Written for us by Holly Crosby (a past patient turned life coach with her own business, Simply you )
Trying to be positive in very difficult circumstances is something I started to do almost 9 years ago. I was diagnosed with a craniopharyngioma which required an operation and stereotactic radio surgery to treat. At the time, I fooled myself in to thinking I was handling it well and that I was being positive, although what I was really doing was ignoring the truth. And when this came back to bite me boy did it hurt! During the treatment stage, and several years following it, I would swing from being all consumed by it; trying to deal with what had gone before and what the future may hold, to ignoring it completely. Neither of these stages worked. Neither saw me deal with it and keep moving my life forward in the way I wanted too.
And the reason for it was that it is not something that can be simply kept inside and have no effect on life. It’s too big for that to realistically happen. But how big an impact it has on my life is completely in my control. And once I realised that, things started to change very quickly for me.
Over the years, I have realised that what I need to do was to allow myself the times for thinking about it and the inevitable worry that falls alongside. And honestly, this could be difficult at times. Sometimes it involved writing down my thoughts and recalling bits I’d been through, and other times it was talking about it with those closest to me.
And after I’d been in this place, I had to force myself out of it. I told myself that the time for worry and negativity was over. That this was all my past and the parts of my future I was in control of I would control them. It wasn’t easy to do and involved of lot of repetition before it became natural, but eventually it did.
The truth is, there’s a lot in life we can’t change. We can’t change other people, we can only change our reaction to them, and we can’t change a diagnosis, we can only change our approach to it. Positivity breads positivity. If you feel defeated, you will act defeated and your mind stops you from even trying. If you chose to tackle it head on (excuse the pun!) and stay positive that you will get through it, you are much more likely to do so.
And so, I’ve learnt to look after myself that little bit more and see self-care as an important part of my life. I take more time to do the small things that make me happy (going out for coffee and cake is one!) and take control of my life. Yes, I still have moments of worry and fear but I am not going to stop living in the present and planning the future because of it.