A Call For Positivity.

Good morning world, it’s been a while. It’s 4 am in California and I have to say I don’t mind feeling wide awake right now. I feel like I’ve been in a sedated state, in and out of consciousness for the last week, so it feels good to be up, even in the wee hours of the morning. I move when I can, which isn’t very often. It’s difficult to do basic things for myself and it sucks to have to ask, but that’s where I am, so that’s what I need to accept. I have never been this sick before. It’s kind of making my other sick days feel like childs play. Walking is really difficult and the weakness can be overwhelming. If sort of feels like trying to walk underwater, and like someone poured honey all over my joints. Anyway, being stationary for a long period of time isn’t super fun, sometimes the mental housekeeping is as hard as the physical. I know it’s important that I stay positive, that I don’t succumb to fear and despair, and that I surrender to where I am right now. That does not mean give up. I am always going to pursue the healthiest routes and happiest choices, but I also need to just be where I am- which right now, is immobilized in my sisters apartment. When I try to move around I get worse, so it’s bed rest for me.

The good news is, I have help. My sister has been doctor for a while now, and my mom flew in on Thursday so now I have even extra help. And Monty too of course. I think he’s anxious for me to be back on two feet but he’s patient as always. He’s taken to my sister and brother-in-law,  like he knows they’re the ones with the energy…they’re the ones who will throw him the ball. So he plays fetch with them and my mom and sleeps by me. He is a constant reminder to be in the present moment. That is something that dogs just get, and humans mostly miss.

I am going to be very honest and say that emotionally I’ve been kind of a wreck. I’m not a huge crier but for some reason when I fall into these weak/dizzy spells, tears just roll down my face. I don’t even necessarily feel sad..it’s like this strange cause and effect I don’t feel I can control. So, I let the tears come. I try not to harp long on any negative thoughts or fearful worries; they are not only useless, but also detrimental at this point. My mom told me “You can’t afford the privilege of a negative thought right now,” so I try to stay away from them. If they come, I let myself have them, and then I let them leave. I am beginning to learn the art of detachment. I’m getting pretty good! I’m writing about this because I know that so many people have felt what I am feeling, and many of them have not had support systems behind them. I want anyone to know who’s sick or troubled and reading this that it’s OK to want to punch the wall, scream really loud, curse the earth, the universe, God. I have done all of these things in darker moments, and sometimes a good scream or cry is necessary. Sometimes if I’m too tired to yell, I flip off the sky. It’s like the most passive aggressive protest I can demonstrate, but since my arms are so weak I don’t leave it up there very long, which leads to cursing. Haha. But what I also know is that anger and screaming and crying and cursing…it just doesn’t get me anywhere in the right direction. It doesn’t move me along. It’s really easy to be mad at a situation; to be pissed off or sad or claim unfairness. But where that gets you is stuck further in the predicament you were already in, just now you’re a miserable person in a shitty situation. It’s just plain more interesting to be a happy person in a shitty situation. Try it! When people ask how I am I say “Terrible! And it’s the best day of my life!”

My goal now is to stay as happy and positive as I can, which so far is really hard. But I’m going to keep at it. I’m letting negative thoughts come, and go. I follow them up with good thoughts. I constantly remind myself what I have; love, a family that gives a shit, good doctors, good friends, and the best dog in the world.  A few examples; my friend Kaitlin aka Matt Damon texts me our inside jokes throughout the day, often consisting of lines from Billy Madison, Orange County, or philosophical thoughts on the Golden Girls. Sometimes a one word text can make me laugh, and that feels like a step in the right direction. My brother Nick sends me interesting and positive reading material or funny pictures of the baby. My Stupid Friend Jess sends me her favorite facebook statuses of the day, which are always terrible. And hilarious. My mom and sister let me cry when I need to but are always encouraging, reminding me of the truth, and that is so necessary for times like these. And me, I’m kind of just hanging on. I don’t really feel like I’m driving the car to my life right now, but, I at least I can control the music. Is this metaphor too much? Anyway, instead of playing like, Coldplay and Radiohead, I’m trying to play happier and motivating things. The Black Keys, Vampire Weekend, The Rolling Stones, and Ke$sha. Come on, that Tic Toc song can make anyone dance. We’re out of the metaphor now, I actually like listening to that song.

