Wow, the title sounds like some kind of cheesy motivational speaker's infomercial. I thought I'd pass on the most important lessons I've learned on this adventure. I'd like to thank my endorphins, and fluids concoction for this post. I'm feeling particularly good and happy right now so we'll see where this goes. I also hope this doesn't come off as too preachy, because that would be awful.
The first thing someone needs to know about EDS is that living with it is hard. Very hard. It has this amazing power to take everything away from us, and replace it with infinite hardships. It sucks in so many ways, it is painful in so many ways, and exhausting in every possible way. A lot of times, it's all we can do to make it through the day and night, with hope that tomorrow is a better one.
This is where we have a choice. We can choose to lay-down (not literally) and let all the not so good things in life take us over, or we can choose to stay standing and kick ass! I'm sure you know what I almost always choose. This train of thought wasn't always there for me, and there are still sometimes where I will lay down. Although, not for long. It took me a really long time to go through the depression fun that we all go through with this condition or with whatever else happens in life. Slowly, I started to come out of my huge funk and realize that I had a choice. EDS won't ever stop or get better, and there's nothing anyone can do about it. So, I have to accept it for what it is, and make something of it, or suffer more than I have to until I die.
I know when you're going through hell it's next to impossible to see things as a choice. Really, none of us ever choose to go through all that for fun, it happens to us. When life happens, it sucks and we want it to be over ASAP without making anymore compromises. Sadly, that doesn't happen often either. This is where we frequently start freaking out and getting really anxious. Who wouldn't ? Here's the catch, freaking out and worrying won't get us anywhere. So, chill out.
We have no idea what will happen, but we can choose to grab the anxiety, fear, anger, or whatever it is, and change it into something good. We can change it into something we want. It takes a lot of work to be patient, and see opportunities when you're in the thick of it, but it's totally worth it. We also need faith, trust and fairy dust (Peter Pan) . Maybe not all of those, but we need to trust ourselves. Don't ever doubt yourself, you know what's right for you and that's what we should all be striving for. Don't give in to what other people think or say about how you're living your life...it's yours. Unless it's destructive, you know what I'm getting at.
Once you have chilled out, having been patient enough to see opportunities present themselves, and maybe, found that something in there that's right for you; then, there's one last choice to make... Are you going to go for it? It's a simple yes/no question, but not so simple when it's something crazy and big. If it feels right to you, then it should be a yes. If it's a no, maybe put it on the back-burner and go back to the drawing board. But, this is very important...don't let it go, just put it away because you might need it later. So, back to the yes part... If you're feeling good about it, and are getting over-whelmed at what could be a potentially huge under-taking, chill out. Break it down into as many little bits as you need, and check things off the list as you go. Remember, keep your eye on the prize!
If your original game plan doesn't work out, make a new one. Who says you've got to stop working at it? It just means you need to find a new way to do it, that's all. Here's where you probably want to punch me in the face. I'd want to punch myself in the face too, if I didn't know that finding a new way has been my driving force in this mess we call life. What you're dealing with may be the hardest thing on earth for you, and it would feel really awful if your new game plan didn't work. There's nothing like finally finding something that could work, getting up the courage and motivation to do it, and it blows up in your face. It's awesome. No, it totally sucks!
But when it comes down to it, there's still simplicity in it all. It didn't work, are you doing to do something about it, or lay down ? You could lay down for a little bit, get the energy to re-group, and start again. Sometimes that's exactly what we need, so don't be afraid to do it.
I should eat Reeces' cups every time I write a post, I'm on a roll...Chocolate and peanut-butter is one of the best combinations ever! The choking is so worth it.
Ahem...back to the post. After you've gotten over your latest plan not working, it's important to not regret, but learn from it and grow. We can't change anything about the past, but we can learn from it, make a new plan and use the whole experience to help us grow. Don't be afraid to get creative, because it's often where we find the thing that works. Corny, I know. When this happens, I like to tell myself that I'm acquiring wisdom. Sometimes it's convincing. Repeat this entire cycle until you find what works for you. It could take anywhere from 1-100 attempts, and along the way you will surprise yourself.
When you've finally found what works for you, you will look back and either laugh, cry or wonder how you made it through. My best advise for this, would be to take a deep breath, be thankful and let your confidence grow because you will undoubtedly go through this all over again, a lot.
The most important thing to remember is to always have fun and find the positives. Fun is very important and so over-looked. Every single one of us has to navigate our way through this world, which sadly is filled with negativity and repression. Really, who doesn't like having fun ? Who said when we grew up, that it all had to stop? Nobody...society tells us that. When we have fun, we're allowed to be ourselves, and find some enjoyment in a time that is really difficult and heaven forbid, it releases endorphins and we get a dose of much needed happy. So, do whatever it is that turns your crank. For me, it can be anything from finger-painting, to a night of recklessness with friends. Singing at the top of your lungs is always a good one too. Who doesn't like doing that?
As for finding the positives, it is vital to your survival. Yes, I said vital. There's nothing worse than feeling like the world has ended and there's nothing left. Did you know, that once you scratch the surface of finding the good things, you will find a lot ? There's always something good in the hard things life throws at us, it's just cleverly disguised as what we call hard work. Choosing to find the good things isn't always easy, but once we've grasped it, we have hope and a renewed confidence that in time, we'll find a way and figure it out. Even the smallest, most silly sounding positive thing counts. These little positives add up and all count for something far greater than any negativity.
Finally, know that once you've found what works for you, you don't need permission to be awesome at it. Be yourself and you will see the awesomeness that's in you just waiting to get out. We all have it in us. Take your choices in life and make them yours. Hold yourself accountable for your decisions knowing that it was you who made the choices. It's going to be you who makes things turn out the way you want when presented with what we'll call opportunities. We can't choose what happens in life, but we can choose to make something of it, and kick ass!
"Happiness is not about what happens to you, but how you choose to respond to what happens. That's why it's called happiness, not happenness. Though, it could always be called hope-ness. You must always leave room for hope that all happened for a good cause."
(How to be Happy Dammit!)
(How to be Happy Dammit!)