You’re wrong. You can stand there and be wrong in all your wrongness.
Funny, but ouch. That’s me. No whining here, only truth: I’ve never done anything quite right.
Okay, that statement might be slightly inaccurate. Every now and then I do something right, but then I get scared and quickly do something else wrong. My world order restored, I can go on with my familiar wrongness.
I know there are more of you out there. I’ve spoken with you. You look at something you’ve accomplished and then tell me what’s wrong with it or that the good thing doesn’t count because of all the other stuff that’s wrong.
And then there’s the wrongness in the world that’s pounded into us from every direction.
I’m not saying “poor me.” Not giving you excuses for my perspective, either, but I can give you a reason: harsh early training. I’ll even give you a second reason: general wrongness.
In other words, depression. A genuine condition.
Depression is even a cultural mindset.
However, we’re also given all kinds of positive messages about hope and surging forward with confidence. I particularly like one saying:
What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?
Whoa! All my gears immediately shriek, thrown completely out of whack. I can’t fail? Nah. No, no no. Don’t fall for that one! It’s wrong.
HOW I DO IT:
Since I’m hardwired for wrongness (depression), I need to be sneaky and fool myself. I feint to the left and strike on the right. I do that magician’s thing, tricking my focus. Look at how wrong I am over here…and then I secretly do something right at the same time.
But I can’t do too much right, because then there are the shrieking gears and self-sabotage.
You know what I mean. If too much goes okay, then there’s going to be an earthquake, a car crash, or a terminal illness, especially since all those bad things really have happened to me and mine.
So when my gears slip and clunk from the occasional rightness that threatens me with looming self-sabotage, I grind my way to my magical mechanic (therapist) and receive a much-needed tune up. And I go on to more self-trickery.
My favorite birthday card depicts a frantic Daffy Duck on a screaming yellow background: “No, no, NO! You’re doing it all WRONG!”
My second-favorite card: “My therapist says it’s not all your fault, Mom. Dad screwed me up a bunch, too.”
It’s good to laugh at my wrongness.
Now I sit here at my laptop, currently safe and unshaken by foreign confidence, because what I just wrote is all wrong. I’m a writer, after all. We never get it right. (See? I didn’t even intend to make that pun.)
An inescapable conclusion: depressed thoughts can be recognized and managed. Really. Honest and for true.
I’m not wrong.
*Daffy photo from a Looney Tunes Hallmark card
*Therapist photo from Carlton Cards