I’ve just read an interesting article in The Sunday Mail magazine by Sophie Sabbage about the pressures of constantly being told to be positive. (in her case when diagnosed with cancer )
I’ve suffered a lot of pressure since my bereavements from people who think I should be positive all the time.
At the worst imaginable time in my life I think my approach is realistic, not negative or positive.
It’s reassuring to find that others think the same as me.
I hope you find the article interesting.
Thanks for sharing, Jackie. The bereavement experts here at Sue Ryder also often say that it is better to have an outlet for negative emotions, rather than bottling them up - whether that’s talking to family and friends, to a professional, or writing it down here on the Online Community.
When my wife was diagnosed with incurable brain cancer I’d already decided I would never say that to her. I used all sorts of other encouraging words but never that one. Fortunately it was a word she picked up on herself. I don’t remember anyone else using the word to her either, and I can’t remember anyone using it to me since she died. It’s such a loaded word, I feel and almost smacks of being prescriptive. I don’t think many people would know how to design a positivity plan, if there is such a thing.
Thanks, it’s aninteresting article , she’s obviously had a lot of experience where her clients have hidden their pain and suffered as a result of it. The 'smiling depression ’ she mentions is probably what we all try to do ‘put on a brave face’ so we don’t upset family and friends
So much of her article is about the mental health problems that have been in the news over the last few days.
I have turned to reading about stoicism which has helped me. Positivity is very loaded as a term. The stoics believe in acceptance of circumstances which is something us all on our grieving journey are trying to get to I guess.
I also hate the awquard silences when someone asks if I am ok. I refuse to say I’m great just to make them feel better. I usually say “plodding on” which is what I am doing since losing my mum and dad, but I never say “fine”.
The western obsession with positivity is so fake. How many likes people can get on social media is the same self obsessed problem. If we were all more honest and supportive, maybe death wouldn’t come as such a shock to us when for a time it is absolutely fine, not to be fine.
Keep on keeping on.