It’s all in your head
Right now I am struggling. All the mysterious symptoms that I was beginning to think were all in my head, actually turned out to really be in my head in the form of a tumor. I received my official diagnosis of a Vestibular Schwannoma (sometimes called an Acoustic Nueroma) a little over three weeks ago. It feels like its been a lot longer than that. The depression has been winning since I first read those words on my MRI results. Although tiny, this tumor has been causing a number of symptoms for a while which have all gotten worse since my initial MRI last spring. I’m becoming increasingly home-bound. My health is very limiting in the life I want to live and the mom I want to be. But I’m currently waiting to schedule an appointment with a Neuro-audiologist, and feel stuck until that referral goes through.
Also a little over three weeks ago my kids went back to school, leaving just my youngest at home with me. He is a very energetic and social guy, being his only companion is extra exhausting. Then add that we are still trying to figure out new routines for these big changes in our life. Nothing is the same as it was even just last spring, and although I consider myself to be pretty flexible, having NO set routines is really dragging me down.
All of this leaves me feeling unable to work my business like I should. I started with Mary Kay to spread joy and beauty. I wanted to help offer women who were struggling like me a pick me up and a reminder of their worth as a human being. To remind them that they are worthy of being taken care off and being put first in their own lives. I can hardly to that for myself right now.
Scientific studies have found links between a positive mindset and numerous health benefits. I’ve been thinking about my mission to infuse others with positive energy and the importance of a positive mindset a lot lately, but I though “How can I write that when I am struggling to keep my head above water?” But driving home this morning I realized that what I am going through is the reason I should write about it RIGHT NOW.
So many articles about living a positive life will tell you that it is “impossible” to be depressed if you follow their advice. They will tell you to just choose to be happy and it is that simple. Anyone can write about being positive when their life is going well. It takes almost no thought to be positive when life is easy. Anyone who minimizes whatever is getting you down is not helping you to live a positive life.
What I want you to know is that you can feel depressed and still choose to be optimistic. When the going gets tough is when we need to be consciously positive or we can get trapped in a never ending loop of “woe is me”. Right now I am struggling, but I won’t be forever. I will find ways to heal or to live with these challenges. Right now I may not be able to reliably drive out meet women face to face, but I hope these words can reach out to you through the screen and I can fulfill my mission is some small way.
Some days I can barely keep from going under, but a positive mind set is my life preserver. Optimism is a choice, one that I have to consciously make several times a day right now. It is a muscle that needs to be worked and developed. But, no matter what you are going through, it is something you can do. Here are five things I do to work my optimism muscle and keep a positive mindset.
- It’s All in Your Head
- Cultivate a Joyful Environment
- Do More of What Makes You Happy
- Smile More Often
- Be Authentic
- Surround Yourself with Positivity
As I worked on this post I found that I have so much information on each of these points that I can’t limit myself to just one post. Each of these items will be receiving their own post in the next few weeks. My goal is to post once a week. This will allow me to keep a focus on pacing myself to be able to be a woman, wife, and mother first and foremost.
Before this series continues with my suggestions on how to create a positive mind set, I want to be clear that I in no way want to minimize the importance of appropriate medical care. Like I said above, a positive mindset is my life preserver, but if you are in a raging storm your life preserver is not a substitute for the coast guard pulling you out of the ocean. No number of nights with a cup of tea, a charcoal mask, and PBS Masterpiece are going to shrink my tumor. No number of positive post-its around the house will cure my depression right now. But a positive mind set helps to ease the symptoms and makes the medical care I am receiving more effective.