Information is power, but sometimes too much information - especially if you have a really good imagination - or the wrong kind of information, can serve to dampen hope, instead of encouraging it.
Without hope, encouragement and inspiration, life is definitely not a dream. The days become long and dark. It may seem as if you are in a wet paper bag, unable to punch your way out. That was my refrain, for more years than I care to share.
Chronic illness can be a thief that robs you of all that you hold dear. It not only drains your energy, but it also targets your self-esteem and your ability to experience joy and pleasure - the things that make life worthwhile.
But it doesn't have to be that way. Slowly and consistently, you can make small changes, learning how to redirect your life, much like a rock placed into a stream alters the course of the stream.
I've chosen to put filters on a lot of what I read, hear and watch. I am not in denial about my disease, but one person's bad experience does not have to be my own.
A friend teases me because she says I prefer movies with happy endings. Well, why not? Growing up in a home with an alcoholic father was tough enough. Throw in a chronic illness and a dose of low self-esteem and it equates to a feelings of never enough.
I've learned that healing can mean many things. I know that when I feel better emotionally, I am better positioned to handle the physical pain from a flare-up, which does not occur that often. Thankfully!
Forget the Bucket List, start a Life List. Find the awesome in your life, just like Neil Parischa on 1000 Awesome Things. Be like Cathryn Wellner and look for 1001 reasons to be optimistic on This gives me hope.