The Optimism of Being Optimistic

Having a chronic illness is unpredictable. Trying to smile through the day like everything is A-Okay, while the pain, constant stress, depression and anxiety are slowly killing you inside. I mourn the person I once was. I would give anything to have her back. Truth is, I’m not the same person. I’m learning how to deal with and cope this new version. I’ve allowed my depression to speak for me, and I’ve failed to keep relationships with some who meant so much to me, and sincerely apologize to those I’ve hurt. I’m a work in progress, so bare with me here. Medications can change you. Chronic pain can change you. Mental health can change you. I’ve allowed my disorders to take over and I’m working hard to get back to the person I once was, or at least close to it. We learn as we grow and it can be hard to grow at times bc it’s an emotional roller coaster with no straight lined path. It might seem confusing to some because we may look ok on the outside. It’s f’n scary to wake up some days and not be able to walk. To have a conversation and start slurring or stuttering and forgetting completely what the conversation is about. To go days without sleep and forgetting to eat. To wake up screaming in agonizing pain. To have random symptoms. To have muscle spasms so bad your body locks up, for sometimes hours at a time.

We smile so we don’t have to explain everything that goes on. For me, admitting that I needed help was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. But let me tell you, taking that first step in starting the conversation was the best damn thing I ever did for my own well being. There is this controversial stigma around mental health, chronic illness, and disability. Don‘t be afraid to use your voice. Find a loved one or a medical health professional that you are comfortable in confiding in. You should not have to suffer in silence. If you’re living with a disorder, reach out and lean on those who will help you. The ones who will make you feel good about yourself. Your mental health matters too!

“Optimism is a mental attitude reflecting a belief or hope that the outcome of some specific endeavor, or outcomes in general, will be positive, favorable, and desirable. ... Being optimistic, in the typical sense of the word, is defined as expecting the best possible outcome from any given situation.”

The best is yet to come for you! Be optimistic, have patience, and always remain positive in your healing journey.

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