I read a lot of stuff online in the Wellness and Chronic Illness arenas that read like a How To guide on being so damn positive that you’re practically shooting glitter and rainbows out of every orifice.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with positivity, at all. If you’re the rainbows and glitter type, go for it, knock yourself out. But we can’t all be like that, we’re not all like that. I’m not like that. When something crappy happens to me, I don’t instantly think, ‘wow, what a fantastic learning opportunity’. I think ‘Screw that m***er-f****er’ and then drown myself in a bottle of gin. (At least before getting sick anyway). It’s not pretty, it’s not dignified and there aren’t many rainbows in the vicinity.
Sure, at some point once I’ve used all my best colourful language and consumed something from each bad-for-you food group, I might make my peace with it, find a silver lining, crack a joke and move on. But I’m very aware that not everything has a happy ending or a nice rounded moral of the story.
You don’t always have to have a meaningful experience, see a hardship as a learning opportunity or rise from the ashes like a half dead zombified phoenix that looks like it ate too much hot sauce. You don’t always have to see the good in every situation, sometimes it’s just a bad situation. And you’re allowed to feel angry/hurt/upset/betrayed/jealous/bitter/insert-whatever-negative-emotion-here. Sometimes things suck monkey butts.
I’m pretty sure the shiny happy people do indeed feel the same emotions as everyone else, but they probably don’t dwell on them for as long. This is the key, feel the bad stuff, have a tantrum, do whatever it is you need to do, then move the hell on. And if you haven’t learned anything more than which flavour of Ben&Jerrys you like the best? That’s totally ok. You didn’t want to be in the running for Dalai Llama of the year anyway, right? An orange robe is a hard look to pull off.
If dealing with the crap your way works for you, then that’s all that matters. Don’t let the shiny happy people tell you anything different!