Looking To The Future
My sister-in-law says I am the most optimistic person she knows in my family. It’s funny because I’m also the only person in our immediate family who’s attempted suicide so many times, and has of course been very very lucky to have never succeeded.
My suicide days are behind me, but it got me thinking. Why do people dread the future? I used to dread the future. Every day I woke up I used to think, “Oh, God, another day of torture.” Of course, I meant emotional and cognitive torture.
I was my own worst enemy. It almost seemed like I dreamed up things to be upset about. I would put myself in sometimes fictional, sometimes factual situations that I either came up with or read on the internet. The internet was my greatest fear. Often times I wished the internet would just disappear. I would compulsively search the internet for things that upset me in the guise that it was better to know than wonder. I’d feel better for about 5 minutes, and then I’d feel worse for weeks.
I think, a very very long time ago, that something happened to me. I can’t put an exact finger on it, but I think I’ve narrowed it down a bit. And you know, that’s okay. It’s okay that something happened to me, because I turned out better.
I mean better in the sense that in many ways I have a better attitude than some people in my family. This doesn’t make me a better person, just different. I think the biggest change in my attitude occurred when I learned something from my sister-in-law Aila.
Aila’s father died this year, it was a terrible time, but Aila was resolute and strong (like always). Her sister read a eulogy and part of it was about how their father taught them that they could learn something from everybody, even if it was how not to be like them.
Now, if you ask Aila and her siblings what life was like growing up, you’d think they had two different childhoods. Not necessarily bad or good, just different. However, I think the biggest thing is Aila’s attitude. She truly takes the best out of every situation and focuses on what’s good. She’s very practical and doesn’t seem to need to worry or dwell on things that are negative.
When I’d tell her father that I really appreciated Aila a lot, he said, “Yes, she’s a very loving person.” She has always been there for me, supporting me, even sitting by my side when I was coming out of the coma.
My father has some problems, and I won’t elaborate them here for they are not mine. However, I can say that its sometimes difficult for him to look towards the future. In this way, by comparing him and Aila, juxtaposed together, I’ve decided to take the best from both.
After everything I’ve been through, there’s no point in letting it make me feel worse. There’s no point in dwelling on things I can’t change now. That’s very much Aila. There’s also no point in telling a lie, or believing something that hurts other people (even indirectly). That’s very much Scott.
I know when I post in this journal I often times ramble on without focus, but hey, it’s my journal dammit. However, with a moral resoluteness and an eye for the best things I believe I can finally look at the future in a positive light.
If you are struggling to see the future like this, I challenge you not to think of one good thing every day but instead to look for one thing you can change every day. Whether you change it or not is not important (although eventually you’ll probably want to implement it), but the idea that you can change your life in any way to be better is a building up of hope within yourself.
It wasn’t until I changed myself did my life become beautiful in my eyes. Let your life become beautiful in your eyes.