Some people say the only way to treat depression is with the use of medication, therapy, or a combination of both. I believe the power of positive thinking can effectively treat depression without medication. The author of “Tim Gunn and the leaky shower; Welcome to my life, little guy”, Maggie Downs, is facing many problems in her life all at once and they are threatening to force her off the edge. She has a breakthrough during a breakdown that gives her an opportunity to choose the path of positive thinking and change her situation. In my opinion, positive thinking could be the key to bringing forth positive situations in your everyday life to help avoid becoming overwhelmed or even keep one from becoming depressed. “Tim Gunn and the leaky shower; Welcome to my Life, Little Guy” demonstrates the power of positive thinking and how it can change your life from negative to positive.
The author, Maggie Downs, tells the story of a new mother that life is not being kind to right now. She has problem after problem thrown her way, enough to make just about anyone have a breakdown and fall into a depressive state. Shortly after bringing her newborn son home, she finds a leak in her upstairs shower that will require extensive construction. The landlady hires the company with the lowest bid ensuring a drawn-out process. The construction has everything covered in dust and her asthma is flaring up. Her labor wounds are throbbing and causing her great pain. The desert heat is too much for her ancient air conditioner to keep up with and is unbearable inside the living room where she has moved her baby and herself for the remainder of the cursed construction. Her friends give useless advice to her and do not offer any real help such as a place for her family to stay. On top of her nearly unbearable situation is a cranky and crying newborn. I think all this negativity happening on top of hormones from just giving birth, she was starting to become overwhelmed and fall into a depressive state. She focused a lot on the negatives such as being hot, not being able to get the baby to sleep, and the lack of help from her friends and others. The sole focus is on the negative things going on made it to where she was surrounded with only negative thoughts. I think this mixed with hormones and a lack of sleep pushed her over the edge causing her the need to escape. “As a means of escape, I turned on old episodes of “Project Runway” and jacked up the volume to drown out the crying and the hammering” (Downs, 2015). I would call this statement her breaking point, the point where she knew she could no longer take the overwhelming situation if she kept handling things in the same manner.
While losing herself in episode after episode of the show and attempting to console the baby she listens particularly to the host and his encouraging nature to the contestants. One piece of advice that Tim Gunn shared with a contestant was that he should go with his gut no matter the outcome. This really struck something with the author and I believe that is because she was a new mom and relying heavily on the advice of others instead of her own intuition. The author’s husband is at work during the day leaving her to deal with the construction workers and the baby alone. I think because she is alone in this a lot of the time she is lacking the encouragement and support she needs to not focus all on the negative. She has a slight epiphany about the situation and realizes she needs this encouragement like the host, Tim Gunn, is providing his contestants. “I needed my own personal Tim Gunn who could inspire me to power through this mess” (Downs 2015). I think this occurrence was very beneficial to her mental state, it is the thought that I feel put some hope and positivity back into her life. It gave her the chance to choose positive above negative thoughts and learn to encourage herself rather than relying on others to do this for her.
The author visualizes Tim Gunn talking to the construction workers telling them basically to get it together and get the job done. She encourages herself to power through and the construction has finally come to an end. Another problem arises, her shower doors have a gap that needs to be fixed or it will leak again. Instead of choosing her normally negative approach of letting others deal with the problem, she chooses the positive route and finds her voice. The problem is fixed simply and quickly and she can move back into her room and get the crew out of her house. Some people may think that the power of positive thinking is not enough to change a situation but I think that is an inaccurate statement. Without the positivity of Tim Gunn, she may have not changed her negative thinking, is that not how mothers in the news came about murdering their children, during the process of a mental breakdown? I’m not saying I think this mother would do anything as drastic as hurting her child but she is in an abnormal mental state and experiencing high stress.
I think the essay “Tim Gunn and the Leaky Shower; Welcome to my Life, Little Guy” was a great example of what positive thinking can do to help you change negative into positive. The author was going through a difficult time and she was focusing on all the negatives in the situation when she learned to let positivity in she found her voice and got through without getting overwhelmed. Some say, “Critics of positive psychology research have argued that it is too simplistic to conclude that all people stand to benefit from these exercises” (Lazarus 2003). After reading this essay, do you think positive thinking alone can bring forth a positive change in situations? I do agree that it may not work for all cases but this case was a prime example of how it can work for some and proof of how it worked for the author.
Downs, M. 2015 Tim Gunn and the Leaky Shower; Welcome to my Life, Little Guy. (Online source).
Lazarus, R.S. 2003 Does the Positive Psychology Movement have Legs? (Essay).
Sergeant, S. 2003 An online Optimism Intervention Reduces Depression in Pessimistic Individuals. (Online Source).