Why stay positive? A positive perspective can be difficult to attain especially when you’re surrounded by negativity.
“Misery enjoys company”, something my dad likes to tell me when I’m dealing with difficult interactions. It’s easy to find a negative aspect in anything you do. Throughout my experiences I’ve learned there are two ways approaching every situation; I can either find the light or darkness. This was especially difficult for me on my last birthday.
Family is very important. I rely on my parents’ approval in just about everything I do. They are there and support me through thick and thin. When I was much younger, I had horrible OCD. I was in constant fear that my parents would die if they went out somewhere. As ridiculous as this may sound, my ten year old self visited a therapist for coping methods to improve my irrational thoughts. As time went on I realized the fear of this happening was almost comical. On my 16th birthday, March 30th of last year, I remembered these fears and how they could turn into reality.
Around february of last year my father passed out in the bathtub in the middle of the night. After countless doctor appointments my dad was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and will need chemotherapy for the rest of his life. Flash forward a month in March, my 16th birthday. My mother, accompanying my father, would be in the city all day for a scan. A scan of the cancerous cells was necessary to determine the severity of his illness. In the morning, my dad came in my room, kissed me on the cheek and wished me a happy birthday. I would lie in my bed and recall the times of me sitting on top of the kitchen counter, counting down to 6:05, the exact moment I was born. Reminiscing when I blew out the candles with my family surrounding me. Thinking of these happier days made me extremely emotional, but I knew that possibility is different from reality.
That night, late in the evening, my parents came home tired and exhausted. After a long day, my dad came in my room and apologized for not being there. He felt horrible that this once delusional fear had taken over our lives. As he stroked the tears from my cheeks I told him “I’d rather have you here on my 26th birthday then my 16th”. I knew that if I let this devastation consume me, I’d forever be stuck in a limbo of sadness.
My family and I know that things don’t always happen with reason. My father participated in numerous triathlons and stuck to hard core diets. He is the healthiest person I know and yet the doctors think he could’ve had this disease for years. As offputting this may seem, we neglect to let it affect our everyday lives. My father embraces this illness and continues to fight. I believe that being negative and fearful is equivalent to the spreading of those deadly cells. Positivity is what keeps us going collectively and helps us oversee the darkness.