My take on positive thinking. RANT!!

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by gapsych, Mar 17, 2009.

  1. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    I am positive you can't "think away" a chronic illness.

    I am positive that even if you are a fighter, it does not guarantee a decrease in symptoms.

    I am positive that the more money/resources/emotional support you have makes it easier to take care of ourselves.

    I am positive that motivation may reflect how sick we are.

    I am positive that people with our DD, may not always be eating correctly because we may not have enough energy to shop, cook, or even eat.

    I am positive that there are times we can't get ourselves going physically no matter how motivated.

    I am VERY positive that being sick is NOT a character flaw.

    [This Message was Edited on 03/18/2009]
  2. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    I agree.

    (My previous messages all vanished.)

  3. TeaBisqit

    TeaBisqit Member

    Isn't it amazing how quickly everyone forgets what we were like BEFORE gettting sick?

    I come from a military family. My father was a Marine. I was raised to be a reliable, hard worker. I was straight A's and Dean's list in school. I worked out two and a half hours a day and loved it. I had friends and a life. I was always the one you could count on to be sober and reliable and there for you.

    I did not suddenly decide I no longer wanted my life. I did not suddenly decide to be a housebound couch potatoe and lose the body I worked so hard to sculpt. I didn't suddenly decide to give up my friends and destroy all my family relationships.

    I don't know why people have such a hard time understanding that if someone with a good, clean, reliable life is suddenly not doing much, there is a PHYSICAL problem, NOT a mental one. I'm not depressed. I WANT to do things, I WANT to be able to work. I am too sick to do anything. I am now getting depressed because I am unable to do those things. But I am not a clinically depressed person, nor am I a mentally ill one. I'm in too much pain and fatigue and have too many cognitive problems to do much of anything ever. That's physical and no amount of happy, happy, joy, joy thoughts is going to make this go away.
  4. spacee

    spacee Member

    I am becoming very reclusive cause I do not want to try to explain what NO ONE gets again, if possible.

  5. AuntTammie

    AuntTammie New Member

    Very well put, both of you. Thanks for posting!
  6. DemonFairy

    DemonFairy New Member

    I was just accused by my brother of having herniated disk surgery for, uh, I don't, sympathy, the sheer joy of throwing money at doctors & hospitals? On top of it, I've been accused of faking FMS because my partner has it. She's had it for 12 years, and I've had it for 2-3. You'd think that since we've been together for 11 years, I would've copied her sooner, rather than waiting 9 years to pretend I'm exhausted and in pain. To feel so crappy that I don't leave the house, except to go to the doctor, the grocery store or the library...and those, I go to, at most, once a week. I just can't figure out how I'm benefiting from having FMS. Ooooh, I get pain meds. Big whoop. They don't take care of most of my pain and they don't get me high, and I have to pay for the privilege of having the doctor write those prescriptions every month. Grrrr.

    I so hate to wish FMS on anyone, but I'd like everyone in my family to experience it for at least a month. My brother, who accused me of faking it - he can have it forever. And then, he can try his advice about exercising fixing FMS. Yeah, I can barely walk from the bed to the bathroom - exercise just isn't going to happen for me right now. If he had the reading comprehension of a five year old, he'd figure out that stress makes everything worse (my car was repo'd in December, my house is in foreclosure, and I lost my job in August), and realize that he's just sending my "non-existent" (hohoho!) symptoms spinning out of control.

    Everyone tells us to exercise, that positive thoughts help, blah, blah, blah. Let them be in my body for a while and say that.
  7. vivian53

    vivian53 Member

    that you are positive that we positively didn't ask for, or wish upon ourselves this DD. No it's not a character flaw or mental illness and we can't think it away. If this were the case we would have already done so, a long, long time ago.

    If this trial by painful fire is character building (what doesn't kill us makes us stronger) I'd rather be a weakling and feel good.

    DemonFairy: Sorry to hear of all the really bad stuff going on it your life. And through it all you have managed to keep your sense of humor. You made me laugh in spite of it all. Thanks.

  8. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    All I can say is thank goodness for this board.

    You guys "get " it.

    Vivian, thanks for saying you think I am positive. I was kind of having a pity party. Sometimes this DD it is beyond our control.

    While I have come to terms in many ways with this DD we would not be normal if it never bothered us.

    This makes me think of the Serenity Prayer. A great piece of wisdom.

