THINK Locally, Not Globally

I have been feeling very overwhelmed with feelings and thoughts lately. The cumulative effect of all that has transpired with me over the past 12 years coupled with some personal things that I don’t feel comfortable sharing right now and just the events going on around the country have left me feeling sort of paralyzed to help. I want so desperately to make a difference but I have been feeling at a loss as to how to go about facilitating change.

The more I think about it the more I realize that the change I am referring to is more global than anything else. My overwhelming thoughts, fears and anxieties are stemming from things that I really do not have control over. For example, I am not going to change the way we as a country deal with the mentally ill. I am not going to take away my grandfather’s Parkinson’s disease or alleviate stress for my grandmother. I am not going to come up with a better way of keeping guns out of the hands of criminals. I am not going to be able to stop mass shootings. I am not going to be able to force my parents onto a deserted island for a month so I can feel like they have some time away to just breathe and relax a bit.

The things I mentioned above are just some of the thoughts and feelings that have been running through my mind and heart lately. I am trying so hard to break things up into smaller pieces and take it down a notch. It is important to look at things in a larger sense but it is also in a way setting yourself up to be disappointed. Working on smaller things and helping one person at a time is a better way to cope and go through life. It isn’t easy to think like that and will definitely require me to re-wire my brain a little bit but I am doing the best I can to really try to engrain in my head that thinking in such broad terms isn’t good for me.

While there are many things going on in my life and in this world that I have very little or no control over, there are things that I can do to make a difference. I am trying the best I can to focus on the things that I am capable of changing. And once I accomplish some of the smaller goals, I can try thinking a little bit more globally.

Living with a chronic illness like ulcerative colitis or crohns disease causes your thinking process to change. For 12 straight years I have had to deal with this unrelenting, overbearing “problem” (to put it mildly) of which I was completely powerless to do anything about. So, now I often find myself identifying something that I see as having the potential to go wrong and work as hard as I can to prepare myself for the various ways the issue could turn out. I was never able to properly prepare for what happened to my body and consequently, my mind. I am trying to make up for that now but life will happen on life’s terms.

It will just take some time for me to accept that.

  • Amanda Brooke

    You are doing amazing ris. (and im so so proud of you for publishing). love you a million and a half.

  • Jodi

    I think approaching it as you are is a good thing. Do what you can with the things you can control. Breaking it into little pieces makes it that much less daunting. You are doing a great job with everything that has come and is currently coming your way. Stay strong and keep doing what you are doing.
    love you,

  • valerie Starshak


    It is always a good idea to focus on what one can do right now. There are so many things out of our control, it can get overwhelming for anyone. Baby Steps!!!

    Love you