It’s so easy to remember the bad days, the embarrassing moments, things you’ve done wrong. Thinking about the past almost always leads me to one of those times. It’s miserable, truly, to have all negative experiences in the forefront of my mind. Here are just a few examples that have stayed with me: the time a boy on the bus called me owl eyes in elementary school, my “best friend” telling me I had gotten a boob job when I really had major chest wall surgery, the first time I wanted to kill myself in sixth grade after some girls at school decided to make my life hell, my stupid and embarrassing speech topic choice freshman year, making my mom cry after pointing out my hipbones last summer, my ex boyfriend telling me to suck it up when I let him know how much I was struggling. I could go on and on. The thing is, if i were instead told to think of happy memories it wouldn’t come as easy. I want this to change.
I have started making small changes to help me remember the good things just as much as the bad. This blog is definitely a big help in that. I can look back and read again what I felt during whatever event it was and smile. I also have made an effort to write at least one thing in my happy journal per day. It’s another way to find the good in even the bad days. I have used my phone too, either capturing pictures of things that made me happy or screen-shotting conversations hat make my heart swell.
Probably the most important and hardest change I’ve made is to remember the good that came out of the bad. There are some things that really don’t have that at all, but many of them do. For example, instead of remembering the misery I felt when girls at my school were teasing me, I think about how much I pushed through during that time. Even if it was painful and terrible I am still here today even so. Another tactic I like to use is balancing the bad memories with a similar good one. I may have done terrible in my speech my freshman year, but I did amazing on my TED talk about eating disorders senior year.
Some of my current favorite good memories to dwell on: conversations with my best friend, great days in recovery, how far I’ve come the past few months, the special bond I have with my girls, photographing Michigan’s beauty, all of the moments when I feel loved, cuddling sweet babies, graduating even while having Ed controlling my life.
I’m not perfect at only thinking of the good yet. I wallow a ton still. It’s a habit and takes time to break. I am, however, proud to say that I am doing better with it each day. I can think of and smile at many positive memories now, and sometimes that’s all the difference when it comes to getting through a bad day.
What are some of your favorite memories?
How do you keep the bad memories at bay?