Several weeks ago, I sent a private message to a Facebook friend and told him about this blog. I’ve never met him, but we’ve communicated frequently through social media. He has done a lot of research on brain function and has even written a popular book about it. I figured he’d be a very good resource for the blog. He quickly answered, saying that I had a lot of “super information” in my blog, and he gave me suggestions about other resources and possible contacts.
In other words, he was quite encouraging and helpful. Ah, but I didn’t take it that way. I took his response as: “he just said what he said to be nice. He really hates my blog. He’s just trying to pass me off on other people.”
So, when he messaged me this morning, saying that he did some more research and discovered more solid suggestions for resources, I was surprised. I thought to myself, “holy crap! He really does want to be helpful! He really does like my blog!”
Chalk this up as another example of me dealing with people by thinking the worst of them. I know this is a very common characteristic of people with depression and anxiety. Needless to say, it’s not a big help when it comes to building connections, friendships, and relationships.
Like so many others who have trouble trusting people, I was abused as a child. The abuse was both mental and physical. Therapy has helped me deal with this. But I’ve never quite been able to get past the gut feeling that people are trying to hurt me. It’s one of those things that just won’t go away.
But the therapy I’m getting now gives me hope. It’s cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), where the focus isn’t as much on your past as it is on behaviors that can change your way of thinking. The idea is that even if you can’t quite control the thought–you CAN control your behavior (or reaction) to it.
When my friend messaged me this morning, I was able to take in his generosity and kindness. And he really does think my blog is “super.” It’s a step in the right direction that’s good for my ego and my confidence. I’ve said it before: depression and anxiety are liars. They make you believe things that most often are not true. My friend gave me kindness this morning–and a healthy dose of truth. I am very grateful.