This topic contains 11 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Brittany Foster 1 month, 1 week ago.

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  • #19691
     Shannon 
    Participant

    I have had the worst few weeks of my whole life and I am having a very hard time staying positive and it’s starting to stress my family out. I am always the strong one and I am not strong right now. I actually cry myself to sleep. And I can’t seem to snap out of it. My health is the worst it’s ever been. And I am trying everything to be positive but I can’t be fake. I don’t feel like I have anything positive going on. What do any of you do when your at your lowest low?

  • #19692
     Jen Cueva 
    Participant

    Shannon, I’m so sorry that these last few weeks have been such a struggle for you. It’s certainly not easy to keep positive when everything seems to be falling apart.

    But, I like to remind myself that while every day may not be good, there is always something good in every day. For me, this is my hubby and family. I can relate as I’ve always been the strong ” one, too. But, remember the strong break at times too,

    When these struggles can seem as they’re never letting up, I focus on what things I can do. No matter how small these things may be.

    Please know that we are here to support you. Knowing you’re not alone helps, too. If you have a close family, friend or church family, this can help as we share our concerns. It’s difficult to ask for help and I continue to struggle with this.

    Hugs to you and prayers that better days are ahead!

    • #19697
       Shannon 
      Participant

      Thank you Jen! I do have family and friends I can talk to. But I don’t think they fully get it because they aren’t sick like I am. Unless your truly sick most people just don’t get it. They are still kind but they can’t relate and they seem to think I will be ok in a few days, like I have the flu or something. Lol I just can’t seem to think of anything positive to keep me moving forward and I have never been like this before. It’s a awful feeling. I used to have a routine I tried to follow everyday and that kept me moving and for me out of bed. But I can’t even seem to do that anymore. Thanks for your kind words.

  • #19699
     Jen Cueva 
    Participant

    Shannon, I certainly understand how you feel that others cannot relate. I just wrote in my column the past 2 weeks some things that I’ve been through. Maybe these will at least show you that you’re not alone. I wish I could help you.

    It’s so frustrating when others cannot relate and you’re unable to do things as you were before PH.

    My heart breaks for you and I hope and pray that things start looking up for you.

  • #19700
     Colleen Steele 
    Keymaster

    Shannon,
    I am telling you this as someone who had to learn the same lesson for herself. You do NOT always have to be strong and it’s important to allow yourself to cry. In fact, I have come to find strength in tears. Fighting to try to be strong for the sake of others is exhausting and won’t help your physical wellness either.

    Jen’s advice is similar to my own, that and writing your thoughts down in a journal. That way you can get out what you might feel like you can’t say to others.

    I’m so sorry about the struggles that you have been going through. Feel free to vent and discuss whatever you need to here on the forums. We are all here to listen and give as much support as we can.

    • #19705
       Jen Cueva 
      Participant

      Shannon, Colleen offers great advice, it’s definitely OK to cry. I certainly have found some days that a good cry is just what I needed. I also love that she mentions the journaling. As I’ve journaled for years and it certainly helps when I can’t talk to others.

      I read this devotional during a stormy season I was struggling in. I wanted to share it with you. I hold that you can find some comfort if you decide to read it. I don’t know about your faith but my morning devotionals help me. I also thank God every morning when I wake up before I get out of bed.

      As Colleen says, we are here to support you as much as you need.

  • #19817
     Jimi Mcintosh 
    Participant

    Shannon, I have been traveling on the PHHighway for awhile, experienced more down days than up. Battled depression, anxiety, dealt with can I pay for the meds and treatments, without bankrupting my family and their future.
    I thought that I was looking out for my love ones, when actually , I was caught in the “why me, woe poor me, my life is ending, before I am ready”, it was. Like being stuck in traffic with 1/8 tank of gas.

