The year just past presented more challenges to me than I could have anticipated; undoubtably for many of you too. If I’m being totally upfront, the last eight years have been tough, sometimes beyond my innate strengths and I’ve had to find and use new tools and skills to cope.
As I emerged from that and into the crazy landscape of Covid-19 World, there were several opportunities to look closely at my life, how I must live it now and the people who are in it. The new knowledge I’d gained gave me a clearer lens to view some relationships and to understand their impact on my ability to still learn, grow and perhaps even flourish in this weird world; one that continues on into 2021!
One of the hardest things that I had to deal with didn’t have a name, it was simply a feeling of not wanting to be around or talk to some people. This wasn’t a return or lingering of the profound Agoraphobia that I lived through. This feeling is not exactly new either, I’ve simply buried my reactions to some of these folks and avoid them. As it turns out, what I’ve been dealing with isn’t uncommon and it’s called “Toxic Positivity”.
I won’t faff on as I have a link here to share that although lengthy, is excellent at describing what TP is and the effect that it has on people who are subjected to it. I will say that as a person living with M.E. and having gone through a separation from my partner of nearly 30 years, the amount of TP – not the kind you stash when your Province is in Covid Lockdown – is significant. Sometimes, it seems benign but in truth it’s left me feeling misunderstood, sad and sometimes angry. To me, it shows a profound lack of empathy.
It’s 100% okay to not always be okay. It’s okay to be sad about a huge change in one’s circumstances. It’s not okay for someone to minimize your pain or loss with platitudes. A person in pain wants to be heard not preached at.
Excellent article. Give it a read.