  9. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    It sounds as though you are having a tough time right now. Venting here is good because, as you said, we are the only ones who "get it." Prayers going up that you feel better.

    BTW, I have always refused to give a fig about what others think of us. We can't control that and we don't need the stress of trying to. Yes, the Serenity Prayer is a great way to view life.

    Love, Mikie
  10. Smurfette17

    Smurfette17 New Member

    I agree 100% with Mikie. We can't control what others think of us or this illness-- they will come to whatever truth they want. Trying to make people "get it" has only hurt me, and caused more stressed. No, I don't like my in-laws thinking I'm not being positive enough or not putting my mind to it. However, worrying about their opinion is the exact oppositve of positive thinking for me!

    I have cut many people out of my life because it's just to hard to explain, from scratch, every single damn time, what I have gone through, what I go through. My family and a handful of friends get it and support me. For now, that is plenty. Plus, you guys on this board!
  11. bakeman

    bakeman New Member

  12. shari1677

    shari1677 New Member

    I love this board - I come here not only for advice, but to cry and vent and to converse with people who "GET IT" as someone else put on this thread.

    Before I was sick, I was running 5 miles a day and lifting weights 3 days a week. I was able to clean my house, work full time, take care of the kids AND exercise.

    Then one day, it all stopped.

    Yeah, I chose this......I choose to stay in my PJs all day. I chose to lose all of my friends. Oh and yeah - I just gave up, that is why I'm sick.

  13. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Long after we have moved on to the acceptance stage of our grieving process, our families, friends, coworkers, and others may still be in denial. Denial is borne out of their fears. If such an illness can cut us down in the prime of our previously healthy lives, it might do the same to them. If they believe we are nuts, lazy, hysterical, etc., it is easier for them to accept than to face the fact that such illnesses occur in the world. Some of them may be stuck in the denial stage, or the anger stage, permanently. They become toxic to our healing and we often have to just cut them out of our lives.

    I'm no polyanna and just because I've reached acceptance doesn't mean I don't slip back into denial or anger now and then. Grieving isn't a linear process. I do believe that by surrounding myself with positive people, work, reading, praying, meditating, etc., it helps me to be more positive. That reduces stress which helps me feel better. Still, there are times when swearing lets off a lot of steam and resets my outlook. It ain't pretty but it works.

    Love, Mikie

    LISALOO New Member

    What a thoughtful, insightful post!!

    How did you get to the acceptance stage? I flip between anger and grieving. Never have done the denial, but can't get to acceptance.
  15. blueeyedgrl73

    blueeyedgrl73 New Member

    I dont have fibro or CFS... I have RA and with it as many of you know comes with joint pain and fatigue. I can relate to the fatigue you guys experience. I hope I am welcome here on your board. I also post on the arthritis board. I do believe that positive thinking can help you get through most days but GEEZ people who dont suffer from fatigue and pain do not have a CLUE!!!!!!! Some days I try to think positive but cant wait for the time I get to lay down and rest!!!!! So...the thinking didnt really help! LOL!

    However, I refuse to let this DD take over my life. I work full time and am a single mother... I know there are worse things in life to be plagued with so I am grateful I dont have anything worse. Still, I do need to vent from time to time and it's great to have ppl to vent to who understand :) Blue

  16. twia

    twia New Member

    I can't tell you all how I feel right now because this has never happened to me before. I feel like I have just come home for the first time.

    I have a husband that's supportive and had 2 friends that were. Our friend N. just died unexpectedly and his wife that was like a sister to me suddenly tells me that she never really felt that way and basically "Don't call me, I'll call you - NEVER!

    I have been going through such a rough time that I finally decided that if I didn't reach out to someone I would loose my mind. So, I spent 3 days trying to get into a chat room or message board or anything. I finally found one and it worked last night. I tried a chat room. Since I have never done anything like this before I kind of felt like I was back in high school on the out side of the cool kids group, looking in. I don't mean the people did anything wrong at all, it just wasn't a good fit, the people were nice though. I read this message board today and it all seemed to click.

    I'm here to make some friends, rant when I need to and get and give support. I'm hoping to find people like you all in a chat room. Maybe you could let me know where you guys go to chat. Anyway, thank you so much for telling my story by telling yours.

  17. twia

    twia New Member

    I was glad to have someone respond so quickly. I know exactly what you mean about the chat rooms going so fast. I really felt stupid since I never knew who was or wasn't talking to me. I guess I'll chalk it up to a new experience that I won't be trying again. Is there a place you go to talk (so to speak) with someone in perticular? let me know. Again, thanks for responding.

