In the last post, I talked about ways I’ve found to stay positive with my AS. For this post, I went to the Facebook ankylosing spondylitis group and simply asked the question, “what do you do to stay positive?” These are some of the responses:
- Watching old movies/Netflix
- Doing things in a relaxed pace, not hurrying, no schedules
- Yoga and meditation
- Laughter (watching funny TV shows or YouTube videos)
- Minor crafting, painting, and/or photography
- Spending time with family (children and/or spouse)
- and the overwhelming response was: PETS!
When putting this question out in a group of people with AS, what I did find is that we all seem to be in that ’home-bound’ situation a lot. This doesn’t mean you never go out of the house. It just means that for the most part, people with AS spend a lot of time at home and alone.
For me, this certainly applies. If we do have a day of outings, then we spend a couple of days recuperating. I always plan what I do so that if I know I’m going to “overdo” it, I will have those days after to rest.
I am the type of person who gets stressed if my home is dirty or cluttered. So how does someone who is in pain and can hardly walk keep up with chores? Plan and stay on top of things: it’s what I do. I never get so far behind that I can’t see the end. When I’m done with a dish, it goes in the dishwasher or gets washed. Small loads of laundry through the week are easier than a week’s worth in one go!
Keeping up the fight
I will say it again: I truly believe our minds play a big part on how we feel. Any way you can have a positive attitude will help you cope with a negative disease! We all struggle and have to fight daily! That fight can be just to get out of bed or fighting for medication and care. It’s hard to fight for yourself when it seems you know more than the doctors do. But FIGHT! Stay as positive as you can, so that you can FIGHT for yourself and WIN!
Focus on those little victories when you can’t see the big picture. Years ago, I wrote a poem (writing, by the way, is another way to help you stay positive) and thought I’d share with you all:
Pain, pain go away
Living with you every day
You will not take my joy or my life
Even though you cause such strife
If my spine will end up fused
My body is mine and you will not abuse
I will not let you keep me down
Nor will there be an AS frown
So, go away and let me be
I wish that others would learn and see
AS is not a silent disease
I'm screaming it out from the top of the trees!!!
I have AS...but I REFUSE for AS to have me!!!!!!!!!
So, whatever you can do to stay positive, DO IT! Fight for yourself because YOU are your best advocate and you are worth it! Even when it seems there is nothing positive going for you, find ONE thing that will make you smile – just one!
It takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile! I know this can be so hard when it seems that nothing is going right, but find it and focus on it!! Take some deep breaths, and say, “AS has my body, but NOT me”!!!