Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The nuance of attitude

Ozzie Osbourne with his son Jack
When I first got sick with fibromyalgia and I was dealing with the pain of an injury and two back-to-back surgeries I knew that my attitude was going to play a big role in my ability to overcome the misery I was in.  I have always tried to have a positive attitude, but some days that's easier said than done.  Experience has taught me that a positive attitude makes my day go better.  But despite this knowledge there are times when my attitude is in the pits and I don't like it there.  It's at those times that I seek out the wisdom of others suffering with a chronic illness.  This morning I was watching the news and I learned that Ozzie Osbourne's son, Jack, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis a while back.  Jack appeared on today's morning news to briefly talk about how he deals with his diagnosis and he made a profound statement.  Jack said, "I don't live with MS; MS lives with me."  The nuance of his outlook really struck me; he doesn't want his chronic, progressive illness to rob him of his life.  He views his illness as only a single component that makes up the whole of his identity and his being.

It is easy to allow a chronic illness rob you of your life especially when suffering with a life altering illness like fibromyalgia.  Fibromyalgia seeks to demand our constant attention since we must manage metamorphasizing symptoms that change character, severity, and location every hour of each day.  Fibromyalgia's chronic symptoms seek to erode our attitude and our quality of life, but that's only if we allow that to happen.  We are in control of our destiny despite the unexpected roadblocks that appear during this journey.  When we feel discouraged and our attitude is down in the dumps it is beneficial to discover how others are dealing with their roadblocks.  We may not be able to do what others our own age do, but we cannot give up our life for this roadblock called fibromyalgia.  This challenge seeks to find out what we are really made of and how tough we really are:  we are warriors.

The strategies in my toolbox are to avoid negative thoughts and situations that breed negative thoughts, focus my time on the things I really love to do, surround myself with positive people, and seek out the wisdom of others that suffer with a chronic illness.  I am interested in knowing what strategies you keep in your toolbox . . . .    Blessings to all you warriors as you go through each day!
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