A friend in another social networking forum asked a general question about things that occur that make maintaining a positive attitude difficult. I think my answer fit some of my current body struggles, so I think I’ll post that here…

A big thing that challenges my ability to be positive is having the desire to do things, get out, see friends, and participate in activities while my body’s function and chronic pain is making those things difficult or not possible. I want to do everything, see all the people, have all the experiences, go go go! I’m accustomed to being busy, but my body sometimes makes me have to pick and choose. And there is often a trade-off; I got out today, but I’ll probably pay for it tomorrow.

<Nerdy therapist moment…>
I acknowledge that thoughts are a form of behavior. Some thought might “pop” into your head, but continuing to think about it is a choice. We often have feelings as a result of our thoughts. So, if we have control of our thoughts, that also means we have some amount of control over our feelings. Therapists often teach their clients to take control of their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that they engage in as a result of their thoughts and feelings. I understand I make this sound simple, but I know it isn’t. It takes practice, self-awareness, and also some self-forgiveness…

Ok, nerdy therapist moment aside, I have good and bad days. I have days I feel   overwhelmed and worn down. I have days that I feel in charge of myself and days that I am rummaging through my emotional baggage and engaging in some psychologically/behaviorally bad habits. In those moments, I have to try my best to remind myself of my joys rather than my moments of failing. Sometimes, I have to give myself a kick in the ass and remind myself that I know better. Sometimes, I have to ask for help (which is a HUGE struggle for me). I can choose to take action rather than giving up. I sometimes try to make a gratitude list. Sometimes I need to be reminded of the things that I have going for me, the things I am doing right, and the supports I have. It’s then when I can draw on my strengths to get through challenges. The Buddhists say that if you live your life a miniscule amount better that day than the day before, then you have been successful. Recognition of a victory, albeit small is always encouraging for me.

Is it fake? I don’t think so. I’ll probably say “I’m doing ok” if you ask me how I am doing. Those that know me well can usually see the truth in my face. If you see me saying “I’m doing ok,” and it appears I am not, that’s not me faking. I’m just acknowledging that I WILL eventually be ok, but just not today…


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