We all have good days and bad ones. Everyone we meet has dealt with disappointments in some form. But for those of us who suffer from any type of chronic illness especially, the highs and lows are all too familiar, all too frustrating, and can sometimes feel incredibly overwhelming and impossible to tackle.
Having been an IBD (inflammatory bowel disease) patient for almost 13 years, I have had way too many bad days and honestly not enough good ones. Or rather, the good days have seemed to fade into the background because the traumatic experiences that I have had to endure stand out in my mind so much. They have impacted me so greatly, impeded on my life in ways I never imagined, and just generally have felt like they were defining my life until pretty recently.
I had a really positive experience last week in my personal life and following that event, my mom said something to me that her father always said to her. She told me to “bank it!” This comment really resonated with me because I think we (myself included) tend to brush past the good things sometimes. I mentioned in this post here about how life as an IBD patient is like living on a rollercoaster since it is only natural to become hesitant or worried when something positive seems to happen. We try to protect ourselves from the reality that our health might deteriorate, so we try not to get too excited or too optimistic about something for fear of feeling even more disappointment. Completely one thousand percent understandable!
However, we need to relish in the good times also. We need to BANK the good days or the positive reinforcements we receive or the great feedback. Whatever it is that we were successful at, whether it was just for a short time, or even if we may deem it to be “no big deal” because the truth of the matter is that it IS a big deal.
I am pretty hard on myself so I usually don’t look at something as a huge accomplishment unless I actually did something that stands out in a massive, full blown way. I have never been good at relishing in small achievements. Ever. But I have come to realize that they are very important. And for those of us who suffer from an illness like ulcerative colitis or crohn’s disease, I have come to see the need for looking at the good days as just that… good days.
If someone gives you a compliment, put it in the bank so when you are experiencing a pretty crummy day, you can think back to that day and remember that there are other things in life beyond illness, beyond pain, and beyond the frustration, anger and the other emotions you are experiencing. If you have a fantastic day at work, bank it so when you are feeling like you aren’t performing well one day/week you remember what you are capable of. I could keep going but I think you get the gist.
Believe me when I tell you I have an incredibly difficult time with this concept. I just think that it is something extremely important and worthwhile to think about and try to incorporate into your life. I am working on making it a part of my life so I figured I would pass it along to all of you.