Being A Survivor Is A Choice
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I get emails and PM’s from people..complete strangers who read my blog, etc…who ask me how I keep such a good attitude. I have said this so many times that I think it is an auto response. But I think it is important to survival. Attitude DOES make a huge difference and we either have victim mentality or survivor mentality and I have the latter. I can not give it to you. I wish I could. I can only urge you to take the steps to become a survivor and not stay in victim land.
Victims are always focusing on the problems and what is wrong. They will tell you all the way back to when they were a toddler everything that has ever been wrong and carry it around like a badge. My response is..”It appears you survived it, did you not?” Once we have been through something and survived it, then there is no need to keep dwelling on it. I find that victims also come into this competition thing as if competing to be the worst is something someone should want to do. All I can say to that is …What the hell??????
Victim land can be a very lonely place as people begin to avoid those that have victim mentality and sadly that is the opposite of what the victim wants. It can become a land of frustration and anger because they are not getting the help they want and surely need and that is because even doctors begin to change in how they look at them as a patient. I wish there were a pill to take victim mentality and turn it into survivor mentality.
I AM a survivor. If I went back and listed all I have been through, endured, surgeries I have had, diseases, etc…it would take pages. I like to travel light and by that I mean I do not want the emotional baggage of carrying around things that I have already come through. That is sort of like carrying the ashes from the fires you walked through because you want proof to show people you have been through it all. Many of you that have followed me since I started this blog have seen me say that I do not even consider myself disabled or chronically ill even though I spend most of my time in a hospital bed and use a power chair. I just do NOT think about that. I think about surviving. I think about new ways of doing things to get done what I want done. I think about life and those I love and especially my children and grand baby and Mama and family. I think about ways to accomplish things I want to do like being on my patio and feeling the sun..a dream I accomplished just recently. Ten minutes in the sun felt like I won the lottery.
A friends jokes with me when I would tell her how a person could say they had such and such and some people will start telling their own “horror” stories of all they have been through. My friend says “Yes, and if you say you had a hysterectomy, they would say they had ten of those.”. And in a way it is true. That is the competition thing that absolutely drives me nuts. That and the pictures some will put on showing these dragged down expressions and eyebrows drawn down to tell the world they are tired or do not feel good. My son and friends who know me tell me that if they could not look into my eyes, they would not realize how much pain I live with or how sick I am because I smile anyway. I am so dang stubborn that I refuse to let the pain win. Besides that it takes less muscles to smile than to do those dramatic “frown look I am sick” faces. And I believe in conserving energy for the good stuff.
Being a survivor is up to you. No one can do it for you. No one can carry you and make you a survivor. You have to be willing to do what it takes and part of that is changing your mindset. If all you see is negativity in your life, then start looking in another direction because I can guarantee you that there is always something good in a day even if it is my Daisy who comes and curls around my head snuggling me. It is a choice and I make that choice daily. Being a survivor does not mean we never fall. It means we get up again after we fall. It means we do not allow ourselves to fall into the pity party. It means that even if we are alone, we get up and go again on this journey.
Many think that because my son is my caretaker and he is a great one, that he is here with me every minute of every day and I am not alone or feel lonely. W R O N G. I see him a couple of hours during the day because he is taking care of things running the house, keeping the yard up, repairing things, working on his hobbies, visiting his friends and doing his computer work that he does. And we have cut my caretaker back to two days because with all the doctor stuff going on right now, it was exhausting me to have people in the house.
So, I learned to entertain myself. Yes, I have some friends on the internet I talk to some but most of my time is working or playing with things in my little world here in my room. I write, I do art even if it is coloring in coloring books for fine motor skills. I turn on music and do stretching exercises. I watch tv when I am too tired and need to rest. I research on the internet different things. I am working on learning sign language and learning Spanish. It may take me til I die because my brain is foggy at times but it entertains me. And of course I play with my Daisy who brings me her ball and I toss it out the door of the bedroom and she goes and fetches it. Or she just brings her bone and lays here beside me chewing on it. I find things to entertain me even if it is just watching movies laying here. But that is my responsibility to do..entertain myself.
And lest you think I never complain, I do. But it does not take me long to catch myself and change that into being thankful for what I do have and what I can do. I love to start my day with thoughts of gratitude because it helps me keep in mind that I can always be worse so I must deal with what is and live my life the happiest way possible for the situation. And sometimes, when I start to feel sorry for myself….I write blogs to encourage myself, to make myself accountable and to keep being a survivor.
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