I like to call myself Eeyore.
I've always identified with Eeyore. I am gloomy and have a generally dark and dry sense of humor. I don't think my parents realized until I got older that I made jokes a lot because they were so dry and off.
Its not much of a tail but I'm kind of attached to it.
I love that. It's got so many layers to it. Acknowledging that his tail isn't the best, but it's his; And that it is literally attached to him. It's a pun as well as being unexciting and self deprecating.
But I'm also very positive... which is why I like to think that I am a positive Eeyore.
When it comes to life I try not to get focused on the things that can go well. Instead I focus on what can go wrong. Not because I like being negative, though. I do it because I don't want to get my hopes up. I don't want to sit around thinking about how great this thing will be if there is a chance that it won't happen. If there's a small chance that things can go wrong, I would rather focus on that. Save myself from being excited and being let down. That high to low... it hurts so much. I would rather wallow in the bad than let myself get excited if I know there's a chance I can just plummet emotionally.
This all started back in early high school. I can't attribute it to one event. There were many factors. Here are a few examples:
- I expected to do really well on a test, and then get it back and did terribly. It became easier to expect that I did terribly on a test, so when I got it back and passed, I would feel great. If I did terribly, it was okay, because that's what I expected. I was right, so I could at least feel good about that. If I underestimated myself I couldn't let myself down.
- I was excited to get a new game, but then got grounded and couldn't play it. Or couldn't go purchase it for some reason. It might not seem like much, but I didn't really do all that much other than play video games and talk to people online. So a new game was always a big thing I looked forward to.
- Someone said they would be on AIM (AOL Instant Messenger for those young'ns) that weekend, I would get really excited to talk to them and they wouldn't be on. This would lead to let down and angst... They didn't want to talk to me, or maybe they weren't as excited to talk to me as I was to talk to them. (I was not a really social person in high school, but I did talk to people online. I would make sure to try and be online when some of my online friends would typically get on because... I was lonely but also did not like meeting up with people in person.)
- I thought I had a chance at going out with friends (on that rare occasion that I actually wanted to hang out in person) but at the last minute I had to baby sit or had to do something else.
As a result, I stopped dreaming. I stopped looking forward to things, especially things that I didn't think would even have a chance of happening. I pulled myself out of the clouds and made myself look at reality. I was an Eeyore.
At some point that shifted a little. Now I like to think that I went from Eeyore to a positive Eeyore.
I say that because I started out pretty pessimistic about everything. I believed the worst in people, in society, and don't get me wrong, people and society can be pretty terrible. I try not to expect too much, but I also know that everyone is capable of kindness and greatness. That everyone has their own life views which shapes their actions and beliefs. I can't blame someone for believing something if that's all they know.
While I generally have a cynical outlook on life, I also see that there is hope. Hope in communication and understanding. Hope that if people were educated about all the ins and outs of things, that maybe they could see how someone might think differently than they do. I see hope. I can go from "doom and gloom" to "stupidly positive" in a short time.
My outlook changed as I met more people, started paying attention to the good things in life, I started shifting. I'm still a realist, but I have a generally positive undertone. Yes, over all people do terrible things but people also do amazing things.
Example: I know that climate change is a real problem. I am terrified of what life will be like in 20 years if we don't do something now. However, I still have hope that the world will turn this around. We still have time. I'm sitting in the middle. I'm observing. I do what I can, and I know I talk to people to make sure they are also doing what they can. But I'm still sitting with my fingers crossed waiting. I'm positive and also Eeyore at the same time.
It's an exhausting place to be. But I appreciate that part of me.
Sometimes I don't know if my Eeyore side is because of depression, teenage angst that created habits in thoughts, being a realist or that's just how I am. But I also know that underneath all of that, I'm really positive. It took me a long time to let that side out because I've always been so buried under depression, it made it really hard to see the light.
There was a time in therapy where I visualized happiness and saw a brick wall with a locked door between me and happiness. I was sitting in a corner staring at the wall. My side was dark, foggy, and gloomy. I could see light shining under the door and through the sides; faint light, but I knew that on the other side it was bright and sunny. Sitting in my corner I imagined the other side was colorful, shiny, sunny and warm.
I wanted to be over there.
Why wasn't I over there? Because I didn't want to open the door, it was locked. I didn't want to try and unlock it. Why? Because I didn't want to get over there and find out what I thought was wrong. That really the other side was just the same as the side I was on. I don't want to fully head over to that sunny and warm side because... what happens when I get pulled back to the gloomy side?
I think this is a great visual for myself. I stand in the doorway between gloomy and sunny. I've got a foot on both sides. I'm a positive Eeyore.