic, and that I could get better simply by talking on phone. I was skeptical, but still I took a plunge. I mean I had nothing to lose really, so what can go wrong more? I had sessions with Dr Nayamat, who seemed to have more insight that me about what was going wrong within me.
It seemed I could not accept the demise of my mother, and held myself unduly responsible and guilty for it, and all the negative thoughts came from that guilt. I would look only at the negative aspects of life, taking up the victim role and feeling miserable about myself in the process. I learned to identify the errors in my thoughts called cognitive errors. Dr Nayamat taught me how to counter them, and finally helped me to move out of them. It took me three months to get my smile back. T
hanks to Dr Nayamat, now I know how to hold on to it.
Yesterday I was talking to my dad as we took a leisurely afternoon stroll, when suddenly told me, ‘it feels good to see you smile, son.’ I smiled.
Now I have ninety nine thoughts but NEGATIVE ain't one
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Tags: anxiety hopelessness fear negative thoughts cognitive errors