Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Positive Pessimist

I am sharing an article I just read.  This is something I truly believe in and something I struggle with.  I am very much a pessimist at heart and one of my favorite sweatshirts has Eeyore on it saying "Positive Pessimist".  That is so me. 

I believe though it is better to optimistic so I try, and try again.  Whether you have a perfect life or one that is falling completely apart, you suffer from an illness or have great health, you are in pain or not, you need to find one thing good and focus on it.  After that look for something else good, etc. 

This article below is just about doing this.  We do need to focus on good and not judge others just like we don't want to be judged.

"Playing The Cards We’re Dealt

I have been accused of being many things in my life, but I can assure you that one of them has never been being “too positive”. I have never been the type of person to intently stare at that glass of water and size it up as being anything but half-empty. It’s the way I’m hardwired. I am, by all definition and description of the word, a pessimist. However, in the ten years that I have been labeled as “sick”, I have fought like hell to change that little unattractive quirk about myself. For example, when most people would see Friday as the beginning of the weekend….I saw it as two days before Monday. As most people see a vacation as a time of relaxation and fun….I see it as a huge pile of work on my desk waiting for me when I get back. See where I am heading with this? It’s almost as if I had trained myself to see the negative in my day to day life three times as fast as the positive. Maybe I did it on purpose as a self-protective mechanism. Or maybe I did it because that’s the type of energy I had surrounded myself with on a day to day basis. I remember as a kid, my mom always saying “you are what you eat.” Well, as an adult I’ve come to the conclusion that the same can be held true to your relationships, environment and attitude. You are what you believe.
Now I know some of you are rolling your eyes at me right now, glancing at your pill bottles on the nightstand and at the pajamas you have been in for three days because the pain hasn’t allowed you to get out of bed to shower, and are about to write this article off as another “mind over matter” piece of crap. To you, I smile, raise my 28 day blinged out pill box from my nightstand, tuck my non-washed hair behind my ear and toast you as I down another 10 pills. See? I’m right there with you. I’m not a doctor, I’m not an expert writing a book, I’m not someone trying to make money off of an illness…..I’m me. I’m one of you. I’m sick.
Let’s get to the point of why I am writing this, and let me state for the record that my opinion may be one that may ruffle some feathers. That’s alright, though. What’s the use of having feathers if they don’t get ruffled once in a while? Ruffled feathers remind us we’re alive and sometimes make us justify the choices we make not only to others, but sometimes to ourselves. In doing that, sometimes we are forced to look in the mirror and to really see ourselves. It wasn’t too long ago that someone forced me to do that….and I didn’t like what I saw. So, instead of expending energy trying to justify an attitude that wasn’t productive, I changed.
How did I change? I stopped being angry. Sounds simple doesn’t it? It isn’t. It isn’t easy to stop being jealous of healthy people. It isn’t easy to sit at your desk at work, feeling as if your body is literally about to break in two from the pain, still unsure of how you got to work that morning because you don’t even remember driving, and hear that person whine about the cold they are getting and how they feel like they are “just going to die at any minute and have to go home,” I know the anger that burns through you like a hot poker as those words sear your heart in two. In your mind all that you hear is “if you only knew…if you only knew what REAL pain felt like. If you only knew what wanting to die felt like.”
News flash…maybe they do.
As perpetually sick people, we tend to live in a bubble and think in terms of OUR sickness….OUR world. Yes, that little cold they have is trivial, but how dare we think they don’t know what real pain is. Maybe they have had open heart surgery? Do we know? Do we ever really know? We ask people every day of our lives not to judge us because “we don’t look sick.” Isn’t it time to practice what we preach?
I spend a lot of time on social media, whether it be twitter or facebook and I am constantly asked the same question: “Don’t you feel bad? You must be in remission, because you don’t really ever post about being sick and you hardly ever complain.”
Of course I do.
fundraise, I write, I try to make people feel less alone. What kind of community would we be if all we did was sit around and try to one-up each other about who felt the worst? I choose to offer solutions and help and support. Is it fair? Hell no. But the fact of the matter is, these are the cards we have been dealt, and we have to learn to find some sort of winning hand in the deck or just fold and leave the table.
I choose to play.
Besides….I have one hell of a poker face.

Article written by senior editor, Stephanie Kennedy
Stephanie lives in Fayetteville, NC and is the mother of 3 always hyperactive and occasionally adorable children. She was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus in 2001 and in the time since has added Scleroderma, Hashimotos, Celiac and Degenerative Disc Disease. In her day-to-day life she is a Community Relations Specialist (aka, marketing and creative hodgepodge facilitator) and a part-time blogging snarkzilla. She can always be found somewhere in social media-land causing some sort of trouble. Find her on twitter at @steph_in_nc or on facebook at Stephanie Welborn Kennedy.
©2010 butyoudontlooksick.com"
Please post what you do to keep pessimistic thoughts away and being in those positive thoughts.

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