We are conditioned within modern society to look for the silver lining in every crappy day. For some things, this is fine. But when it comes to extreme loss and pain, there often isn’t a bright side.
The cult of positivity and how it hurts
Loved ones often want to cheer you up after loss, but sometimes, you don’t want or need to find cheerfulness. Sometimes (often!), you need to just sit and grieve. “Let’s cheer you up” can be hurtful after loss. Acknowledgement is so much more supportive.
Positivity is a choice, and it’s important that it remains an individual one. You can’t force other people to feel positive; you can only make them feel bad about feeling differently.
This meme has been floating around for a while, and I honestly can’t stand it. Trauma is not your fault, period. Healing is never an obligation. Telling someone they have an obligation to heal from their trauma is just another form of toxic positivity.
Some people do choose to find positivity after loss, and I think that’s great. I think it’s an example of the many ways different people respond differently. But it’s not what I choose. And in my opinion, feelings must be an individual choice.
“Positive vibes only” sounds like a great message, but it unfortunately acts as erasure of the full emotional spectrum. Authenticity is always preferable.
We are often told to focus on positive thinking when going into major life changes like having a baby. But I was literally the most positive person possible when I was pregnant with my son, and he still died. Positivity doesn’t prevent tragedy; it only keeps you from preparing for it.
I think we subconsciously want all parents to be superheroes. From the smallest scratch to the largest mistake, parents are blamed and take on the blame for every misfortune in their childrens’ lives. When we think about hot car deaths, this trend is dangerous. This death could happen to ANY OF US.
When you’re going through tough times, remember that life is about so much more than feel-good messages you read online
One author would have you believe tough times can be simplified into 8 feel-good steps. But when you’re going through tough times, life is about so much more than feel-good messages you read online.
There’s something that bothers me about this common sentiment of “keep going” or “don’t give up”. It’s sometimes used as a means of silencing those with genuinely dark feelings, instead of listening and being a true help. When someone is feeling suicidal, they need more than simple positivity.
When someone is pregnant after loss, loved ones often rush to promise everything will be “fine.” It’s important to understand how hurtful and often inaccurate this phrase can be. Please focus on reality when talking about my pregnancy after loss.