Have you ever been laying in bed, or sitting alone and started re-living a really painful memory? You think through ever single detail that made it so awful, and occasionally add things to the story to make yourself feel more powerful and changing the ending of the story so you feel better. I do this ALL THE DAMN TIME. And something I've noticed is that even when I change the ending to the story, or add in a clever line that I thought of days later.. I still feel crapy when the story ends. Reality still exists. And I know that the story truly didn't end that way. So why do I do it? Why lay in bed thinking of the bad things that have happened? ....Truthfully I have no solid answer to that question. I just know that I do it. And I know LOTS of people do it. And for me sometimes bad things don't even have to happen for me to get this way. Sometimes when I get depressed I just start making up situations that haven't even happened. I MAKE UP SAD STORIES!! How dumb is that? And if I can't come up with a good one I can always fall back on the attempted suicide story to make me feel awful. The only logical explination for this is that I'm a sick person and I enjoy tourturing myself!!!.... actually sort of... but its more complex than that.
I think a part of me enjoys being depressed. WHAT?!? I know it sounds weird but hear me out. I think we all do this. Its nice to feel like I have a reason to run away from life and be sad. Sometimes its nice to have people feel bad for you. Sometimes its nice to feel bad for yourself. THE PROBLEM is when I go overboard. Taking a weekend to eat icecream with friends and have a good cry is GREAT for satisfying the need to feel bad for myself. But thats not the issue. The issue is forcing myself to live in the painful past.
staying up all night re-living bad decisions as a form of self punisment. If I force myself to re-live those terrible things they will never happen again right?? WRONG! Bad things happen and it only takes a moment to learn from them. Not years. I don't have to lay awake at night thinking about how scary the hospital is to know that I never want to go back. The day I spent there and the few days after are all I need. So why do I find myself going back to the hospital every night in my fantasies? Its because I want to go back and add in the things I should have done so badly! I want to change the ending. I want to say the right things. I want to fix it all and since I don't have a time machine I will do it in my head for the rest of my life! ... I don't think thats healthy so here's what I'm gonna do.
Next time a memory pops into my head I'm going to allow myself to go there. I can't block it or run from it because that only gives it power. I will let myself remember what happened, understand why it popped into my head. And i WON'T change the ending. I won't add in the clever lines. I will embrace the reality of my past and MOVE ON. Living in the moment is NOT as easy as it sounds. People tell me to do it all the time, and the truth is I don't really know how. But I know that you can't run from the past...... and you can't live in the past .... so maybe I just need to learn to accept it when it comes to mind and focus on the day ahead when it doesn't.