This hasn’t always been my philosophy. I haven’t ALWAYS been this mega positive person with nothing to lose and everything to gain. And trust me, I’m STILL not ALWAYS this way. I realize I actually have LOTS to lose with this progressive and chronic illness, but I have chosen to look at things in a different way.
Before I started seeing my life in a different light… BEFORE it began to shine multiple shades of positivity, it shone MULTIPLE shades of grey.
The darkness, the dreariness…it definitely took a hold of my world in ways I never even imagined. The meltdowns were often and the outbursts uncontrollable.
I was ANGRY. At times I was MISERABLE… And for 4 years of my life I couldn’t even Imagine how I was EVER going to see all those bright colours again. For 4 years of my life ALL I could think about was ‘WHY ME?’
But as soon as I discovered my NOW favourite quote, it really resonated with me. It resonated deeper than a quote ever has. It resonated so deeply that it is now what I think about during my downright toughest days. During those rock bottom, dark and debilitating moments, I think of these simple yet powerful words:
“There is Always, always, ALWAYS someone who would LOVE to have your bad days”
And EVERY time IMMEDIATELY after thinking of those words, the glass goes from Half-EMPTY to Half-FULL.
And seeing the glass half full is what has gotten me through my toughest days yet, and what I count on to get me through the toughest ones yet to come.
But what does the glass half full REALLY mean to me? Well, It means many things…
It means realizing life hasn’t turned out exactly the way I anticipated, yet being grateful I still have one.
It means realizing that LITERALLY half of my body has decided to shut down, but embracing the other half that still works.
It means understanding that there are some people in this life who have next to NO function left at all, and being incredibly grateful for what I still have.
It’s being aware that some people’s life has been burdened with a TERRIBLE terminal illness, and being extremely thankful that no specific time limit has been put on mine.
It’s allowing myself to be disappointed that I can’t play sports the way I used to, but understanding that some people can’t play at all.
And by taking the time to make note of all of these things for which I’m grateful, life starts to appear much MUCH brighter.
For me, it is taking the time to think of all the quadrapalegics, paraplegics, and persons with whom I would NEVER want to trade places.
It comes down to allowing myself to relate to characters in movies like “Me before You.”- An emotional true story about an active young man who’s life is DRASTICALLY changed in a split second after a MAJOR spinal cord injury. It’s allowing myself to let out the tears during parts that remind me so much of my own situation, yet then snapping back out of it when I realize this poor man can’t even adjust himself in bed.
It’s finding that happy medium where the emotion is raw, but not raw enough to make me sink down into a deep dark depression.
It’s moments like these when my favourite quote resonates even DEEPER and the glass appears even FULLER.
And by choosing to see the glass Half full, my accomplishments become bigger and my smiles become brighter.
It’s not that I don’t give myself the permission to be mad, angry, scared or confused. It’s that I have CHOSEN to not let IT take control of my life.
I still cry, I still scream out of frustration, and I most DEFINITELY still ask why??? BUT those moments have become more minimal.
What has become more common are the moments I go shopping, out to a friend’s house, or out to dinner and ROCK that wheelchair like nobody’s business. It’s the confidence and resilience I have built deep within that is becoming tougher and tougher to break.
It’s taking full advantage of the time when my upper body still works and finding a way to play tennis, one of my biggest passions, DESPITE having to play it seated.
It’s allowing myself to complain about just how taxing this UNBEARABLE pain is on my body 24/7, yet at the same time being EXTREMELY thankful I have a loving and supportive family to complain to.
And above and beyond all that, it’s allowing myself to be FULL out frustrated I can’t physically be the mother I once imagined I would be many moons ago, but being incredibly grateful for being one at all.
It’s allowing myself to be frustrated and upset that I’m not able to be the ‘Hands-On’ ACTIVE mother who gets to teach my son all the sports I once played, BUT being SO unbelievably grateful he’s healthy and able to play with a ‘Hands-On’ Father, Nonno, Grandma, Mama, Papa, Abueula, Abuelo, Zia, Zio, Tio’s, Tia’s, Aunties, Uncles, cousins, and friends who care about him in ways he doesn’t even know yet.
It’s allowing myself to be okay with WISHING I was one of those ‘SUPER-MOMS’, yet being thankful I still have the cognitive capacity to relate with him, interact with him, and witness/acknowledge all of the milestones he accomplishes.
It’s knowing that no matter how bad days get, I have the sweetest most intuitive little boy who can literally turn any frown upside down in an INSTANT.
And once I really think about ALL that I STILL have, and ALL that I am thankful for…
How can the glass be seen in any other way?
Whether I choose pessimism or optimism, I still have pain, I still have debilitating fatigue, and I still have half of my body which has decided not to work.
However on the flip side, I have a whole other half of my body that still works, a son who melts my heart everyday with a single smile, and a family who supports me in every way.
It’s about ALWAYS finding one reason to smile in exchange for each negative thought or tear that is shed.
And by doing this successfully, is there really any real value in seeing the glass half empty? #ithinknot
But the choice is INTRINSICALLY yours!
#glasshalffull #thebrighterside #thechoiceisyours #myjourney #MS #MSawareness