Ever since my sarcoidosis diagnosis, I have come to have little interest in being negative. I also have no desire to be a willing participant in other people’s persistent, “the world is out to get me” negativity. My tolerance for drama, since my diagnosis is next to zero. I have found that I have enough to worry about just trying to get up and function every day and that what energy I do have is best spent focused on trying to make the best of my life.
Sometimes I write about the pain and difficulty of living with this disease, but I don’t think of that as being negative. I think of it as being honest. I can’t paint a rosy picture of something that isn’t rosy. By the same token, I also find myself writing quite a lot about how this disease has opened my eyes to the importance of focusing on the good in life and I certainly understand the importance of simple joys now in a way I didn’t before my diagnosis.
Negativity to me is more like a chronic and hostile unhappiness. It’s the kind of thing that when I engage in it too long or find myself around it, it infects me like a virus. And, just like I try to avoid people with a cold or the flu because I don’t want to get sick, I find myself desperate to avoid negativity and negative people in much the same way. Since getting sarcoidosis, I really have no desire to be consumed in this way. I never really have but before my diagnosis, I think I was less aware of it, less in tune with my need to avoid it. Its presence in my life just zaps my strength that much faster now.
I want to be able to focus taking good care of myself and be present in a positive way for my family and friends. I find that I am less able to do this when negativity is lurking. Negativity is distracting. It feeds on dishonesty, judgement and disapproval. It is ugly and it can be cruel.
If I am honest, I am quite sure I have engaged in glass half empty thinking at some point in my life. I think it has a way of sneaking up on everyone from time to time. Yet now that I am aware of it, now that I have a full understanding of its unholy nature and of what it can do to me and to my relationships, I simply no longer have a tolerance for it. It is too damaging to live with it. Negativity has become a kind of kryptonite in my life. When I am around it, it weakens me in mind, body and spirit. It steals a piece of my soul.
It’s a very conscious thing on my part now, to avoid it and to avoid people who appear to be chronically infected by it. I have learned to change how I engage people who have it. I try remain uninvolved in their drama, from their need to keep the pot stirred and the temperature raised. When I am unable to simply walk away from it, I try to stay detached from it. I try to focus on the fact that someone else’s unhappiness and hostility toward the world belongs entirely to them. I try to focus on the fact that negativity is a choice and it is a choice that I do not want to make.