I read a book once, god if I can remember what it was called. I was in highschool and I devoured them, the pulpy bargain books and the good ones too. It was a short teen read about a young woman who thought the world was against her. The entire book made it no secret that its purpose was to teach its readers that the world is not against you. I refer to this book endlessly when I think that I’m trudging uphill in the mud by myself while everyone throws tomatoes at me. “If someone wrote a book about it, it must be true,” I tell myself. The world is not against me………. but sometimes it feels like it is!
Last week I was having a particularly awful day when I thought I’d make a list of all my thoughts that run through my head when I think the world is against me. Note: this list is coming from my adult brain, one that is healed from my trauma-filled day last week and one that deals with trauma so much better than 10 years ago. I almost wish I made a list as a teen so I could compare the two. Maybe I should just try to find that book.
10 Thoughts I Have When I Think The World is Against Me
- It’s not ……but it feels like it is! Well. It’s not. …….but……. I feel….
- I moved to a new city on my own before. Just pack up and go. Just leave. You can, you know. If it’s so bad, why aren’t you packing it all up? Clean slate. Which city? Let’s go.
- Oh, but a cabin in the woods is less expensive than a house in a city.
- I could get murdered in the woods. I haven’t been murdered. I am still alive. Ergo, where is my gratitude? Where you at gratitude!?
- I could get murdered in the city, too. Duh. The solution is obvious here: What diseases can I get if I never leave my apartment? What’s the risk here?
- If all else fails, my mom still loves me and would love for me to move home. I must not fail. I must not move home. I must also text her an apology because we’re fighting right now and I can’t lose this option.
- There are people who live off the grid. And they have kids! I’ve seen it on instagram! Swear. But how do I become one? And why are they naked?
- But I won’t be a recluse if I convince my partner to come with me…….. Right?
- How do people pay for things if they live in the woods? Do I have to save up to be a recluse?
- What’s that stupid quote? It’s just a bad day, not a bad life? Ugh. That’s just as raunchy as continually thinking about a book I read 15 years ago that I can’t remember anything about. But maybe I will search “tumblr quotes” and see if there are any good ones…..
All of this feels like I’m running away, I tell myself. Maybe I should just… go for a run. It’s much easier to acknowledge these thoughts and accompanying emotions and to let them exist than to run away from them. This much my adult brain knows. My adolescent brain, however, now that’s a list I’d like to read.
You can stop reading now and go make your own list, because now I’m going to list a few things that help me through times like this.
Practicing gratitude is my number one aid in all the times I want to raise the white flag. I make mental lists in my mind of all the things I love about my life and I think about all the things I’ve accomplished over the years, trivial and grandiose. I make it a point to feel good about them.
I meditate. Meditation helps me to let go of elements in my life I am latching on to, often negative people, feelings, and memories. A good intro to meditation is the app headspace.
I stop what I’m doing and do something I love. I make it a point to not think about whatever is bothering me for x number of hours or days and I fill my time with things I love: reading, writing, walking, running, baking (even though I’m awful at it)… Do what you love.
Making lists like the one above also helps me see the humour in frustration and, you know, it reveals a bit about myself. A cabin in the woods? Maybe I should spend more time in nature… and educate myself on crime stats while I’m at it. I think a part of me thinks that Big Foot is a killer.