So, that’s where I am. It’s a really rough time, but I know it isn’t forever. And I know the answer to it all is not in anger or sadness or pity. It’s funny how conditioned humans are to respond this way to stress in life–it’s absolutely worthless. You’d think after 2000 years of civilization we’d have gotten it by now. Even the dogs get it! Anyway, as I sit immobilized, a heat pack on my muscles and the smell of BenGay circulating, I’m beginning to retrain myself. My body is crazy weak, so I’m going to work on a stronger mind. I know that every situation is an opportunity to grow, and I guess it comes down to whether you want the experience to leave you larger or smaller than you were before. My hope is to walk away wiser and stronger. In the meantime, I gotta stay positive. So send me funny stuff! Among the 25 pills, laughter is still the best medicine.

Health, Happiness, Optimism.

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19 thoughts on “A Call For Positivity.

  1. I can so relate to the mental housework being exhausting. Yesterday I had to leave work early and just collapse on the floor of my apartment. I arrived at the floor at about 1:00, and didn’t move at all for 7 hours.

    Anyway, loved this post a lot. My most frequently quoted quote from Orange County:
    “We came together.”


  2. Are you in my brain? Seriously, every time I have some type of enlightenment about managing life or human beings in general the next day you go and translate my brain thoughts into a perfectly worded blog entry. So aside from being a little creeped out right now, I feel so affirmed and even more inspired to take on all the negative sh** around me that normally penetrates my mind and gets me nowhere. My mom would always tell me that that’s the devil speaking to me, so I call them “Devil Thoughts.” Recently I’ve been reminding myself that while I can’t necessarily control what happens around me, I can control my OWN mind, and no other person, thing, or idea can do that without my permission. So why permit it?

    Peace, Love, Control.


  3. “When life gets you down, you know what you gotta do? Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming.” ~Dory from Finding Nemo I love this quote. It always makes me smile. Keep climbing that mountain, you WILL make it!!!!


  4. Your “I’m not driving the car to my life” metaphor reminded me of a favorite metaphor of mine for those times when it’s hard to not to feel pummeled by all the stuff that is out of our control:

    I can’t stop the waves, but I can learn to surf. (And if surfing feels too ambitious, you can totally just float.)


  5. You will get better Mary. This too shall pass!
    Lord knows that I’ve had many dark thoughts in the past but I have to remind myself that this is happening to me for a reason. It is not for us to know why we are burdened with this illness. I do know that God doesn’t make mistakes and that this is what His plan is for me right now.
    And I have to say that when I walk through the V.A. Hospitals I begin to feel less sorry for myself. There are so many people who are much worse off than me **everyday of their lives**, because they fought for us. The only thing is that you can actually understand and SEE how they can have these problems when ours is just INVISIBLE. It would feel better to be able to say that something horrible happened that caused me to be this way.
    Much love and hugs to you sweetie. So sorry you’re having such a tough time. Maybe tomorrow will be better. Maybe tomorrow there will be a CURE~:)


  6. Hang in there Mary- I know when I ‘ve had really tough flares It can be both body and mind challenging.. I do the same thing of hanging in to all the positive things. Even if it’s just that I have really yummy food in the fridge, even if someone else has to make me a sandwich.. Trying to train my cat to make me snacks.. nada so far.
    It will get better- *virtual hug*


  7. Amen, girl. Your answer of “Terrible. And it’s the best day of my life!” is almost mine verbatim. :) Thanks for the great perspective, and the continuing FB hilarity!!! Hope the clouds part for you soon.


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