“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company… a church… a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past… we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you… we are in charge of our Attitudes.” Charles Swindoll
Attitude is so important in the day to day but its ramifications are amplified in time of crisis. I have always considered myself a realist. I firmly believe in the power of a smile, even if you have to force it, and I try to wear one as much as possible. I do , however, have to be realistic in my thinking. Things may not, and so far have not, gotten better over night and I am cautiously optimistic when things do improve. This is not a negative attitude, it is just how I have to be to protect myself from total devastation when things don’t progress how I would like them to. That aside, I have tried my darnedest to not let my altered path keep me from savoring every drop of life poured in my cup. In 2009 I got the flu and that kicked the autoimmune disease into overdrive. I became so ill and deterioated so much over the following year. I didn’t leave the house for months except for the neverending medical appointments and many days I couldn’t even leave my bed. I tried so hard to stay in a positive place in my head. I know we don’t mourn as those that have no hope, but I slid into a very, very dark place. Thank God things have drastically improved since then and I rejoice in every way over the improvements that allow me to reclaim more of my life. The thing is it is a roller coaster ride now. I have some very good days. Last week I had a good week, probably the best and most active since 2009. This week is terrible. I have had a cold so we are guessing that is the culprit in combination with really, really pushing my body last week. I am on my third day of the week of needing help with the kids and not being able to be on my feet and having terrible pain. I already find myself back in that dark place, trying to keep from sliding into the mental pit in three days what took me months and years to slide into before. Why does this happen? Why do I find myself on the edge of total despair when after seven AMAZING days I have three bad ones? My heart tells me that learning to fight this is another part of having a chronic illness. I just want to find a way to not fear that bad days are just around the corner when things are going relatively well and to not fear the good days will never come back when things are bad.