“Danger is real but fear is a choice.” It’s a great line I picked up from the trailer of a ridiculous-looking movie.
You know how it’s often said you should follow your gut? The frequency with which I come upon this shows how strongly we believe in our innate guiding force. So I’ve decided that being positive comes from somewhere close to the tongue and optimism comes from the pit of one’s being. The difference is in the level of conviction.
I realised the only way to move forward through this phase in my life was to see the situation for what it is, to face reality. There’s no way to positive-talk my way out of it. Only then, once I’d confronted the scariness of it (the source of the stigma), could I accept what I was dealing with, lose the fear, and choose how to move forward. Bear in mind that acceptance is not the same as giving in.
On any given day
I look at myself in the mirror to remind myself of where I am in this, remembering the label. Then I think of all I’ve come through – the hospitalisation, the ops, the chemo, taking time off work, re-prioritising. After the remembrance, I think of what I’m going to accomplish – today.
Some days it’s enough to get through the working day and tick a few items off the list. Some days, it’s to connect with a friend. On a good day, it’ll be to walk at the beach followed by a hearty breakfast and a whatever-I feel-like day to self-indulge. Whatever I can manage is all I have to do.
I don’t pretend (that I can talk this disease out of eating me alive) but I know I’m on the right track (when I choose not to be fearful and to take the right action).
Positive is useless. Optimistic is real.