rockstar.esq Posted December 18, 2017 Share Posted December 18, 2017 As my thoughts are shifting towards celebrations with friends and families, I got to thinking about the holiday blues. Having been on both sides of this myself, it occurred to me that a lot of people seem to think optimism is the antidote for the blues. On the surface, it seems logical that depression is the result of a pessimistic outlook. This may explain why there's a lot of social pressure to promote optimism as the most beneficial perspective. However, it really didn't work for me. My first child had colic which means that she cried almost every waking moment for her first 6 months, two weeks, three days, and nine hours. At the time both the babysitter and my wife would describe colic as though it was a challenge on par with removing a difficult stain from your carpet. Annoying, but hardly life-changing. Today, I can see this as an effort to put a nice spin on things. At the time, I felt like I was losing my grip because parenting a baby with colic was much, much, harder than anything I'd ever done. I felt like my problem was invisible to everyone else. My friends offered platitudes about how everything was temporary. I think if most folks spent 4 hours with a constantly crying baby, six months wouldn't sound so "temporary". After that experience it's clear to me why the military uses sleep deprivation to intensify training. This brings me back to why I believe optimism is not an antidote to depression. I was struggling with a problem that came to define my life. The whole situation existed because I couldn't solve the problem. Pretending not to see a problem is not a solution. There's a military phrase that applies here. "Embrace the suck". The situation is bad, deal with it. This is typically applied on an individual basis but I think it's useful for people trying to help a friend as well. The bulk of my struggle wasn't the direct result of my baby having colic. The real struggle was how everyone in my life avoided admitting how miserable having a colicky baby was. Eventually my wife "embraced the suck" and it was a watershed moment for us because we really teamed up. She thought "being strong" was putting a positive spin on things. She felt as alone with the struggle as I did. Going forward we'd do our best for our little girl by making sure we kept our heads together. Sometimes that meant sharing laughter, sometimes tears. If optimism and pessimism are two opposing points, then the truth in the middle. Honestly embracing our situation, gave the misery a limit. Waiting for things to improve would only put our life on hold. Time is all we really have so whatever we are doing is costing a part of our lives. If you're struggling with something, I hope you know you're not alone. If you know someone who's got the blues, I hope this helps. I wish all of you the best. Happy Holidays. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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