“It’s snowing still,” said Eeyore gloomily. “And freezing.” “However,” he said brightening up a little, “we haven’t had an earthquake lately.”
Optimism is tricky. It’s easy during easy times and hard during the hard times. Dad is someone though who radiates optimism and it shows. For the most part he is always optimistic. He is always uplifting to talk to and he always gives me the sense that no matter what’s wrong or how big the problem it’s going to be okay.
I think I tend to lean towards the pessimistic side. I tend to think why me instead of why not me. Mom getting MS hasn’t helped this very much. I have noticed even more of a tendency to focus on the negatives in life than the positives. The problem though is when I am drawn to the negative I like to stay there for awhile. My mind becomes cloudy. I can’t support others the way I would like and I especially have trouble supporting myself.
For instance Dad is trying to get a heater for our pool so Mom can use it year round. Hoping this will help her to exercise more and strengthen her muscles. After a month he was having trouble getting the city utility company to contact him about completing his request, something that would’ve frustrated me to no end. It would have made me bitter, helpless and I might have just given up. Instead he spoke with Mom’s doctor who put him in touch with the Director of the MS Society who called the city utility company who then had someone higher up personally call Dad to apologize. A lesson learned in optimism but also a lesson learned for people dealing with any disability: Keep fighting. If you aren’t being treated the way you should be call your local chapters. They are there to help you and your family members.
In relation to my Happiness Project, I have made a committment to try to find the positive in every negative. To be more specific though I am going to find 3 things each day to be optimistic about in my life. It’s a small step but I am working towards tricking my mind. Hoping if I do it enough my mind will naturally work towards the optimistic side than the pessimistic side of life. I will begin to deal with problems or situations that arise from a more half full perspective than half empty.
How do you stay optimistic? Any tricks you recommend? Do you find yourself more glass half full or half empty?
I am struggling with this blog. Struggling because there are a lot of feelings I have about Mom’s MS but also because I worry I am consuming myself too much with it. Then again it is a big part of my life. I also wonder if what I am writing even matters. If it even resonates with anyone but me. I want to make it more personal but am trying to figure out how. Make it about Mom’s MS but my journey with it. How this is impacting me personally. How this is changing me. How this is launching me 30 years ahead in life in some regards but I still feel exactly the same in others.
I turned 28 on Monday. Happy Birthday to me. On Sunday as I was reflecting on the past year I was on the phone with Dad who was struggling, phsyically struggling. Mom had been having severe pains in her legs and hadn’t been able to sleep for several nights. They had been to a few doctors last week for her swollen ankles, her primary care and her neurologist. They changed her medicine, took her off medicine but nothing seemed to be working. Dad took her to a doctor Sunday who gave her a muscle relaxer just to try to help but instead of helping it made things worse. It essentially turned her muscles to jelly. To make a long story short Dad spent several hours maneuvering and figuring out how to get Mom into bed. She was on the floor at several points. I was on the phone with him a couple times throughout this. He finally had success and finally got her situated at about 11pm. A process that began around 8pm.
I layed in bed reflecting. Thinking 28 years ago Mom was in the hospital. We were hours away from meeting for the first time. Nothing more than a mother and daughter. A healthy mother and healthy baby. I began thinking of the past 28 years. Thinking of where we were today. How did we get to this point so soon. I was sad. I allowed myself to lay in bed that night sad. Thinking and sad. Going over life, plans and how things can happen that you never imagined.
I made a decision that this next year I would focus on myself and clearing out some clutter in my own life. Internally and externally. I am doing my own Happiness Project inspired by this book and the corresponding blog. I am going to spend the next year becoming the best person I can be so I can help Mom to the best of my abilities. I am realizing this next stage of this battle with MS is going to be largely mind over matter. It’s going to test me in ways I have never been tested. Test my mental strength, test my ability to resist the negative and test my family.
I am writing this here to hold myself accountable. It’s going to be an interesting journey but one I am hoping is full of successful changes and new tools to use as I deal with Mom’s MS.