As a self-proclaimed Oprah worshipper, I recently read her book “What I Know For Sure”, which is a compilation of her favourite columns of the same title from O Magazine. Reading the articles I felt incredibly inspired, spiritual and grateful. I started thinking of my new diagnosis and how much worse it could be and I vowed to adopt a solely positive attitude. Don’t complain, nothing to be sad about, positivity is key: all thoughts that run through my brain on a daily basis.
Its only now that I see the problem with this mindset. And I know you’re probably thinking how could there ever be a negative to positivity: but there is!!!
Because today was a bad day. I hurt, I’m tired, I can’t focus or concentrate. I’m accepting the fact that I’m sick. Chronically sick and will be for the rest of my life and the reality is that there will be more bad days; its inevitable. And bad days are ok. I’m allowed to be sad, upset, heck even angry if I want to be. And I am. But this isn’t tomorrow, its not everyday and this sure as hell won’t be my life. We do need to however stop penalizing ourselves when we aren’t exuding a near Oprah-like level of positivity and spiritual calm.
Telling yourself that something isn’t a big deal when you feel it is or constantly bombarding your conscious with feelings of guilt, shame and inferiority is an incredibly exhausting practice- let me tell you! Because it is a big deal!!! It made you feel a particular way and that is worth recognizing.
I’m allowed to beg the question “why me”, or “why is this happening”, its almost natural that I would in a sense. If something upsets you, examine it. Because if it is deserving of that much of your negative energy, putting some thought and consideration as to why it is upsetting you may very well turn that thing into a positive experience.
I want to be bold enough to allow myself to feel what I am feeling as I am feeling it, yet strong and proactive enough to make the stride to not let the negative thing make me feel that way again. It is the same reason we distance ourselves from a toxic friendship or breakup with a controlling boyfriend; we want to remove the thing that is hurting us from our lives. But with chronic illness you can’t exactly remove the problem, but you can control your attitude.
I say bad days are allowed, invited and important. They make us stronger and lead us to become more appreciative of the good. I just think we should all give ourselves a break when it comes to our emotions. I am a huge advocate of positivity and gratitude- I even dedicated a whole section of my blog to preaching this philosophy. However, I think we need to allow ourselves to experience our emotions as they come. Be sad, grieve, cry, get mad…. It’s all a normal part of the daily experience. You do not need to be on all of the time. You are human, and more importantly you are enough.