Sunday, 24 January 2016

Looking on the Bright Side

Image: sunflower. Text: Lupus cna mess with my memory,c ause me pain, and drain me of energy. It can't take away my determination to be happy with my life.The limited energy I have means I have to make choices every day.

I could take my dog for a ten minute walk, or I could do ten minutes work in the garden.  I don't have the energy to do both those things.  (Thankfully, my dog loves playing in the yard and "helping" me garden.)

I could spend an hour or so writing, or spend an hour or so on art or sewing.  Again, it's only one of those things, and then I need to rest.

If I go shopping, I can walk for a short while and get into places that are awkward for mobility scooter,  or I could take the scooter and go further, do more, and stay out longer, but I can't get into places that have limited accessibility.

Every day I make lots of choices, deciding how to use my limited energy each day.

There's another, equally important choice I have to make every day.

I can look at my draw full of medication, and be dismayed. Or I can look at it and be glad that these drugs have made it possible to have a quality of life that I wouldn't have if they weren't available.

I can be miserable about not being able to do a job I loved any more, or I can do other things I love, reading, writing, arts and crafts, being with people I love.

I can be annoyed that I don't go out very much, or I can be appreciative that I have a house that so perfectly meets my needs, and also provides shelter for my family.

I'm not minimising depression that can go with chronic illnesses.  I'm first to confess that I do get overwhelmed at times, especially when brain fog makes me vague and confused.  That drawer of medications includes an anti-depressant.

What I'm saying is that the story is bigger than that.  I can't, and I don't expect you can, force myself to be ecstatic when everything's bleak.  And I know if I'm in the pit of depression, getting out is a long, slow, process. I don't want to go back there. What I can do, is choose the way I look at whatever's right in front of me.

There's at least two sides to every story, every day we choose which side to focus on.

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