Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Coping with Chronic illness: power of positive thinking

There's a lot I don't know about ME / chronic fatigue syndrome, but having lived with a chronic illness for over 8 years I do know that there is power in positive thinking. I don't mean that I can will myself to walk down the road without paying a high price. I mean that it is possible to live day in, day out, within the same four walls and within the same painful, sick body without plummeting into negativity. It's not easy, but it is possible.
I've tried both ways. I've given in to my self pity, but it didn't last long. No one wanted to be around me and I even got sick of myself. When you're bed bound there's no where to hide from your feelings, you have to face them head on. I had to make a conscious effort to be happy every day. I had to accept that this was my life and that there could be joy found in any situation, even if I had to look really hard for it. I never lost hope either, I believe life will get better. In one way or another, the hard times won't last.
The power of positive thinking helps me now that I am a bit better. I'm beginning to try things now that I haven't done for years due to ME / chronic fatigue syndrome. I feel afraid and vulnerable because I've been weak for so long. When I feel fear I replace it with confidence and tell myself I can do it. When I feel vulnerable I replace it with strength and tell myself I have control. Sometimes I have misjudged my capabilities and I over do it and suffer the consequences. I look at these times as temporary setbacks instead of feeling disappointed and frustrated.
We cant choose to be free from illness, but we can choose to be happy!