Focusing on the comeback, rather than the setback
I recently came across a post on Instagram that had the quote, "The comeback is always stronger than than the setback." How empowering is that? It struck me because when we are flaring, the setback seems suffocating. The setback feels like a ton of bricks that is hard to get on top of. The setback hurts physically, emotionally and mentally. The setback can feel incredibly overwhelming. The wheels start turning in our head and we know what that setback entails. That drive to the hospital is hard to put into words. It feels like failure.
Remembering my setbacks
I'm not flaring now, I'm actually in "remission", but those setbacks seems so fresh, regardless of the fact that I've managed to stay out of the hospital the last 2.5 years. If I think about it, I can immediately feel myself doubled over in pain, blacking out on the bathroom floor in a grocery store, desperately waiting for my husband to save me and get me to the ER. If I think about it, I can picture myself on my knees in my kitchen, throwing up in a bucket in front of my mother in law. If I think about it, I can go back to my very first colonoscopy, rocking in pain on the toilet in the hospital, hours after being told at age 21 that I had a chronic illness, for which there was no cure.
I try to focus on the positive
It's easy for us all to go back and dwell on what can happen. How bad it can get. How tough those terrible days are. Instead of focusing on those terrible moments, I choose to focus on the comeback. The comeback is the best part of all. The comeback is empowering. It's incredible, really. Think how how weak and sick you've been and how you've overcome. There's a street in my neighborhood, and in the days after my bowel resection surgery, my husband would hold my hand and we'd take a few steps. The first few days, I was able to make it maybe 20-30 steps. By two weeks, I was able to walk around the block. Each week, that walk got longer and longer. Now, when I push my son in the stroller, those moments still play out in my head, and I realize how far I've come. I think about crossing the finish line of a half marathon. Being pregnant. Mentally giving myself injections with a baby kicking me in my belly. Having a baby. Becoming a mom. Now that's a comeback. Showing my body that despite all the pain it's brought on, it's brought life into this world. Now that's bad ass.
We are all bad a@*es
If we all can focus on the comebacks, we'll quickly come to realize we are all bad a*ses. Pardon my french, but it's true. We may have bad a*ses, but we are bad a*ses. You must give yourself credit for all of the things--big and small. Some days, it's simply getting out of bed, getting dressed and facing the day. Other days--it's the big things. It's the major milestones in life that make you who you are. It's the moments that define your character. Each time I face a flare up or a setback, now i have the perspective to know this too shall pass. This is going to be rough, but my comeback is going to make it all ok. The temporary struggle gives you the opportunity and the chance to show yourself and others exactly what you are made of. Don't let the worry and the stress of your past, stifle you from your full potential. Take that comeback head on. Eye on the prize. And know in those dark moments you'll reach the better days, time and time again.
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