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Positivity, Am I Right?

Excuse me as a I rearrange my crystals so that my chakras can be lined up better and I can start feeling the positive vibes from my magical stones. 

Don’t mind me, as I quietly pour my coffee and curl up with my extra soft blankets as I transition to being awake.

Don’t mind me as I clean out my diffuser, add fresh water and my go to uplifting blend of lemon, rosemary, and spearmint.

Don’t mind me while I disappear to spend twenty minutes working to ground myself and be more centered through a gentle yoga sequence.

Don’t mind my wall of artwork, some mine, some yours, arranged in a way that has been deemed “out of style”.

Don’t mind me as I lose myself in an album. Yesterday: Brantley Gilbert, today: The Eagles, tomorrow: John Mayer. Or maybe Dierks. Perhaps Miranda.

Don’t mind me, while I spend countless hours following my favorite shows, watching their imaginary lives unfold.

Don’t mind me as I immerse myself in the football games streaming across my screen.

It doesn’t seem to matter what my actual energy is. What the color of my aura is. What my outlook on life is.

You see me as ill. So I must be sad. I must be broken. I must have lost all hope. And that’s why I’m still sick.

You see, I must have missed that memo about that bright and cheery outlook that is going to save me.

I somehow overlooked that pain is all in my head. That by having the right approach. The right combination of therapies and support, I can be fixed.

Because, I’m still sick. So that’s my fault isn’t it?

I see the clear disappointment when I go out of my way to do my makeup. Because concealing the dark circles under my eyes, conceals that I’m a little tired. Lighting up my cheek bones with a little glitter and some bronzer conceals how pale I am from not being able to eat. Putting on a smile for the camera, or laughing, means that all is well again.

You can’t be happy and sick.

Sorry, but this isn’t Me Before You. I haven’t sat in my own filth and needed people all around me to take care of me, only to fall absolutely in love with my caretaker and decide that my decision to medically end my own life is what I need to do because the pain isn’t going to stop and I can’t live out the life I had intended.

Funny. The Fault In Our Stars provided this much more optimistic outlook. You loved the love story. You loved the adventure. You didn’t condemn them for wanting to live out the lives they still had. But you did condemn the film for painting sick people out to be happy.

That’s so crazy.

If I just fix my attitude, I’ll be better. And then everything will be okay. But if I fix my attitude and I’m not better, then that just isn’t acceptable.

What if I told you that I am happy.

Even after having every part of my life ripped apart this year. I’m happy.

I’m fucking exhausted.  But I’m happy. 

Why shouldn’t I be?

No, I don’t have the means to up and move to whatever place they say is best for migraine sufferers. No, I don’t have the money to take on treatments my insurance doesn’t cover.

But, I have some of the best insurance that is out there. I have access to some of the top doctors.

I have the opportunity to try new medications. I have the time to do so without conflict. There’s no risk of stress or outside factors changing how my medication may or may not work. I get to stay home, dictate my own schedule, and control the entire surrounding environment.

I mean really, who’s to say some drug I tried in high school or at Clemson working differently because of the environment around me?

I have a medication that works, it just makes me feel like a drunk person. But, I went a full 14 hours (which included a good nights sleep oh my god was that needed) without pain. Without symptoms. Because I was able to take that medication. I took it knowing I’d spend time in a dazed state. I took it knowing my parents would need to be well aware that I was taking a shower so that I didn’t end up falling or dazed and confused taking a 3 hour long shower. But those side effects wore off, and there was bliss.

Yes, I caught that migraine at the right time. Yes, the medication wore off. Yes I spent last night curled up in a ball, bracing my head, fighting for any sense of relief.

But yesterday morning, I sat outside in the cool fresh air. I sipped my coffee. I talked on the phone with a good friend. I did CARDIO.

The cardio was a bad bad bad idea. 

So, I don’t know what this idea of happiness is that everyone else is talking about.

I don’t know why my pain has to give off the idea that I can’t enjoy myself.

I have so much. I watch people around me, probably in the exact same amount of pain, pushing through so much. And I give those people so many props, because I know it isn’t easy. But I’m happy I don’t have to make the decision to do that.

So, shoving it down my throat that a positive attitude will solve my problems doesn’t make a lot of sense.

I mean, if I had a dollar for everyone who was in awe of my optimism, or the way I won’t give up. Or the way I use my pain to garner strength and compassion. Or the way I smile and am cheerful as I list off my symptoms or whatever is bothering me… damn I’d be able to afford those treatments…

Yet, people always fall back to this idea that a more positive attitude will fix me.

So, I propose you go back to the top. Read through those first couple of lines. Look at those things that bring me joy. Look at those things that I look to in order to find more peace and happiness.

Now, please, I beg of you, tell me what it is that I’m doing wrong. What form of happiness or positive attitude am I missing out on?

A.

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