Taking an Optimistic View Towards Setbacks

I live and work in an active environment - this is where I thrive. Rest is an unfamiliar term for me. It feels unnatural. I refer to myself as an ‘active relaxer.’ Activity is my medicine for my mental health. It is my safety net when the dark clouds creep in.

I’ve been anxious the last few months knowing I was going to lose that crutch. A week ago today I had quite extensive surgery. It has been a long time coming after a long struggle with endometriosis and, thankfully, I was able to have two healthy children before undergoing a hysterectomy at 34. You would think the anxiety would be more directed at the impending surgery, being put under, the loss of ability to carry more children, the recovery and pain. Instead, it was losing my ability to be active. To exercise away stress, to work through thoughts on a walk or a run, to not be able to strength train myself out of a foggy mind, that this would lead to a downward spiral. Because that, for me, is the hardest thing to come back from.

Suddenly I’m left to actually sit in my feelings. It’s an uncomfortable place. But I told myself this would not be my downfall. I have decided to take an optimistic view towards this setback. The whole, ‘put a positive spin on it.’

Sarah in her late teens/early 20’s would have broken over this. But Sarah took a long journey of healing and she learnt a few things along the way. She built herself a toolbox that in emotional strife she knows to rummage through and use the things that help her find the light. Sarah in her 30’s is really grateful for this right now.

Setbacks are inevitable and even though we know this, it doesn't make them suck any less when they happen. Some of us face them occasionally and others feel like they face them daily. I’ve decided this year to take up the challenge of being optimistic about them. Changing them into an opportunity or, at the very least, something to take a positive learning from instead of a drop into despair. Once I master this, you can bet I’ll add it to my toolbox.

Today I am grateful for this opportunity which has allowed me to step out of my comfort zone. Sharing a piece of myself with all of you in hopes someone reads it and knows they are not alone in facing setbacks. Just remember, regardless of how big or small it is, you are valid in the feelings that come with it and I’m rooting for you from my couch as I, too, figure out how to turn mine into something that propels me forward to something better.


Voices of Hope wants you to know that you do not have to do this alone. Click here to 'find help' - it's not weak to speak!

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