Cards of Life and CBT

The cards I’m dealt with… (Disney’s Alice in Wonderland is one of my favourite cartoons…)

It’s been a while since I’ve posted. Call it laziness. I haven’t been sitting idly though. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been thinking about life in general and tried to find some way to explain it to people and finally came up with an explanation. Life’s like a never-ending game of cards.

Sometimes people get good hands, and sometimes people get bad hands. The good thing about the bad hand is that I think it’s possible to discard some of the “cards” and hopefully get better ones. For example, one of my “cards” has been that I am getting weaker, strength-wise. Well, should I hold on to that card? No. I should replace it with another that will make me stronger and that’s what I’ve done (or rather, in the process of doing). Instead of holding on to the more negative “cards” in my life, I have tried to replace them so that I am a better “me” in future.

What seems like a terrible card or hand, doesn’t really have to be so terrible. I really believe in finding the good from the bad (and sometimes, I go in the opposite direction). I think that it’s good to come up with something positive to replace a negative. If that’s not possible, I try to replace a negative with a neutral. Focusing on negative aspects in my life won’t do any good, and sometimes that’s easier said than done. I am one of my own harshest critics. Sometimes I am absolutely brutal, but as long as I develop that kind of thinking where I am replacing bad thoughts with good thoughts about myself, I think I will be all right.

I think that my life is as miserable as I allow it to be and this kind of thinking has saved me many times getting myself really down. My depressive episodes have gone down a lot and generally, I am a happier person from it. I’m not insanely happy or anything, but I am much, much better. It’s a huge improvement from where I was ten years ago.

It’s still close to impossible for me to take compliments or really understand that I am appreciated in people’s lives though. I’m getting a little better though. I do feel like I mean something to many people and when you get to that point, it’s a really good feeling. Even when I thought no one really cared about me, I know that people do care. It might not come from the direction you want or expect it to, but I really think it’s there floating around or something.

What I have been talking about is actually called cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT – don’t giggle). For me, it’s worked like a charm. If you’re interested, there’s a little program I have done a while back that helped. It made me sit back and think: “Yeah, I could try to stop thinking so negatively about myself. It’s not doing any good.” It’s called Moodgym.

I’ve been pretty big on mental health lately because I’ve seen what being in poor mental health can be like and looking back, I really wouldn’t want someone to suffer the same way that I have. I think that it’s really important to nip this stuff in the bud as quickly as possible so it doesn’t become a huge problem later.

The process of feeling better about yourself isn’t an easy one, but I really feel like it’s important to start as soon as possible. If you’re feeling miserable, try out the CBT stuff. It really helped me out.