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My Maurader’s Map of Positivity

It’s the closing of the Thanksgiving weekend (again, Canuck here)…and as such, this time of year is usually reserved for the “I’m thankful for…” kind of posts.

I got to thinking about a request for a topic of a post that I received a couple of weeks ago…about how I maintain positivity.  More specifically, “…what helps you stay positive when the side effects of new medications starts to take its wear and tear on you…” from Nicole C. on the Facebook page.

I think it’s a bit more relevant, given our holiday weekend.  Why?

Because positivity keeps me going.  Positivity keeps me safe.  Positivity keeps the human population at large around me, safe.  Well, so does coffee.  I digress.

How do I do it?

Let’s backtrack to the actual question, “…when the side effect of new medications starts to take its wear and tear on you…”

For me, it’s one and the same.

Chronic illness + ((new medication) + made-for-tv-movie-kinda-life + chaos-of-my-reality) = Hell.

So, even if the “new medication” variable isn’t there…the overwhelming additions of the usual stuff still equals Hell.  New medications are the “condiment”.  A burger might taste better with ketchup, but if you don’t have it, you can still have the burger, no? (lame, I know, but I’m suffering a grand case of a tryptophan coma…)

I’ve learned a few things over the course of my life.  I think these lessons are what enables me to get through the rough times, the ugly times…the “please let me go” times.

[enter audible *gasp*, stage left]

Yes, I have those moments.

First?  Understanding relativity.  Your pain is not my pain.  Your pain might be conceivably “worse” than my pain, but (1) that pain is relative to how your pain threshold compares with my pain threshold, and (2) that does not give your pain the right to invalidate my pain.

Understanding that “it could be worse”…Oh, yes, it very well could…therefore it is my obligation to ensure that I take the right measures to give my best conceivable effort to function.  At the end of days, I need my loved ones to be able to say, “At least she tried.”

By that same token, I understand that this is not the  “get out of life free” card in the game of  Whine-1-1.  I understand that I am entitled to have a bad day.  Hell, I’m entitled to have a few bad days.  Maybe even consecutively.

What it doesn’t give me the right to do is to wave my wand and turn into Eeyore.

No, I understand that I am still accountable for my actions.  Thus, if my health is declining, I must make every viable attempt to get it back on the “incline”.

And how do I do that?

With my Maurader’s Map…of Positivity.

It took awhile to accurately use it, but with a little practice…I am now able to see where people are.  (seriously, it’s not the tryptophan talking…)

I know exactly where the bullies are.  You know…the ones who use their “imaginary medical expertise” and/or ignorance to tell me how unreal my conditions are?!?!  The ones who knock down my attempts to educate, citing the “obvious fallacies” in the information I’m providing because EVERYone knows that it’s not scientifically proven…

I know where they are.

I walk around them.

I know exactly where the energy vampires are.  You know…the ones who will suck the remaining 2.2 units of energy you’ve got left listening to their newly purchased expansion deck in the game of Whine-1-1.  The ones who are having a bit of a go, yet continue to sit on the proverbial pot and not make an attempt to throw out said pot …

I know where they are.

I walk around them.

I know exactly where the “well intentioned” are.  You know…the ones that have all the herbalist knowledge/alternative therapy treatments memorized so that instead of making a bazillion dollars with the “cure” for what ails me, they’d rather just implore as to WHY on EARTH I haven’t tried it. The ones who don’t recognize that there are contraindications to almost (almost) everything that I take, and that…without knowing WHAT exactly I take (and being so arrogant to think they actually truly know everything that is going on my with health), that they could, in fact, be endangering the very life I’m trying to preserve.

I know where they are.

I walk around them.

By doing so (and truly, I could go on and on about who is on my Map)…I am making a valiant effort to remove all of the extraneous “taint”.  Remove the negativity, remove the frustration, remove the waste of energy/time flappin’ my yap upon deaf ears…and thus?  I’ve got a better hand up on my illnesses.  I’ve reduced something, leaving my body/mind/spirit freed up to focus on more productive things.

And, I make myself choose to see something “amazing” every day.  Sometimes even two, if it’s a bad day.  Because I’m allowed to have a bad day.  Because the fact that there are dying children in Africa does NOT invalidate my pain.

[enter the “What I’m thankful for…” post that I’ll spare you from, stage right]

I am often surprised by the comments I receive from the plethora of people who support not just this cause…but ME.  People who are always there to support ME.

Comments like, “I don’t know how you do it.”  Or, “You’re a superwoman.”  Or, “You inspired me with…”

Sometimes, and I’ll admit it…I feel like somehow, I don’t know how, but somehow that I’m lying to them.  How?  By acting in a manner completely opposite to their statement.

By crying like my soul is breaking.  By wanting, sometimes, for everything to be over.

But you know what I’ve also learned?


Life is all about balance.  I simply balance the tears with smiles.  I believe in myself enough to know that a moment of anger and resentment will be replaced by joy and smiles…eventually.  An hour, a day…

And by the same token, so do the people who support me.

I meet up with those people on the Map.

Listen, unless there’s a cure, I’m going to be like this…”meh” good days…horrible hounds-of-hell bad days…the goal of which is to get to where the good days outnumber the bad…either by management of therapies, or by getting myself into a “remission” kind of state…

It’s a shitty deck, yes. But, Dude…seriously…if  you don’t like the hand that you’ve been dealt, you – and you alone – are the ONLY one who can:



Thanksgiving Monday, 2011: Thankful for the vivid fall colours…


  1. Pam

    Hugs and love, balance is the key, agreed. 🙂 I hope I NEVER make it to your Marauder’s Map, love. If I ever step out of line or make things worse for you in any way, please tell me. I value your friendship immensely. HUGS!


  2. Marie

    What a fabulous message! People need to learn to step away from toxic relationships (to the best of their ability), whatever form the toxicity takes. You do a great job making your way, and set such a great example for others who struggle, chronic illness, or no; and for some, a simple reminder goes a long way.

  3. Rya Cowperthwaite

    *much love and soft hugs* You never cease to amaze me Brynn. You have so much courage and strength and manage to stay positive (as much as you can) when others wouldn’t even try. As cliche as it sounds you really are an inspiration. <3 Hope to see you soon.


  4. Brynn Clark (@SpoonieVille)

    Aw, Pam…such a sweetie!! EVERYONE is on the Map…you’re just one that I choose to keep walking towards ;o)

    The key with the Map, is to see where the “hindrances” are…and choose another path to walk in order to avoid the stressors they provide…

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