Sometimes life throws some seriously sucky curveballs in our direction (i.e. scoliosis) and it can be hard to handle tough times. But, being a Positive Patty, I’ve been trying to take advice from my tote bag, who says (yes, she talks) “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade”. So, when frustrated, I try to remember these 5 things.
Look at the bigger picture Whether you are sick of having an extra inch added around your torso like a bulletproof vest, or you are sick of all of the trips to the hospital and the x-rays, it is important to remember the bigger picture. What will be the finishing line? Whether you have surgery or a brace, keep in mind that everything will be ok.
Distract yourself I am one of those people that lets small things consume their thoughts. It can be hard to focus on anything but your frustrations. So, sometimes, you just need a good distraction. I love to read...if I could read all day, I would. There’s something so nostalgic and transformative about reading a good book. If you aren’t a vivacious reader, watching a light hearted tv show like Friends or Ellen can lift your spirits, too.
Don’t bottle it up Trying to push your frustration down into a non-existent box will just backfire (hence, the “non-existence”). I always picture one of those cartoons where the character’s face turns bright red and steam pours out of his ears. When you’re frustrated, talk about it - with other patients, your doctor, or your family. I love being able to write for this blog, because it helps me to cope with me scoliosis. Sometimes, you just need a good ol’ scream. That doesn’t mean going out into public yelling like a madman, but I’ve found that when I’m alone and upset, just getting it out of your system can really help.
Remember, we are a community The most frustrating thing for me growing up was when someone, whether that was my parents, or my friends, would tell me “It’s ok. I know what it feels like.” One of those ripping-my-hair-out-of-my-head moments. But, for the people in your life who don’t know what your going through, there are people in your life that do. There are so many amazing instagram accounts and scoliosis blogs about other patients, and many of them are welcoming and willing to communicate one-on-one. And, of course, my DM, inbox, and blog contact page are always open if you need someone to chat with!
Exercise it out Exercising is a great way to get negativity out of your system. Whether it is something high intensity like running, or something soothing like yoga, focusing only on the actions you are taking during a workout can relieve stress.
There are going to be days when positivity is just not possible, and that’s ok. But, always remember that there is always something you can do to help you cope with whatever negativity you’re feeling. Remember, we’re bent, not broken! :)