There’s this thing in the self-help world where everyone is trying to get you to “make your dreams come true”.
And the BIGGER your dreams, the better. DREAM BIG!!! DREAM BIGGER!!!
Fame! Riches!! Husbands!!!
But some of us are not in a place where we can dream, much less “dream big”.
We are more like… at a place where “no dream can come true because you are at the bottomest bottom and you cannot even dream anymore because everything sucks so much”.
That place? That Bottomest Bottom? I’ve spent long enough there to remember it well.
And I remember how “put off” I felt by the… how shall I put it…
The glittering, glamorous glowing people who promise that “you too can make your dreams come true, check out how I’ve made my dream come true *insert glittering glamour here*”.
There’s a reason why those of us with a “tendency towards depression”, even those of us who are in the Bottomest Bottom, cannot stomach the glittering glamour of “big dreams come true”.
But that does not mean we cannot interact with “dreaming”. It just means we need to do it in a different way.
There is another way
The truth is that there are many ways to make your dreams come true.
One of them is to look at your dream, point to it and go at it.
But another is to do the exact opposite: to look at the part of you who cannot dream, point to it and get to know it.
You can climb up the stairs… OR you can add more steps beneath you. Either way, you’re moving forward.
Except that one way is the way of “positive minded people”. And the other is the way of the…“other minded people”.
The way of the “positive minded people” will probably trigger the Hell out of the “other minded people”.
(And vice versa, yo! Let’s not forget that positive minded people are just as anxious around “negativity” as we are around “positivity”.)
Being “positive” is not the only way. “Dreaming big” is not the only way either.
And if you’ve tried one way and it didn’t work… Perhaps it’s time to try the other.
There’s always a good reason for not dreaming
There’s always a good reason for feeling what you’re feeling.
And for being “down in the Bottomest Bottom”.
Perhaps you’re secretly scared that if you go after your dreams and they don’t come true, your poor softy sqooshy heart will get all squashed. And then DOOM!
Perhaps you’re scared that if you get what you dream of, you will become this intolerably obnoxious person who goes around beaming at people about how wonderful everything is. (And then you’ll hate yourself).
Whatever the reason is for not dreaming, it’s a perfectly legitimate reason.
Don’t dream (big or small)
If it’s not happening, then there’s no point in forcing yourself. (Because that would be abusive, and we are trying to not be abusive to ourselves anymore)
Instead, shift your focus and talk to your depression. Your anxiety. Your Bottomest Bottom.
Bottomest Bottom: “everything sucks!”
You: “OK. Everything sucks”
Bottomest Bottom: “everything sucks and I’m unhappy!!”
You: “OK. Everything sucks and we’re unhappy”
Bottomest Bottom: “everything sucks and I’m unhappy because I want things to be wonderful!!!”
You: “OK. Everything sucks and we’re unhappy because we want things to be wonderful. Got you”
NOW you are both on the same page. See?
Now that you and your Bottomest Bottom are talking, you can ask “what would help?”
You: So… What would help right now?
Bottomest Bottom: For things to be wonderful, yo!
You: OK. What if I tried to bring in more wonderful things into my life?
NOW you have a plan of action.
NOW you can do actual things that will bring you closer to that place where you can start dreaming.
Very Important Things to Consider!
Just because I’m describing the process “in 200 words or less”, it does not mean that you can go from “Bottomest Bottom” to “Dreaming” that fast.
The first part of the conversation, “Everything sucks!” “OK, everything sucks” may take a really long time. (And I mean a really, really long time.)
It will also take a really long time for your Bottomest Bottom to feel OK with you bringing “wonderful things” into your life.
It will probably keep on screaming “NOOO!!! You cannot bring wonderful things into our life because everything sucks!” which means you have to go back to step 1.
Starting small and non triggery. It’s the only way.
When you first start this process of “bringing wonderful things into your life”, you have to start small, because anything else will clash with Bottomest Bottom.
Small and wonderful may mean spending an extra second looking at a colour you like. Or saying a word you find funny a few more times.
You start small and then Bottomest Bottom will scream “NOOO!!! This is not wonderful, this is rubbish because everything sucks!” which means you have to go back to step 1.
Really important! This process I’m describing? You have to do it on your own, in your own time. Over and over again.It’s not enough just to read this post. You have to sit down and actually have a conversation with your Bottomest Bottom.
And keep in mind that your Bottomest Bottom is just as clever as you are, so going all “I’ve acknowledged that everything sucks, why can’t you shut up already!” won’t do the trick.
Kindness, people. Always.
At the very core of it, this is the truth waiting for you. When you’re ready for it: