I am a firm believer that more often than not, silver linings can be found on the edge of every dark grey cloud. I can’t make a blanket statement about how Every Cloud has a Silver Lining, but I do think there are there most of the time. I’ve spoken about this on M.E. myself and I before and if you’ve been following for years you may remember these older posts. (https://the-slow-lane.com/2013/09/03/always-look-on-the-bright-side-of-life/) and (https://the-slow-lane.com/2014/01/05/every-cloud/) Of course there are the times I struggle to see any glimmer of silver at all. (https://the-slow-lane.com/2013/03/21/wheres-the-silver-lining/) That’s completely understandable. No-one can be in one constant state of happiness and sometimes it is so much harder to find the positives in any given situation.
I have got into the habit of writing One Good Thing A Day in a journal every night. I am not able to write too much, usually having exhausted myself by bedtime by just getting through the day. And so one sentence or a few words are enough.
Even on the most trying of days I write something. Often it is just my husband’s name that appears next to the day and date. But if he has been the highlight of that hard day then lucky me. Looking back, most days list more than just One Good Thing. Often three or four will make it onto the page.
For a couple of years I used a Jar of Happiness instead of a little journal. Each day I would write my highlight from the day and then fold the little piece of paper and pop it into the jar. At the end of the year it was so lovely to tip out the jar and unfold each piece, rereading what had made me happiest on that particular day. Many of my friends do this too. It became a bit of a chore to have precut slips of paper ready, and then need to have the energy to fold even the smallest piece of paper. Over the years, particularly since moving out of my family home, my energy is spent elsewhere and so I switched to journal instead.
With only writing the highlight of each day, when I look back over my weeks, months and years it is far easier to feel happy and content than it was when I was having to keep symptom or activity diaries. If you follow my new Instagram account @tea_party_for_m.e you may have seen how I rediscovered years worth of despair and suffering when I stumbled across these old diaries a couple of weeks ago.
Whilst there is still too much suffering at the hands of M.E, focusing on the good parts of every day really helps me stay afloat and I’m so glad I decided to start doing it.