Why I Anticipate the Negative — Even When I Want to Be Positive
Essentially, I am punished for enjoying the good days. How can you truly let the good day into your heart, affect your outlook on life in a positive way, when you know it will actually bring about a horrible painful day that follows?
Punishment brings about an associated response. It does in children and it does in those with fibromyalgia. If you pay with pain and suffering following any time you are joyful and playful (and dare I say happy?) eventually you come to anticipate the negative before it even arrives.
Relationship Changes That Hit You Hard
Many of my hardest fibromyalgia moments are based upon what this disease has stolen from me, how I view myself, and how others treat me. I have learned many things about the true nature of people who love me, and in some cases that has not been easy.
I have had people distance themselves from me. Budding friendships and invites to the beach have been replaced with me wanting that connection back and being angry my illness makes people too uncomfortable to include me.
Thankfully I can find the opposite kind of treatment with my husband and children, who have surprised me with the love and support they continue to offer me. They have patience for when I am struggling and gratitude for the days where I can be more of who I want to be.
Thankfully, some people do surprise you in a good way, but the disappointment in most people and how they have reacted is one of the hardest things to deal with.
Self-Esteem and the Future With Fibro
Some of my hardest moments that affected my outlook on life include having to reinvent my career, which of course stole much of my self-esteem. I telecommute now for a strategic advising firm and I freelance on the side, which is a huge blessing, but it has taken me seven years to develop enough work to be a real full-time income.
In the beginning years of working from home I felt ashamed and worthless. Stripped of my title and salary I had no gauge to judge myself other that what others thought.
Facing myself in the mirror has been hard as well. I know it may seem shallow but I am not who I was before all the pain and struggle. Seeing the visible results of this battle and what it has stolen from my body is hard on my soul.
How to Improve Your Outlook
First, let me tell you that if you are positive all the time and you have fibromyalgia, you are either on amazing pain killers or you are putting up a front. That is my opinion, and I stand by it.
Next, let me say it is OK to feel negative about the challenges you face. Don’t allow it to overtake your life or mood, or stop you from pushing forward, but it is OK to feel like the challenge is too much at times and the whole situation you are in is unfair. It is unfair. None of this is fair and Karma, or your thoughts, are not what caused it.
We have fibromyalgia because life is full of challenges, and this is ours. It may feel like a punishment, but remind yourself that it is not.
Focus on the good days; the small things that still bring you happiness — even through all the pain. Finally, try to remember the positive things (and people) that have persevered through it all, and are the most important aspects of your life.
There is always something to be thankful for. By focusing on that fact, your outlook will improve.