Sunday, November 21, 2010
I don't mean to be Pollyanna.
There are many things to be thankful for.
I can be glad I'm not a turkey.
I don't mean to be glib but there are times, many times, in the midst of chronic pain that it's hard to find something, anything, for which to be thankful. When you hurt, all you can think of is your pain. At this time of year when blessings are being numbered in our lives and the only thing you can find to be thankful for is that you're not a turkey: you're in a great deal of pain.
I went to a Fibromyalgia support group meeting last Thursday evening. I hadn't been to one in awhile and I've missed them. The reason I missed some of the meetings can be traced back to a lovely symptom called "the fog." In other words, I just forgot. Unless I have events input in my phone, I just don't remember them. I have to put everything, however inconsequential, in the calender otherwise I miss it. When I say inconsequential, I mean it. I have to remind myself to do even the most mundane of tasks. However, I digress. It was an interesting meeting and we talked and got to vent. Near the end of the meeting we were asked how Fibromyalgia has improved our lives.
Was this woman on drugs?
As we sat there stunned by the question, a light suddenly came on. In some way having a chronic illness has done something positive. For some, it was having much more compassion, for others it was finding more time to spend with the people they love, for the leader it was finding a sense of purpose and for me, I have begun blogging and through this medium, met some wonderful people.
As I think about it now, it is more than that for me. I have discovered a great deal about myself and tapped into a creative side that has been dormant for many years. I've said before that I'm not a real open individual. It has been difficult for me to open up, be vulnerable and communicate my feelings to others. Blogging has really been the start of an interesting journey for me. While I may not be able to articulate some of these things verbally, I have learned how to open up via the written word. I am so thankful for this and Fibromyalgia made this a reality for me.
It's amazing how God will close one door and another one will be opened to you. As I heard the diagnosis of Fibromyalgia I felt the world close in around me. It was almost suffocating. I was in control and self sufficient; now it was just the opposite. At that point in time I had no idea that just by writing a few simple words that I would soon be a blogging addict and that instead of having the feeling of the world closing in on me, I would feel a new found freedom.
It's not easy for me to have an attitude of gratitude. I don't mean to say that I'm ungrateful. Nothing could be further from the truth. That would be very rude and I'm just not that way. What I mean is that I'm naturally a cynic so being Pollyanna isn't easy for me. I have to dig down real, real deep to feel that way let alone feeling that way on a daily basis. The immediate is easy to be thankful for. It's the things that are less obvious that's hard. Does that make any sense?
I know that being positive keeps you less stressed. You live longer and enjoy better health, both mentally and physically. It also seems that optimists are more resilient and flexible. I must be both. I have a very cynical view of human nature, however, I do believe that everything will work out in the end. So what does that make me? An opti-pest?
So what am I thankful for? Mostly, I'm thankful for a loving God that has answered some of my prayers with no and yet gives me the things that I haven't asked for but yet knows that I need. I'm so thankful for my daughter and the rest of my family and friends.
Everything else is just icing on the cake.
Mmmmm.....did I just say cake?
Oh, wrong holiday.
This one has pie.
I can be very thankful!