I don't think I'm going out on a limb when I say that most people have their Dark Thoughts that bother them. They tend to appear in the brain at inopportune times and say things like, "You're unattractive," or "You're not good enough."
I am no different. And sometimes, the Dark Thoughts are really hard to shake. Those who know me personally can attest to how difficult such thoughts are for me to shake once I'm in their grasp. Perhaps this is an actual psychiatric condition, but I don't think so.
One of the side effects of this sort of thing is that I become not-at-all-fun to be around. I start posting cryptic Facebook status updates that trigger worried phone calls and text messages from those close to me (if any of you are reading this, don't worry, I'm OK right now. Of course, you're welcome to contact me just because, though!).
A few weeks ago, it was driven home to me just how much I was scaring the people around me. Jenny showed up at my apartment because I hadn't responded to her text messages. The actual reason I hadn't responded was that I hadn't received the messages because my phone was malfunctioning. But I'd been enough of a downer lately that she felt the need to check on me (for the record, I had no intention of harming myself).
As it turned out, I had decided that morning that I had to make some kind of change. In fact, when Jenny arrived, I was listening to a guided meditation on loving-kindness. This type of meditation is practiced regularly in some Buddhist traditions and is called metta bhavana, which simply means "cultivation of loving-kindness" in Sanskrit.
So I decided to read up some more on Buddhism. Perhaps a deal could be reached? Details next time.