    To get back on track, take time to get to know the new you and the limitations that are your new norm. You need to only worry about those things that you can control, reach out ask for help and put those things you cannot control in
    Closet, they will work themselves out.
    Give thanks for your sincere family and friends. A POSITIVE MIND, will carry you a long ways. Live each day, good or bad , as if it’s your last day. If you are needing financial assistance , there are some good sources. Put your pride in the freezer, this is callled survival, the mind, body and soul has to work together

    • #19822
       Cris Dingman 
      Participant

      Jimi, thank you for the heartfelt and helpful advice. I know there are many days I truly don’t know how I will get through the things I HAVE to do, much less find strength to do what I WANT to do. Those are the days I try to take just a small time out when needed to focus on what is going RIGHT in my life. Love to you all!

      • #19830
         Brittany Foster 
        Keymaster

        Cris,
        This is really good advice. I think that it’s so important to reflect on the positive that the day brought vs dwelling on the negative. It is so easy to get caught up in thoughts about what we can’t do. For me, this leaves me feeling frustrated, and like my energy was a total waste of time. I have become very depressed in the past just focusing on the things I was lacking and NOT bringing to the table vs the talents that I still had. Focusing on the talents I still had led me to writing columns and eventually managing the forums here. I was really glad that I tapped into that creative side of myself that was a hidden talent for so long. Writing really helped me out of my depression and helps with my anxiety as well on the really difficult days. Do you write at all?

    • #19832
       Brittany Foster 
      Keymaster

      Jimi,
      This is such great advice for anyone to read ! Thank you for sharing that with everyone. I know it will help a lot of people, including myself. I really like what you said about remembering to remain grateful and letting go of the things you can’t control. “Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” This quote has provided me with a lot of comfort over the years.

  • #19847
     Robin Webster 
    Participant

    First off, I would say that it’s not your job to stay continuously positive. We have set backs. We struggle. We have a right to feel what we are feeling. And it’s also not our job to make the people around us comfortable with our struggle. Now, having said that, I do agree that a positive outlook is the goal. To that end, I always, always give myself a deadline for my “pity party.” Usually it’s midnight of whatever day have I sunk into the dark and wallowed in it. I tell myself (out loud, lol!) “You have until midnight to snap out of it.” I actually set an alarm. I allow myself to cry, if necessary, but I do it in the shower (where I have decided it doesn’t even count. Your face is wet anyhow, and nobody can see you.) It also truly helps me stay positive if I have something I love that I can look forward to. I love celebrations (the sillier the better.) So I set event dates and then get a lot of joy out of spending my down time planning them, in my head or on paper, etc. For instance, most recently we hosted a huge Shark Shindig for Shark Week. I usually do a small family gathering for this, but I decided if that brought me a little joy then doing a huge deal would bring me huge joy. And I was right. I got like two months of joy from the planning and the anticipation. Next I’m hoping to host a small McRibfest featuring sandwiches from the original recipe for the McRib. (A few years ago when I met the former CEO of McDonald’s, I only half jokingly thanked him for creating the McRib, and he was kind enough to email me the original recipe of how it was produced in the test kitchens, as opposed to what gets sold in the restaurants now.) I figure that will be some tasty fun. When all else fails, I have relied on reading and re-reading and re-reading the book “No Mud, No Lotus: The Art of Transforming Suffering.” I highly recommend it to anyone with a chronic, debilitating disease. It really illuminates new ways of thinking and feeling about not just sickness but also other difficult circumstances, relationships, etc.

    • #19857
       Brittany Foster 
      Keymaster

      Robin,
      Your words really mean so much to me and will mean so much to so many of our members here. I’m sure everyone needs to hear from time to time that it’s okay to be upset, sad, cry, feeling frustrated and angry is normal. I love that you allow yourself this time and that you set your limits to midnight and give yourself that time (even if it’s in the shower). I also do the same and save a lot of my crying and break down moments for time spent with my therapist so she can help me process some of the emotions I’m feeling. Therapy really does help me so much. It helps to have that outside person to talk to other than just the people who are emotionally connected to us and part of our family/ close friends/ partners. It’s just a different feeling.

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