Besides having Parkinson’s, Myasthenia Gravis and Gastroparesis, I have another incurable disease. I am an incurable optimist. That’s right, I am the guy who always finds the positives in every situation. The doctors are not sure if I was born with it or it’s something that developed over the years. I personally think it’s a mixture of both.
I have always been a pretty upbeat and positive person. Life was not always easy growing up, but I always looked for the positives in life. Okay, most of the time, I looked for the positives. Even a incurable optimist has a tough day. Growing up, I played a lot of sports. I loved playing sports, but I never got too upset when my team was on the losing side of a game. Trust me, I did not like to lose, but I never carried a lose with me. I was always able to put a defeat behind me and look forward to the next game. I remember in high school, I was the person you called when life threw you a curveball. For some reason, people always felt comfortable and safe sharing their stories with me. I had no idea back then, that God would use me to help encourage fellow patients facing some of the toughest moments of their lives.
My incurable optimism has truly been tested the past 16 years. This crazy/beautiful health journey has had many twist and turns. During this journey, I have faced one life threatening situation after another. This journey has not been an easy one. No one would fault me for being angry or, at least, a little grumpy. But that is just not in my makeup. I still look for the positives in every diagnosis, test result and prognosis. Heck, I still buy a new pair of running shoes every few months.
Over the past 16 years, I have been asked at least a thousand times “How can you be so positive when you are dealing with so much?” Honestly, I think my brain is just wired to be positive. But I do believe everyone has the ability to be positive. Looking at the positives in life is a choice, one I have to make everyday. Sometimes we have to make that choice multiple times a day. I know for some people, that is not easy. You just naturally bend towards the negative. That’s okay. You can make the choice to join the positive side of life. I know you can do it. Take baby steps. I promise you it will be worth it.
I know life will continue to present me with challenges. That is just part of the journey. I am sure there will be days that part of me will want to drift to the dark side called negativity. On those days, I will stop and think about all the good things in my life. Those blessings will put a smile on my face and everything will be right with the world again. That is my life as an incurable optimist. ~OC
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