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What You Should Know Before You Call Me a 'Negative Nancy'

You’re so negative. You’re a Negative Nancy.

Nope. Not really. But the way my anxiety is set up, I catastrophize events and situations to protect myself from yucky feelings like frustration, worry, heartache or disappointment. I make my perception my reality because I constantly have negative thoughts — I hate and beat myself up every day because of them. When I read a text, Facebook post, or email “presenting” as evil, insolent or dismissive, it takes my brain longer to convince my body (and soul) I’m not in danger or being personally attacked.

You’re so judgmental. You’re a Judgmental Jack.

No, that’s not what I want people to know, but it’s how I feel when I’m accused of being a pessimist. This is especially hurtful when I have disclosed my struggles to people who still stigmatize me for something I cannot control. 

I want people to know individuals do not choose to have a mental illness. Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean I don’t have scars. So why shame me because I have cognitive distortions and scars you cannot see? I want others to know I am not my anxiety; I am a loving, giving and charismatic individual who will use my pain as my platform.

So to those who call me “negative,” you don’t know the whole story.

The Mighty is asking the following: Tell us a story about a time you encountered a commonly held misconception about your mental illness. How did you react, and what do you want to tell people who hold his misconception? If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post to [email protected] Please include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio. Check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.