Always. Frequently. Sometimes. Rarely. Never.
Those are the options I'm given when I fill out the mandatory update form at my counsellor's office to see if I'm still dysfunctional enough to warrant treatment. My answers have improved (in the sense of the state of mental health they indicate) and the general gist has changed a lot over the months, leaning away from depression and tending more to anxiety. Maybe not the best of solutions, but I can make anxiety work for me a hell of a lot easier than depression.
I usually end up picking either "frequently" or "rarely", the only time I use "never" is in the questions relating to substance abuse, and I don't recall having used "always". It's so definitive, there's so few things that one can confidently apply it to. So I end up sounding like a noncomittal depressive. Anxiotic. Ummm... is there an "-ive" for people suffering from anxiety disorders?
My point is this: there is a world of difference between "never" and "rarely", and just as much of a world between "frequently" and "always". Imagine a friend who always, without exception, turns any situation to being about them and their difficulties, then imagine a friend who does it frequently, but there are still things that remain yours, or a third party's...you probably wouldn't remain around the former very long, but the latter could easily be a good friendship, as long as you can see past the self obsessive tendencies.
I realise that so many negative "never" and "always" things have been eliminated in my life, or downgraded to "rarely" and "frequently" or even the middle-ground "sometimes". On top of that I've gained many positive versions too. Yet sometimes I still focus on the occasional "never" that won't go away. Or the "rarely" that feels like it should be a "sometimes".
I feel as though I have all the right ingredients now, or nearly all. No, I take that back: the only remaining ingredients to be found are seasonings, garnish, the base is there. So I have all the right ingredients... I just need to adjust some of the proportions, or maybe my sense of proportion with regards to some ingredients. A litte more of this a little less of that. Change this one from a smidgen to a splash and that one from a chunk to a chip.
Good Gods, I'm talking in code. But it's mostly for my own benefit anyway, I know what I'm talking about, and by talking about it I've remembered that I really do have the right basic ingredients, and that's something I was nowhere near having a year and a half ago.
So hooray for investigative cooking in the game of life. Experimentation in the creative process of the confection that is my life. It's turning into a damn fine cake, I don't need to fret about the frosting really, it's not the most important part.