Forum

Hard staying positive

I always try to stay positive about my PPMS I have seen people with a lot worse stasy positive happy and carry on regardles but there are some days I start toloose my confidence and hste the fact that I am so limited with what I can do and also have nobody around me I feel comfertable with even my mother and brother who I am forced to live with but really dont like.

Some days I just feel like giving up cant see the light at the end of the tunel or see any point in life is there anyone who can offer any advice on how to deal with situations like this when a positive attitude has just dissapeared?

Hi Jon,

I really feel for you, I wish I could help, but I don’t know how to. I know what you mean about trying to stay positive by reminding yourself that there are people with much worse symptoms than you - sometimes it just doesn’t work - that’s them, you’re you.

Hope you find some help,

Luisa x

Hi Jon

While I think doing things to help our sense of well-being is a very good thing, I’m not sure if it should come at the expense of being honest with ourselves about how we feel. It’s OK to feel sad or angry or hopeless - there’s nothing wrong with these emotions themselves, and they’re perfectly normal things to expect given what’s happened. Allowing space to grieve the change in our health is very important. I know I want to try & bottle my emotions up a lot of the time, but sometimes it’s good to just have a good cry or rant, and I always feel better for it afterwards.

That said, there are things we can do to help lift our mood. Listing things to be thankful for is well known to help people’s levels of happiness. Another surprising thing is to fake smile - when we smile, our brains release so-called happy chemicals that lift our mood. The interesting thing is that our brain can’t tell the difference between a genuine smile and a fake one, and will still release the happy chemicals. So throughout the day, just lift your brow so you’re not frowning and do a smile for a minute.

Another thing that might help is to do a regular review at the end of the day or the week, where you look back and find those things that energised you, where you felt alive somehow, or that felt wholesome or nurturing, or gave you a sense of satisfaction, even if only a little bit. Then look for those things that had the opposite effect - that drained you, that left you feeling empty etc.

As I’ve done that over time I’ve found similar things come up. So I know now that just watching telly all night leaves me feeling empty & frustrated. And I know that engaging with nature is very good for me, even if it’s just looking at the sky and clouds for 15 minutes. Doing something expressive is very good for me too, like doing somewriting of some sort, either about how I’m feeling or something more creative.

I hope that makes sense, and I hope you start to find yourself again.

Dan

Hi Jon

The first thing I would say is don’t beat yourself up for feeling what is perfectly normal about this. Even the most apparently ‘cheery’ person, will, I have no doubt, have private moments when they struggle with it all.

You might find that counselling would help, your GP or MS nurse can refer you for this.

Have you thought about attending either your local MS Society Centre or MS Therapy Centre? The comaraderie and companionship there might well help.

Take care

annie b ,I gree wit you 100%.I doo to MS drop in cemtre,and the positivity is amazing,I went down 1 week feeling low,one of the nurses gave me a boot up backside,turned every negative I had into a positive,it is easy to give up,it is harder to fight,nut fight is wot we are good at,ur mood will tirm,even if u need to go to docs,for CBT or anti depresants tp help i het through this ruff blip,and that os all it is ,a blip

Thanks for the advice guys, I have to wait until Sept before I see an MS nurse and I contacted my local MS group weeks ago but they have still not replied I even contacted them twice but still no response.

I do have an appt to see a physio at the end of this month but I am not sure what to expect from that or what sorta help they give.

I really dont think antidepressents would work as they wont change the things I am depressed about as well as my physical problems I feel very lonely and have no friends here in Warrington even after trying for 6 years since moving back here.

I have also tried antidepressents in the past for other reasons and they just made me feel sick so I’m reluctant to try them aain.

I know where you are coming from with your feelings about antidepessants. They can’t mend your body but they can help the way you see things and make it easier to cope. Depression is a deep pit to climb out of and sometimes you just need a little ladder.

Dan has given some excellent advice. I do something similar. Every day I try to:

  1. Do one thing for somebody else (This could just be a smile or answering a post on here)
  2. Have a simple pleasure (This is usually a cappuccino)
  3. Do one thing that I don’t want to do (usually cleaning!)

I write these things down in a diary and it’s amazing how much focus they give to my day. I used to call the simple pleasure “guilty pleasure” but I found this seemed to involve too much chocolate so I changed the focus a bit. I have learnt to take pleasure in the little things. When I was healthy and working if you had asked me what I looked forward to it was probably holidays or meals out now I’m happy with a cup of coffee.

Jane