What's The Payoff? Why I Was Killing My Life & My Relationship

She knew this wasn't the easiest conversation to have. 

I did my best to just listen and not "react."

Living with me and not sinking down to my lower level has been hard the last couple months my fiance explained to me as gently and compassionately as she could. 

She went on and shared that it is really hard to stay positive and supportive when I am complaining all the time. And she really worried that our friends and peers saw me as the "grumpy one" when she knows how bright and joyful I am at the core. It was tough and confusing for her.

"What happened?" I thought to myself. When and why did I become so miserable to live with? 

Where did the joy, possibility, and zest for life that she always saw in me go?

I've undergone a tremendous amount of healing the last few years. I gave up smoking pot almost 4 years ago. I was an every day toker for 4-5 years. 

When I first quit smoking marijuana I fell into deep depression. By far the worst I ever experienced. I couldn't get out of bed before 2pm. I regularly thought about ending my own life.

I hid this from most people.  But I shared it with my parents, brothers, and my fiance (then best friend) almost daily. On one side, having that outlet to authentically share saved me from ending my own life. But it had a dark side too.

I subconsciously learned how loving it felt to play the "victim". 

I gave up substance addiction and traded it in for an emotional addiction.

That's the payoff I've been getting from playing the game of depression & negativity.

And it is a sneaky game that creeps back in my life here and there when I am not looking.  Like it just did the last month or two.

I'll think I've finally overcome it for good and then I'll get a wake up call that the dark clouds have been looming for weeks and I didn't even notice.

I hide this pretty well from those outside my family. At least I think I do. But maybe I'm just fooling myself.

Nonetheless, it is easy & comfortable to be down, depressed, and full of complaining. And the payoff of being pandered to, loved, and consoled is so easy too.

"I feel like I am enabling you," she said. And god damn. She's right.

She's been letting me get away with murder. I've been killing our life together. A slow death of hundreds of tiny razor blade cuts that are slowly bleeding out our vitality. We're still alive, but for how much longer if I don't take responsibility for myself . . . 

Fast forward a few weeks. I'm back on track.  

I created a new possibility for myself. I am the possibility of positivity and joy. For myself. For my partner. For all those who I encounter in life.

Asking my partner how things have been for her in our relationship she was honestly able to say that life has been joyful again. :)

What I learned from this experience

  1. Depression & negativity are sneaky bastards that will creep back in when you are not paying attention.
  2. Having someone who can gently call you out of emotional funks is a life saver.
  3. If you can identify the "payoff" for the breakdown you can break the negative cycle.
  4. Life, joy, and positivity are a choice.  A choice that we must make each day.

Alchemical Opportunity for the reader

  1. Do you have someone in your life who can gently call you out of your own funk? Someone who has the courage to hold you accountable? If so, can you give them permission to do this proactively with you? If you don't have someone who does this then find someone who can and enroll their support.
  2. Do you find yourself repeatedly falling into detrimental emotional states & ways of being?  Depression, negativity, anger, helplessness, excessive complaining, resignation, etc.?
  3. What is your "payoff" for being this way?  Examples include: avoiding responsibility, having others take care of you, getting attention, feeling powerful (anger), having an excuse, etc.
  4. If you could "choose" your state of being each day what would you choose?

Life and living is a choice. As is positivity & enthusiasm.  

We create our joy for ourselves and others by choosing our way of being. Yet, even the most positive of us can fall into resignation & cynicism.  

And that is why it is so important to surround ourselves with people who call out the best in us when the worst of us is running the show.  

The people in our lives can be incredible coaches & teammates in the game of life, reigniting our life flame when we are falling behind and inspiring and supporting us in ever greater living.

In alchemy & service,

Justin David Carl 🌒

P.S. One of the best cures for negativity is proactive care.  Sign up for my Newsletter to keep your positive transformation in a state of growth!