People always ask me how I manage to stay so positive throughout my battle with Crohn's, I find the answer very complicated to word. I am stuck between giving people hope through tough times and showing the reality of the disease. I have been flaring up pretty badly the past 3 weeks and hence haven't been posting on my blog, but I have had time to think about what being positive means to me, its not straight forward and its not all about happiness, it's about acceptance and journey.
I have realised that social media portrays a toxic outlook on positivity, making people feel like they have to be happy, to just let things go and smile. Many influencers introduce a "good vibes only" approach to life. And while there are benefits to being an optimist and engaging in positive thinking, toxic positivity instead rejects difficult emotions, leading to often being falsely positive.
There are many things that positivity is not;
Positivity is not pretending to be okay all the time, its letting all your emotions out, having a cry but knowing that with time there will be better days. Positivity is about embracing the bad days, allowing them to take their course and encouraging the good days to come again soon. Positivity is not pretending like everything is going to be okay all the time, its knowing eventually it will be. Positivity is not bullying yourself for a bad day, its reflecting on each moment and understanding what happened and why that's okay.
Being told to stop being negative and just think positively can be incredibly harmful, sad feeling are valid and in order to reach those happy emotions you must acknowledge the negative ones. Embrace the hope that one days things will be better, that does not mean that today doesn't exist, it does not invalidate the pain you are currently feeling, it just means that this is not permanent, it is temporary. Being willing to see change will help to adapt your outlook on life. I believe in locus on control, you may not be able to regulate how the day pans out or control what happens but you can control how you react and how much you allow it to impact you. I am learning to be proud of how strong I have been since December and realise how far I have come. I am so much stronger than I give myself credit.
Right now Crohn's is controlling me but eventually I will control it.
Sometimes life can take you in a direction you weren't expecting but you are strong enough to face anything. Take today as it comes and don't worry about tomorrow until it’s here. Each setback is just a hill to climb, eventually you will come down the other side and things will be stable for a while. Turn your pain into power and your sadness into strength. Face the unknown like its well known.
A task for you all: Each night sit down for 5 minutes and reflect on your day, write down just one reason to be happy that day, whether that was something massive or something tiny, having one thing to smile about will remind you, that day was worth it.
Luce :) x