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optimist or pessimist?

By Charlotte Brownlee, September 14, 2021

Read time: 2 Mins

optimist or pessimist? Image

recently i was asked the simple question ‘optimist or pessimist?’. i gave the single worded answer of optimist. 

but of course, my mind had to question this — interrogate it, unpack it, overthink it,  whatever you want to call it.  

and i realised that sometimes my brain tries to trick me or sway me into being  pessimistic. 

the reason it does this? 

not because i want to, but because that’s how my anxiety and depression function. 

my anxiety likes to think up the worst possible scenarios through its catastrophic  thoughts. 

my depression likes to make things extra difficult and cloud my mind from seeing  past the storm. 

i can get irritable. not care about things. shut off. 

but this is just the fog that covers up what’s truly at my core. 

deep down i feel optimistic. 

there’s a drive to keep going and to enjoy what i can, even when that drive is running  low. 

too optimistic and you get toxic positivity. 

too pessimistic and you end up not caring. 

i like to care. i want to care. so how do i find a balance? 

well… 

things can be tough, things can be shit, things can be great, things can be amazing. but what if there’s something that’s just… okay? 

if there’s the idea that things will at least be okay, then i can feel hope without  stretching it out to be unrealistic. 

my mind often likes to rattle off all the things that could go wrong. that’s the pessimism in me. 

but i’m trying to teach it to also consider all the things that could go right. and that’s the optimism in me. 

so maybe the question ‘optimist or pessimist’ isn’t so simple. 

and maybe, in my case, it’s redundant. 

maybe, instead, my answer is optimist and pessimist.

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