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A balancing act

by Optimist at Heart on 22 January 2010

Feeling happy scares me.  I know it's what many people aim for, but so many times in the past I have played the "see-saw" game that I am nervous of feeling too "up", because I know it will be followed by an almighty "down".  A psychotherapist once told me it was like a pendulum - the further you go in one direction, the further you will go back in the other.  She suggested I might want to aim to get the pendulum movement under control, only going a little in the "positive" direction so that I wouldn't go so far in the "negative" direction.

It all sounds very sensible, except that it just isn't me.  I am - have always been, since a little girl - someone who feels a lot and tends to show those feelings.  When my eldest sister wrote a poem about/for me once, she used the term "exuberant" to describe me (which made me cry, actually, as I felt I had totally lost that innate exuberance through years of depression).

So, enthusiasm is part of my make-up ... do I deny that natural character trait, in an effort to prevent the inevitable come down (damage limitation), or do I go with the flow and hope that by allowing my true personality to come out, I will feel a happier, more fulfilled person?  I think it's a balancing act, between not allowing myself to feel happy and enthusiastic at all (where I am at the moment) and completely losing control and going so over-the-top with enthusiasm that I will regret it soon after.  Tricky!

Val x

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