Fake positivity is disturbing

Few things are as disturbing to me as fake positivity.

I recently saw a speech by one of those hyper-motivated types. He described how he gets up at 3:30AM, looks at photos of the things he’s thankful for, listens to recordings of his own affirmations while exercising, eats a nutritious breakfast, counts his calories, keeps track of how many positive things he says to other people throughout the day—all that crap.

This kind of person is a bomb that could go off at any moment. A person has to be incredibly emotionally unstable to require all that regimentation just to get through the day. You can easily picture them clutching their knees, rocking back and forth in a dark corner, repeating: “I’m happy, everything is OK! I’m happy, everything is OK!” It’s essentially what they’re already doing.

This is the type of person who suddenly snaps, brings a Kalashnikov to work one day and, with a giddy giggle, starts mowing down co-workers and colleagues.

There is something to be said for the ability to properly express depression, existential angst, and general outrage at the unfairness and pointlessness of the universe.

If you’re healthy, you can handle a good bout at feeling shitty—and not only that, you can come out of it refreshed, as if you’ve vomited out poison or shed an old skin.

Yeah, it’s childish to mope and say/write depressive things and demand that others listen to your whiny crap, and it’s embarrassing later. But consider the alternative: smothering your real feelings with contrived happy thoughts that aren’t really yours. That sort of double-think compounds major depression because it convinces you that you’re happy when you really aren’t.

The best method, in my experience, is to just ride it out and get the full awfulness of an episode of depression. Mine usually get to the point that I give consideration to suicide. At some point, it bursts. The anger and the sadness reach critical volume and collapse under their own weight. I gradually muscle my way out from underneath it. I dust myself off and I move on without having to fake a feeling.

It seems far healthier to me to face the fact that we’re depressed, let ourselves say some stupid shit we don’t really mean, and then shake it off and carry on with life.


Give him a piece of your mind

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