  18. twia

    twia New Member

    Thanks for the info. BTW, it seems we both like crafts and writing. Way cool!
    I was also wondering though if you've found a good doctor that helps you with some kind of treatmen? I myself tried everything for many years before I found a doctor that finally said he may not be able to cure me but could at least do his best to keep me as comfortable as possible. The list of meds. has changed and grown over the years to the point that I am now on Vicotin, Morphine, etc.... Like most on the board I'm still in alot of pain all the time but it keeps it down to a dull roar.
    I have a great husband and alot of pets that I wouldn't know how to live without. Something about having pets is comforting.
  19. DemonFairy

    DemonFairy New Member

    twia <<I have a great husband and alot of pets that I wouldn't know how to live without. Something about having pets is comforting.>>

    Yeah, and it was also suggested by more than one person that if I didn't have so many pets, maybe I wouldn't be sick. If I didn't have any pets, there are some days that I wouldn't even bother getting out of bed. The pets actually keep me more active than I would be, plus they're not the slightest bit judgmental and they don't care how much I nap or if I complain or if I'm not being "positive". Also, they don't care if I don't shower every day anymore either, which is bonus, because I can't anymore. I remember the good old days when I thought it was disgusting if I didn't take a shower and wash my hair every day. Oh, if only I had that energy now...I probably wouldn't waste it on washing my hair every day (although I love when my hair is clean), but at least I'd have some extra energy to do *something*. Instead, I'll go nap with the cats. They're always happy to have someone around for a nap, and most of them are happy to stay there as long as I do. A couple of them stomp on us if their internal dinner clock alarm sounds though - their timing is pretty impressive because they often aren't far from wrong.
  20. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Even acceptance isn't a permanent state; our emotional health is more variable than that. However, if we spend most of our time in acceptance, I think it is safe to say we have achieved acceptance. Acceptance isn't giving up or giving in but rather accepting that we can't change what has happened to us but we can choose how to respond. Grief therapy can be extremely helpful in navigating the grieving process. As soon as I became really disabled with my illnesses, I sought the help of a therapist. Also, my SSD atty. suggested that it would help my case with SS.

    We almost always have far more choices than we believe we do. Some of those choices are more attractive than others. Some can be agonizing to make. Therapy can help us to identify our choices and it can help to empower us.

    One choice I made was to research my illnesses as much as possible. I found lots of treatment choices. I was in an HMO which would not pay for expensive treatments and tests but I had excellent docs who were willing to help me try treatments empirically. With the right attitude and docs, it is possible to get good treatments without having to spend a lot of money. I found it important to believe that at least some of the treatments would help me but probably not all of them. I found some treatments which helped me a lot but no one treatment was the end all. Each thing, in my comprehensive bag of tricks, helped me and, together, they worked synergystically to help me heal.

    I think it is very difficult, if not impossible, to heal while one is in denial or anger. That is why acceptance can be so important. Acceptance isn't "positive thinking." It is coming to terms with reality, empowering oneself, and learning the difference between what we can control and what we can't. The grieving process really is a process and one which we should honor. If we slip back into grieving our former lives, it is normal. It may be helpful to allow ourselves a certain amount of time to grieve or allow ourselves some little ritual to help us grieve. Then, we go on to doing something which will help, whether it is researching, cleaning out a drawer, laughing with a friend, or whatever gets us out of the depth of grieving. There is no timeline on the grieving process but I think it is important not to spend too much time thinking of what might have been. We have to deal with what is.

    You may not know that about eight years ago, I was bedridden most of the time and on Morphine for pain. The prognosis for getting better, or even holding the line, wasn't good. I had been sick 11 years at that time. I am not well, but I do work part time and no longer take opiods for pain. I have to rest when I am tired and my life is always a balancing act. Just because I was able to heal this much doesn't mean everyone else can. I feel very blessed but at the same time, I give myself the credit for all the work I've done to try to heal.

    Our choices are to curse the darkness or light one little candle. Venting, cursing the darkness, can be a good way to blow off some steam, but it isn't very helpful in the long run if that is all we do. Unfortunately, if one gets stuck in the anger stage, nothing else good can happen.

    Hope this helps explain my own journey. We are each on our own journeys and none are the same. I believe therapy can be a big help. Good luck to everyone.

    Love, Mikie

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