Pessimism Has Benefits, Who Knew?

Pessimism Has Benefits, Who Knew?

A glass half empty is better than a glass that's never full.
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In the great words of Paramore, “For a Pessimist, I’m Pretty Optimistic.”

I have found in the scheme of life that no matter how you see yourself, others perceive you differently. I have grown as an individual, but along the way, I have gained a taste for finding the glass half empty. This isn’t constantly true, but when others see a rainbow, I still comment on the storm.

My realization of my pessimism started in high school. I hated it the entire way through, but easing into my senior year, I became very consumed in how much I wanted to graduate. I began writing rather depressing works in English without noticing. Even though I didn’t realize then, others did. My senior year was the first time I was told I was slightly pessimistic, and it startled me that I agreed. I guess it wasn’t all that surprising, but it made me feel even worse than I already did. I figured it was because I was ready to graduate, and I'd be happier once I went to college.

At school, the glass was finally half full. I was having the time of my life deciding what I wanted to do with my future and was spending it with the best friends I’ve ever had. College gave be a new breath of air, and I loved it more than I could’ve imagined. Things were great, and I didn’t want anything to change. Then time decided to switch things up a bit. I still loved school, but it was challenging me on a level I could no longer handle. I began to see the negatives again which lowered my tendency to be happy.

The difference this time around was that no matter how many mental breakdowns school brought me, I was spending all of my time with my best friends. They somehow made my problems disappear, making the glass half empty vanish altogether. I was still pessimistic, but the people in my life made it so the negatives didn’t seem quite as bad as I was making them out to be. I was finding that I could control my thoughts by focusing on other happy topics or procrastinating them to a later time.

This strategy doesn’t always work though, especially when people become the problem. I was told again in college that I looked for negatives instead of positives, and I agreed for a second time. Little things got the best of me. I focused on the negatives so that I wouldn’t have to find a solution. This caused problems though, and I finally decided that pessimism wasn’t a good color on me. The process has been long but changing an entire mindset doesn’t happen overnight.

Through everything, I have found an optimistic aspect in my pessimism. The good things for others are amazing for me. The memories I hold onto leave tears in my eyes because I miss them so much. Although I have a tendency to dwell on the negatives, it makes the positives that much better. The people in my life mean more to me than I can explain, and I hope the times I spend with them never end. I may find the glass half empty, but when I’m optimistic it’s always 100% full.

Cover Image Credit: Sudheesh A

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Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.
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You won't see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won't laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won't go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They'll miss you. They'll cry.

You won't fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won't get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won't be there to wipe away your mother's tears when she finds out that you're gone.

You won't be able to hug the ones that love you while they're waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won't be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won't find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won't celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won't turn another year older.

You will never see the places you've always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You'll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges, and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it's not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don't let today be the end.

You don't have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It's not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I'm sure you're no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won't do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you'll be fine." Because when they aren't, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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7 Truths Of Having A Chronic Illness

Sometimes, all you can do is accept your situation and look on the bright side of life.

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"You'll find that life is still worthwhile if you just smile."
Charlie Chaplin

All my life, I've grown up with a monster alongside me. It's called epilepsy, and it's my greatest hindrance. Because of it, I experience epileptic seizures, fatigue, and abnormal sensory experiences (among other things) somewhat frequently. Even if I've gone without seizures for quite a while, I feel my condition with me every single day, and that's not something to be overlooked.

If you or a loved one suffer from a chronic illness, I'm here to tell you that 1) you're not alone and 2) it's not all bad! Living with a chronic illness can be a painful existence, but pain teaches us to be stronger. Pain leads us to seek support from others, and meet people with whom we never would've crossed paths otherwise. And...without pain, would joy mean nearly as much?

And so, for the sake of any meaning at all, I share with you the seven lessons I've learned throughout life with a chronic illness.

You must put your needs before anyone else's, and that doesn't make you selfish.

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You've probably canceled plenty of plans to take of myself if you've not been feeling well. You don't take pleasure in it at all, but you know your body better than anyone else. You simply need more rest than regular people, and that can be a challenging truth to accept.

Pain grants you a higher perspective.

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Can't find your keys? Lose your laptop charger? Stuck in traffic? Eh...if you've been through worse, daily hassles are an insignificant price to pay so long as you're feeling well. It's useless to put the effort in to complain about a minute inconvenience, and it's not easy to accept that. If it's not proactive, it's not worth it.

You shouldn't feel like a burden on anyone else.

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Hard as it may be, you don't have to apologize for any inconvenience you cause! You didn't ask for your condition, and it's not as if you've ever chosen to feel ill on purpose.

You would be nothing without the people in your support system.

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If you deal with a chronic illness, you'll quickly learn that isolating yourself from family and friends only intensifies the problem. Isolation leads to feelings of negativity, and if you want to live life to its fullest, there's no way around it: You'll need to trust others with your pain and verbalize how you're feeling. You'll need to seek out moral support. It doesn't make you weak, it only makes you human.

You should try and let go of what you can't control.

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Generalized anxiety is frequently diagnosed in patients who deal with a chronic illness. It's hard not to worry, what with all the medication, procedures, and admissions to the hospital. No one ought to blame you for it.

Worrying never solved anything, and that's easy enough to say. However, anxiety is completely irrational. It takes ahold of you, but you need to put up a fight. Within reason, prepare for situations that cause you anxiety. Practice mindfulness and meditation. Do all you can to take control of your life and stay in the present moment.

Healthcare workers are the real MVPs.

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Let's be real, having a responsive doctor with whom to work on a treatment plan makes a world of difference. Not to mention that during a hospital stay, nurses are your salvation. Doctors are here and there throughout the day, but nurses are there at the press of a button. Ever-so-patient, they're there to aid you in using the bathroom, grab your snacks, or give you some simple reassurance.

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

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You've woken up without knowing where you are...only to find you're stuck in the hospital. Suffice to say, you've been rushed to the emergency room more than once. You've had days you didn't want to get up out of bed, but you did because you owed it to yourself. You've been through the wringer, and you're still kicking. Be proud!

No matter how tough it may be, you'll make it through this. You've made it through everything before now, and that makes you one tough cookie. Simply because you deal with chronic illness doesn't mean you can't live a meaningful life. Keep on keeping on!

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