I used to be so incredibly naïve. I used to believe all you needed was a positive attitude, and things would just—work out. Sometimes they don’t, though. And positivity is still being pushed as this mindless cure to what isn’t a disease. Positivity is meaningless without authenticity.
the problem with positivity
For the most part, I love Daniel Tiger. It’s a cute show with some deeper elements, and some generally great life lessons. There are two areas, though, in which the show gets it wrong, and unfortunately these are big ones for me.
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.
Before Adrian died, I was a relatively positive person. His death shattered my belief and confidence in the ultimate goodness of the world.
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.
Three years ago, I would have said suicide was cowardly. I didn’t understand, then, how quickly life can change. Suicide may not be an ideal answer, but I better understand the complexities behind the issue now. Awareness isn’t enough—suicide prevention starts with understanding.
I have days when I think I’m okay. I have days when I think, “I’m healed now. I can be a normal person again.” This started out as one of those days.
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.
I read these stupid memes and I want to say, “well of course my attitude must be influencing me,” but I know that can’t be true. Because there was never a moment when I didn’t feel full of love and want and excitement for you.