Bravery, or the lack thereof

I was quite nervous about writing my last post. I worried that I would be seen to be moaning about my situation, asking for sympathy and expecting people to feel sorry for me. And that doesn’t feel right.

I’ve had a lot of messages of support, which I appreciate hugely, but I’ve been very confused by a common theme – almost everyone congratulated me on a very brave post.

I don’t feel brave in the slightest. It feels to me that if I were brave, I would be strong enough to just get on with my life, I wouldn’t be struggling like I am. Choosing to tell the world feels like the cowardly option, not a brave one.

You hear about those people who have been dealt a truly awful lot in life – children with incurable cancer, people living with MS or motor neurone disease – who remain positive and happy, and do wonderful things for other people. I feel I should be like them, and I’m really really not. I’m just not.

Instead, I feel sorry for myself, for the hand I’ve been dealt, and can only seem to focus on the things I’ve lost or that I will miss out on. I’m sure it’s partly the legacy of having had depression for more than a decade, and I do use CBT techniques which help somewhat, but it’s not a magic bullet that fixes everything.

I feel I should be able to just decide to be positive and get on with things. To decide there’s no point being down about life, and determine to be happy and grateful for the many good things I do have. But either it’s not as simple as that, or I simply don’t know how.

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