Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Good Versus the Bad: Make Sure YOU Win (Part 1)

Every day when I get up, my body likes to give a lot of reasons not to. So many reasons to slip back into those covers and hide.

It's more than the crippling abdominal pain that feels like a ninja star got lodged in my gut and is too tangled to be removed. I'm tired. I'm sore. My legs feel heavy. My head hurts from lack of sleep. The sleep I could not get because I hurt. The nausea, the dizziness, the paaaaaiiiiiin. And aside from physical issues, I am stressed because I feel overwhelmed by my challenges. I agonize over every day things because I have an overtaxed tolerance for anxiety. I am sad every time I want to do something that 'former me' could do but 'current me' struggles with. I am frustrated that every day I have to look at my calendar and see if my body will let me accomplish what I want to.

With these 'negative' things hurled at me from the moment I open my eyes, it could be easy for me to wonder what the point to getting up is and just curl under those blankets. Which is why, everyday, I appoint myself as a 'personal cheerleader' and cheer the holy melted cheesy gravy out of myself (is this a good enough expression?). When life isn't going your way, there is more than enough negativity filling it. It makes sense to throw in as much positivity into it as possible. No matter how cheesy or fake it might feel at times.

I know we hear this all the time. "The Power of Self-Affirmations!", "Fake it Till You Make it", and "Don't Worry, Be Happy". Maybe we hear it so much that it sounds too silly or easy to be true. Like some bizarre rumor you hear in middle school; like how folding paper can somehow tell you who you are meant to marry (who else remembers the paper fortune tellers?). But this is different.

You don't have to tell yourself something fake. You just remind yourself of everything good in your life. Every day. Because when you are sick, every day you are reminded about the negative. So fight back.

When I get up, I tell myself that I have a great job. I tell myself that I am lucky to have a mind that lets me study and pursue what I want. I tell myself I'm pretty. I strip down in front of the mirror and try to find anything about myself I can complement (even if sometimes it's only half true!). I do any exercise I can and then tell myself how great a job I did. When I learn something new, I let myself feel clever about it. Anything and everything I can find with a silver lining, I magnify it and give it the attention it needs and deserves.

No one wants to stay curled up in bed. Or trapped in a head full of negative thoughts. Or trapped in a negative life. They do not choose to feel bad or frustrated or defeated. The little and large negative things pile up and bury you without you even realizing it. I've found that the way to keep from drowning and keeping the pile at bay is to build up my wall of good things. Little by little.

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