Side-stepping my transplant story again for a minute, I had an interesting chat which prompted me to write the following. These are just my thoughts on the matter; I would be interested in other people’s opinions too (my guestbook on the right hand side allows private comments if you would rather your opinions not be public).
Concerned for a mutual friend who is struggling at the moment both physically and mentally (I am sure they will know who they are when reading this) I was discussing having a positive attitude with a friend. When trying to convey how I felt that their perspective needed changing, my friend replied “some people just don’t have the same outlook, and you can’t change that”. For some reason that took me by surprise, and this isn’t the first time I have come across this mental block of mine. I wrote about it in an old blog; is positive mental attitude inherent or is it something you can create? This is where I personally believe perspective is a big factor here; where it depends on the angle you are coming from as to what you see, although whether one gets to choose that angle or not is another matter.
It is hard for me to understand. Mind you no harder than it ever is to try and comprehend someone else’s feelings, to try and put yourself in their shoes. A certain amount of my positivity is surely genetic (anyone who has met my mother will know what I am talking about) therefore I am lucky that I often automatically see humour or something good about a situation. But at other times I really have to try to find that rainbow, the same as anyone else.
I have certain beliefs on the whole matter; I honestly truly think that my attempts to stay focused on the good things present in my life helped me get as far as I did.
My theory of how I survived is that I was so desperate to live it gave me the drive to overcome the impossible. Now I know all to well that isn’t always enough, I have seen many extremely determined people loose their battle, but my point is without that drive I think you stand much less of a chance at triumphing against the odds. It is damn hard work at times. I cried, I sulked, I pouted, just like anyone else would when facing adversity. But after a good toys-out-of-the-pram style tantrum, I would try and find something to focus on that was positive. It’s hard to find sometimes, one time as blogged here, it was A who had to point out to me surely there was a key positive point I was missing and that was “I’m still here”.
One of the best tips I was given was from a friend who is now 3 years post transplant, and he said he would look in the mirror and smile and laugh. On my darkest days I would go to the mirror face it and pull a large (fake) grin. I would also stare myself straight in the eye and say “I will do this. I will get my transplant”. I did this at the times when what I actually believed was that I would never get there, almost as an attempt to talk myself out of those feelings I suppose.
The reason I desperately searched for positives to clutch on to is I believe if you stop finding things to love about life, surely you will lose the drive and forget what you are fighting for? It’s easier to fight for something you are clinging on to than to fight for something unattainable, predominantly because we don’t know what is round the corner but we know what we have today. For those who are still waiting, don’t lose that spark, that passion for life, it may be tough and it may be vastly restricted but whilst you are alive you are living and there is hope, no matter how dark it gets.
My motto is “this is my life and I choose to love it” for a reason – I had decided that no matter what happens, transplant or no transplant, I was going to enjoy my life as much as I could because I couldn’t change the hand I was dealt and you only get one chance therefore best to make the most of it.
I hope this late night ramble makes some sense (it’s a tad disjointed and waffley, sorry about that) and that no one takes it personally, it isn’t a slight on anyone else’s behaviour or opinions, merely my attempt to shine light on how my little brain works (or attempts to work).