Pessimist to Semi-Optimist (PTO) Project

Musings & Brain-xercises

Week 1, Jan 1/17: Life sucks 

Week 2, Jan 8/17: I want to die

Week 3, Jan 15/17: People don’t like me

Week 4, Jan 22/17: I am a failure

Week 5, Jan 29/17: Anger Consumes Me

Week 6, Feb 5/17: I’ll Never Be Happy

Week 7, Feb  12/17: Moments of Doubt

Week 8 (skipped)

Week 9, Feb 26/17: Too Tired To Fight

Week 10 (skipped)

Week 11, March 12/17: The World Is A Horrible Place

Week 12 (skipped)

Week 13, March 26/17: Will This Depression Never End?

Week X: Project on hold

What Is this project about?

As part of my new year’s resolution in 2017 to be happier, I am aiming to post something every week as part of this Pessimist to Semi-Optimist (PTO) Project to battle negative thoughts. Each post will address a bad thought, combat it with brain-xercises (aka hard thinking!) and then change the thought into a semi-positive one. This is similar to what I’m doing as part of cognitive behavioral therapy to stop myself from spiraling into depression.

Everyone struggles with something. In sharing my journey on battling negativity, I hope that my semi-positive thoughts will help others.

Why not aim to become an optimist?

I am a pessimist by nature and am not sure if I can ever achieve becoming an optimist. The most optimistic friends I know want to appear super positive (mindfulness, yoga, meditation, etc), but when crap happens, they crumble and say the worst things such as “You killed your dad because you didn’t do X.” Wow, thanks for letting me know when I’m feeling suicidal. Meanwhile, my super pessimistic friends just said, “Life sucks, too bad, so sad” which hurt me much less! Somewhere in the middle ground is achievable I think, just to get by life without being too depressing or trying too hard to be happy.

Note that I work in healthcare but am not a psychologist or psychiatrist so these posts are based on my own opinions. If you need help, there are many people in the healthcare system who can improve things in your life, but at the end of the day, you have to make the decision to take action for yourself.

Why now?

2017 marks the year I will start living my life more fully because I am entering a new era without a father in my life. Recently I started listening to talks about a more positive outlook on life according to Buddhist philosophy and reading about how some optimists live longer than pessimists.  If you estimate your time of expiry with the death clock, they also take this into account with lower calculated life expectancy for pessimists.

As my Chinese doctor says, “Doing good for yourself is being selfish, you have to aim to do good for others in order to create a better world.” Something like that anyways, my Chinese isn’t that great, usually I understand 50% of what he says!

Why are some weeks missing?

Because I’m still depressed and have PTSD and sometimes I can’t even get up to take a shower, never mind write. My brain is broken and I’m continuously trying to rewire it.

So come back, check once in a while and let’s aim to become slightly more positive by end of 2017!

A few of these posts are on my Wattpad account as well for people that only read via their tablets.

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