21 Aug 2009 – Positive Mental Attitude (PMA)

I had an accident about 4 or 5 years ago and cracked a couple of ribs.  This wasn’t the first time I’d done this although I’m hoping that it will be the last.  Everyone around me seemed to be very surprised that didn’t lie around in bed bemoaning the fact that I had an injury.  I had also seen a fair number of raised eyebrows at the fact that I chose not to visit the local A&E department to have an x-ray.  What would be the point?  I’m told that they usually don’t bother to even x-ray for cracked ribs nowadays and what would an x-ray achieve?  A confirmation of a diagnosis of which I was already confident, having done the same thing previously and a waste of my, and the NHS’ time.  So I picked myself up and got on with things.  I took painkillers for the first day or so when things were a little painful, visited an osteopath when the intercostal muscle spasms became too uncomfortable and, four weeks on, I was almost back to normal and was since about week two.

I don’t do ill.  Life’s too bloody short to sit around and moan about the things that you have wrong with you.  I learned six years ago that you can do one of two things: sit around, whinge about everything that’s wrong and wait for everything else to go wrong so that you can sit there and say, “see?  I told you life was shite” or you can choose to get on with things and regard such misdemeanours as little blips on the road that need to be dealt with and moved on from.  I have little patience for being sick and get annoyed if some virus or bug has the cheek to invade my immune system.  This side of my personality took many, many, years to achieve with lots of lessons along the way.  Don’t get me wrong – I don’t sally forth with a “tally ho!” attitude all the time.  There are times when your body tells you that you’re overdoing things and you need to take it easy.  I do listen, but nine times out of ten, it’s a blip and I do my best to ignore it.

Many years ago, I was a workaholic.  I was driven to please everyone and work as hard as possible to get some sense of recognition as I was utterly unable to validate myself.  I ended up with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and was bedridden for about five weeks.  Yes, five weeks.  I know that’s not very long as far as CFS is concerned but I believe that I “caught” it early.  I was lucky to have a very understanding employer and, after five weeks of bedrest and a great deal of sleep, I was able to return to work part time for about a year until I had built myself back up again.  18 months after first coming down with the illness, I was back at work full time and (fingers crossed) haven’t looked back since.  I still firmly believe that moving out of London was a huge contributory factor as I’m a small town girl at heart and I need the fresh air and greenery of easily-accessible countryside for a proper sense of wellbeing.

So let’s all develop more of a Pollyanna attitude about life – turn those negatives into positives!

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