This morning I read an interesting article by the journalist, and fellow Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) suffer Juliette Wills. The article outlined her struggle with AS and Ulcerative Colitis, in an effort to raise the profile and identify the misconceptions of chronic illness. One of my favourite parts of the article is when Juliette describes her life as if it was a weather report, “mostly cloudy, with a few bright spells”. I’m sure most of us who suffer with a chronic illness can relate to the weather based metaphor.
I have written before about how a positive attitude, and your psychological well-being can have a big impact on not only how you cope with your illness, but how you manage your symptoms and life style changes. This is a point that was echoed in Juliette’s article as “half the battle is psychological”.
We are all familiar with the phase ‘Every cloud has a silver lining‘, you may have even used it once or thrice before. But have you ever applied the metaphor to you and your condition? One of the ways in which you can stay positive, despite your daily struggle is to look for the positives in a situation, and not focus on the negatives. On twitter you can find the #Negative2Positive hashtag being used by fellow AS sufferers. My favourite tweet of late was:
#Negative2Positive: Negative? I am out in town getting chores done. Positive? Lots of chances to sit down, rest & use my new camera.
— Macros The Black (@MacrosTh3Black) February 29, 2012
This, I think highlights perfectly how we can find positives in most things we do. Which ultimately stops us all from going insane. It’s can be very easy for us to focus on the things we can’t do, especially when they can vary from day-to-day, as the dreaded ‘flare’ encroach’s in to all elements of our life. So on those days where the simple things are often overly difficult, if not impossible, having some sense of achievement, not matter how small, can often turn a dreadful day into a “cloudy” day, if even a good day.
Focusing on the positives no matter how small can have a profound effect on your mood, symptoms, and more importantly your sanity. So next time you find yourself focusing on something you can’t do, turn it around and find the silver lining.
Share with us all below just what negative your turned into a positive, and help others to do the same.