Changing Perspectives

It’s a brand new year.  A time to take look back on where we’ve been and a time to look ahead to where we’d like to go.  Many of us consider our hopes and dreams, creating resolutions and vowing to follow through on them.  What are your hopes and dreams for 2017?  Is there anything you’ve learned about yourself as you think about the last year?

One of my doctors recently told me it takes 3 positives to equate to 1 negative, since we focus on the negative so much more in our lives.  Let’s try to put that into practice.  As I continue to deal with the challenging side effects of my medications (which would be viewed as a negative), I think back on the last few months to find 3 positives.

Number 1:  I made it through and continue to make it through the withdrawal symptoms of a prescription medication.  That’s huge!  While some of those symptoms still linger, I’m at least able to sleep a few hours each night. Who knew that statement would ever be seen as a positive?  It’s all about reframing, I’m told.

Number 2:  I was able to ask for help and accept it.  How many of us try to get through things on our own, when in reality, we have a whole support system who is more than willing to help us?  Even when you think you don’t need help anymore, it’s essential to know you still have a safety net.  Someone you can call when life throws curveballs at you once again.

Number 3:  I’m having a one-on-one this week with the head pharmacist at Fairview to find out what can be done to combat my dry mouth, which is a huge side effect of all my medications.  I had no idea this was even an option, until I was speaking with a nurse at my physician’s office.  Did you know there are pharmacists at various medical institutions, whom we can privately meet with as an additional resource?

So often, my life feels like an experiment.  By that, I mean this.  I feel like an island because so many of my side effects and withdrawal symptoms related to medications haven’t been documented.  I know I’m not the only one to have extreme side effects to medications, and I know I’m not the only one who has experienced withdrawals from a Benzoid that was legally prescribed for 6 years by a doctor.  You can read many horror stories on the Internet.  What you can’t find are the solutions.  What helped those people get through the withdrawal symptoms?  And what ACTUALLY helped them conquer the side effects so that the side effects didn’t conquer them?  This is the story I’m currently documenting, but I sure wish this research was already done.

It’s hard to feel like you’re all alone when paving this path.  We must remember that we’re not alone.  We can document our stories together.  We are a collective pool of knowledge. And even though there are often situations beyond our control, we can change our perspectives.  Perhaps, we can each take a negative from 2016 and turn it into 3 positives for the year ahead.  Not everything in life is going to be rosy, but at least we can frame it in a way so that we’re taking 3 steps forward.  How do you take the challenges in your life and reframe them into positives?  Cheers to a brand new year!

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