I try to be a happy person. Each day I like to write three things or people I am grateful for to help me focus on my happiness journey. Since becoming sick and joining the chronic community I’ve felt particularly pressured to be “happy”, to have a “positive outlook” on life.

No one wants to interact with the complaining, down, worried sick person. It’s bad enough they have to deal with cancelled plans due to bad days. Family and friends don’t want to hear about more problems. As a chronic warrior I’m supposed to look on the bright side. I’m supposed to encourage others and be grateful it’s not worse; after all it’s not cancer. It’s true. I’m grateful for that. But I ABHOR that phrase. I think if it was cancer maybe I would be allowed to be mad, down, worry, cry. Maybe not.

When I have these feelings I think about one of my favorite childhood books- Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, no Good, Very Bad Day. I loved the book so much the laminate cover had peeled off (I swear I was a happy child–I had a mom, grandparents, and aunts who loved me–I just LOVED that book).

Somedays I feel like Alexander, where everything goes wrong in life, where everyone is good. And I’m Alexander  “tripping on my skateboard, only finding breakfast cereal in my box, falling in mud, getting soap in my eyes” and I want to move to Australia or rather to somewhere where I’m just not sick.

Image result for alexander and the terrible horrible book
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, no Good, very Bad Day.

As a chronic community of warriors, caregivers, family, and friends, we need to start to acknowledge that it is okay to have such negative feelings. Our lives have been forever altered by illness. Focusing on happiness and not dwelling on negativity is equally important. By not allowing all feelings by all of the chronic community to be talked about or allowed to show publicly makes it easier to cope with illness. We can accept this life is not how we imagined, but it is still amazing.

2 thoughts on “The terrible, horrible, no good, very bad

  1. So very well said. We are entitled and allowed to feel however we feel, without apology or guilt. You’re right with the cancer issue and it’s just such a shame we’re made to feel that way, as if because it’s not “that bad, it’s not cancer” that we can’t still struggle, still feel negative or whatever it is we’re dealing with. Every journey is as unique as the individual, and so is how we deal with what we have going on, for better and for worse. x


  2. I also love Alexander and the Terrible, Awful, No Good Very Bad Day despite having enjoyed a happy childhood. I felt a surge of connection and camaraderie when reading about your love of Alexander. When I was first diagnosed with CRPS 15 years ago, dark humor helped me to cope. I recall thinking that if I had cancer, it may well have been treated yet not so with CRPS. I have re
    read your sentence, “By not allowing all feelings by all of the chronic community to be talked about….makes it easier to cope” and still feel confused. Do you mean that you think it is better that we openly talk about our pain publicly or that we not do so? TIA.


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