When my close friends or family asks how I’m doing (If they know about my illness) I’ll usually reply honestly. “Nothing’s really changed much, dealing with a lot, but staying positive.” When I was younger and even now, my mother, who has her own hurricane of problems, would reply a lot differently. She would lower her voice and with a sigh explain in detail all the bad things happening with her illness. It would automatically bring down the mood in the room, as the opposite person would nod with fake empathy and occasionally go “Aw, what a shame” or “God love you, you poor thing”. Usually when a distant friend or relative asks me how I am, I just lie and say “Good!” to avoid doing what my mother does. But now I realize there is nothing wrong with briefly being honest with closer friends, but still staying on a light note. I usually don’t ever go in to detail unless someone specifically asks, and looking at all my conversations, I tend to do this with most topics.
Staying positive doesn’t mean pretending that you are fine when you are in pain all the time, it’s learning to accept that you are. It’s learning to laugh in a horribly decorated doctors office, or noticing the pretty colors of your meds. (Mine are pink, blue and white 🙂 It’s knowing your limit, laying down and knowing that’s okay. Watching your favorite movie during a flare up. Looking at pintrest in your favorite sections when you can’t sleep. Taking about the struggles you are having, and then letting go.
And yes; being positive also means that when my mother sends me seven long texts about everything bad that is happening, I simply say “I’m sorry you are going through a tough time” and I send her a uplifting picture like this one: