Happiness Is Great... Not Necessarily Permanent!

on Wednesday, June 15, 2011. Posted in Blog

Wayne Brown
AcromegalyCommunity.com

It’s been only a few weeks since Acromegaly Community’s first annual It’s About The Community! conference came to a close, and when I sit back looking at photos and embracing memories made during this trailblazing weekend, I cant help but get a huge smile on my face.  I truly hope that all of our great members and guests are still feeling as great as I am.

From the moment the first person walked into the Friday night cocktail party, we all knew that something very special was taking place.  One could not help but be overwhelmed by the positive vibes washing over everybody as soon as they walked into the room.  While I am not sure there are any official numbers, I am confident in saying that this was the largest collection of Acromegalic patients, ever collected for an Acromegaly-centered event!  Throughout the weekend, almost everyone, no matter what their stage of medical treatment, was smiling and laughing.  The reason for this happiness was simple: patients realized they were not alone, and their loved ones had a whole new appreciation for what their loved ones deal with- on a daily basis.  Our initial goal with this convention was to help people shrink the circle surrounding them, making then feel less lonesome and more supported- I think we overwhelmingly accomplished our goal!

Here is the problem… After the conference ends, real life is waiting for us- sometimes with a really painful smack!  The thing about motivation and positive thinking is that it doesn’t last forever.  In the words of motivational speaker Zig Ziglar, “People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing - that's why we recommend it daily.”  As Acromegaly patients, we need to be aware of our emotional fragility at times, and figure out the systems that best help us battle the lonely and sad days.  This disease can get the best of us, if we let it.  Our job is to make sure that we do our individual part to figure out what individual coping mechanisms work best when times are not going so well for us.  Me personally, I need to start each workday with a good workout.  Some days are better than others, but getting the adrenaline going helps to set the tempo of a great day--- and if I am stressed about something, taking my anger out at the gym is safe and healthy! This can only help to make my whole day better.  I also love a good laugh; so when the day has not been going so well, I have my favorite entertainment sources I know I can depend on to get a chuckle.  Most importantly though, I have great friends; some are fellow patients, and some have nothing to do with the disease at all.  Most of the time when we talk, the LAST THING we want to talk about is the disease.  It is more fun to talk about sports, politics, the weather, or what stuff is going on in their lives; anything to NOT think about my disease.  Now these are some of the shortcuts that work for me.  It does not mean they will work for you.  If you like to talk about your medical issues, that is good.  If you hate sweating, the gym is probably not a good place for you.  Just experiment to figure out what puts a smile most easily on your face!

If you were in Las Vegas for the Its About the Community! conference, we talked about all sorts of great ways to improve your life and work around the disease in a lot of different ways; both medically and personally.  We also, and almost more importantly, made a lot of new friends and established new contacts.  Reach out to your friends.  Make new friends great friends.  Call them and enjoy reliving good times, and talk about a great potential future!  Figure out what works best for you when you are low, and do what you need to do to pick yourself up when you are low.  When you have a smile on your face, everything feels better!  If you need more ideas, reach out to your friends in the community.  Brainstorming a smile is time well spent.  If you did not make it to Las Vegas, do your best to be at next year’s convention.  Your being there will help everyone have a better time--- including you!

Remember, positive vibes don’t last forever.  The trick is to not get scared by your sadness.  Figure out what is the impetus to the unpleasant mood is and fix it as quickly as you can.  If you cant fix the root of the problem, try to add happier things to your reality that can help you smile more easily… you will be amazed how this will improve your current struggles.  You bathe daily, try smiling daily too… you will feel better, I promise!

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