Stay Positive During Difficult Times

I decided today that I needed to put another post up here but I’ve been having trouble thinking of a topic. You see, my mind is elsewhere. Right at this moment, my mum is in hospital in a recovery room having had an operation this morning. It’s nothing major, but something that had to be done. At this point in time, to my knowledge, she hasn’t woken up yet. But that’s OK, she isn’t due to wake up for about another half hour to an hour. Thinking about this, got me thinking about patience and how to stay positive during difficult times.

Well, I know this isn’t a major issue, I expect everything to be OK. As I said, it’s not a major operation. But for my dad, it’s a big issue. Many years ago, one of his sisters had complications during an operation and died. Add to that, he has the beginnings of dementia and relies on mum for lots of things. So, understandably, he is worried and this would come under the banner of a difficult time for him. I’m with him and can tell he is worried. He can get quite emotional at times like this but I can see that he is trying to keep himself busy to take his mind of it.

For me, I’m generally an optimistic person and stay positive in almost every situation. And believe me when I say that I know my share of difficult times. As some of you may know, I fought cancer in 2010-2011. When I was diagnosed, I was given 12 months to live. That came as quite a shock, even after being told that I might have some form of cancer. But I chose to believe that they were wrong.

In my teen years, I met a woman who had been given 12 months to live, she sang at my church, and had lived 2 years past that when I met her. I remembered her and thought that if she could do it, then I could too. I fought it. After my first chemo treatment I bounced back to about 90% of my normal self. My doctor even thought that maybe he had me misdiagnosed but his peers told him to trust in the biopsy results.

Even though the treatments were tough, I stayed positive 95% of the time. It’s only natural, during the toughest spots to get a bit down. During these moments, I would often start to wonder why I was feeling this way. Where had my optimism gone? Then I’d feel my fighting spirit well up in me and I’d tell myself off for feeling sorry for myself.

Then I’d remember the story of the guy who got shot and as the doctors are preparing to operate and remove the bullets, they ask him, “Are you allergic to anything?” He answered, “Yes!” The doctors stopped and waited, worried what it might be. The the man yells, “Bullets!” and he goes on to tell them that he expects them to do the best they can because he is going to live. That sort of optimism, if bottled, would make someone very rich! Whether that’s a true story or not, I don’t know. But it is something that I remembered back then and I chose to let it inspire me. It helped me feel positive.

Another thing that helped me was having visitors. Just spending a little time with old and new friends can really help. (Thank you David H, Nigel B, Steve H, Peter M and Pete R – I can’t really express how grateful I am for the time you spent with me!) Even a phone call, to let someone know that you are in their thoughts and prayers, can be a real mood lifter. (Thank you Steve L & Colin H for your regular calls and support, again I can’t express how much they meant.)

One of my friends classifies herself to be a realist. When things go bad, she says something like, ‘that’s what happens in the real world’ and she ‘moves on’ and gets down to business of fixing the problem if she can. It’s strange to me, but I can see that it is her way of being positive in the face of a difficult time.

Difficult times can be any number of things for different people. Sometimes the smallest of things can just add to a load of others things and appear to be the most difficult thing to deal with. Just like the old saying, the straw that broke the camels back. Similarly, the way to stay positive can be done through many different ways. Visiting with a friend, staying busy to keep your mind off the issue, remembering stories of how others faced similar issues, loosing yourself in book/movie/tv show or just rolling up your sleeves and dealing with the problem are all ways to stay positive. Having a positive outlook on life doesn’t hurt either.

When ever I am at my lowest points, the one thing that helps me the most is know that God is there and that He will never allow me to experience more than I can handle.

Just to let you know, in case you were wondering, Mum is doing fine, not fully awake yet but out of recovery and in the ward. Thank you God.

Want to tell me about your difficult time or have another example of a way to stay positive? Leave me a comment below.