Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Short Life.


After being released from the psychiatric hospital last year, I struggled a lot with controlling my thoughts. I would get *flashbacks* of the horrible things I mentally conjured up pre-hospitalization.

Are you familiar with the song If I Die Young by The Band Perry? Band member Kimberly's voice is heavenly--a unique and distinct sound that I've come to incessantly enjoy {TBP are currently my #1 fav on Pandora}

But for almost a year, I would instinctively turn the station whenever I heard If I Die Young, without a second thought. I’d hear my husband say, “Hey! That’s such a beautiful song.” To which I'd respond, “I know, but I don’t like it.”

The lyrics just hit too close to home for me:

     Lord make me a rainbow, I’ll shine down on my mother
     She’ll know I’m safe with you when she stands under my colors, oh well
     Life ain’t always what you think it ought to me, no
     Ain’t even grey, but she buries her baby

     The sharp knife of a short life…

Hits. Home. Hard.

Why?

Because that could have been me.

It pains me to say it out loud, which is why I’m writing it instead.

Every time I’d hear those words, a pit would form in my stomach. Guilt, shame, and embarrassment would drown me. Listening to that song, no matter how beautifully written and sung it was, would bring me back to the time when I was at my lowest. How selfish of me to think that taking my own life would make me feel better. But with postpartum depression, you can’t help it. I couldn’t choose not to have these thoughts, no matter how hard I tried.

When people would tell me, “Mind over matter”, I wanted to sock ‘em a good one! Seriously.

Now when I hear that song?

I feel empowered.

Yes, that could have been me… the sharp knife of a short life

But it wasn’t.

I released myself from that stinkin’ thinkin’ and beat those thoughts deep down to the core of the Earth.

Adios, nasty thoughts. You don’t live here no more!

After all the cognitive therapy I’ve gone through, I’m able to send any negative thoughts into the ether and be done with them. The truth is, thoughts are constantly fleeting through our minds. It’s our decision whether or not they stick around for a free meal.

True, I needed medication to give me a jump-start, but that’s okay. For me.

I no longer have *those* thoughts, (thank God!) but whenever an unwanted thought (for example, imagining a car accident involving family) pops into my mind {every one of us have had fleeting thoughts like these} I simply choose a different thought. I’ll think about playing in the park with my daughter, or the latest episode of Modern Family or New Girl…

It took time for this to become a habit of mine, but it works.

It’s rather difficult to think negatively when you’re too busy thinking positively!

***
Are there any "tricks" you have for getting out of that "stinkin' thinkin'"?

Loyally,
Katie


1 comment:

  1. I think we all get caught up in negative thinking from time to time and I think you have the perfect trick! One I need to practice more often myself.

    ReplyDelete

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