No, you didn’t read that title wrong– that was an Andy Grammar reference. I wanted to write this post because I went to the dentist today (gross) and my hygienist (who is a saint) complimented my positivity in the face of all the things I’m dealing with. Fibromyalgia, IBS, and the shit storm of dental problems caused by low enamel, TMJ, and a lack of calcium in my saliva (who knew, right?).
But Here’s The Thing… I’m Not That Positive
This morning even I was quiet and withdrawn, dreading going to the dentist again (I went last week for a more emergent fix and they were like, oh, hey, you also have all the cavities despite your excellent dental hygiene). 2018 was the year of doctors for me, and since coming home for my winter break I’ve made the rounds to all my doctors here at home. Add in an ER visit, lots of not-so-encouraging news, and a few nights in the last week sleeping on the couch because of painsomnia, it’s not surprising I’m feeling worn down and a little discouraged. I’m tired of living my life in these conditions.
But that’s just the thing– I’m not tired of living my life period, because with all the bad there’s a shit ton of good. My cat, for example, is the light of my life (despite her tendency to seek out trouble). I also have writing, and blogging, and music, and, though it’s a source of stress, I have my college classes.
I’m struggling right now to accept how much pain and suckiness I’m having to deal with, and it’s getting me down. If I’m being honest, I’m about as far from positive as I can be right now.
So why did my dental hygienist think I seemed positive?
Maybe it was because even though getting my teeth cleaned hurt due to my genetically un-blessed teeth, I was polite and patient because that’s how my parents raised me. Maybe it’s because I tend to downplay my struggle. Or maybe it’s because I keep the frustration at an arm’s length. I do my best to feel it, acknowledge it, then let it go.
I do this by venting to friends, or journaling, or by singing some really angry songs in the car or shower. Sometimes I meditate, or try my best to draw even though I’m about as gifted artistically as a llama wearing a blindfold. As important as I think it is to feel these emotions, I think it’s equally important to let them go when I can. Harboring negative emotions takes up space for the positive ones.
Easier said than done– believe me, I know. I’ve broken down crying a few nights this week from the sheer overwhelming dread of waking up the next day in just as much pain as I was in today. But after crying, and journaling, and petting my cat for a little too long, I go to sleep feeling better. It also helps to think about the good things I get to do the next day: play feather with Abby, write a blog post, record a podcast, play piano.
How do you stay positive?
If you have any sage wisdom or tricks to staying positive, please let me know in the comments! And don’t forget to check out my new podcast, The Chronically Cute Podcast, currently available (as of January 8th, 2018) on Anchor here and on Stitcher here 🙂 Coming soon to other podcast platforms!