Three images of a woman who is slowly filling with bright color

Attitudes and Adjustments

"Attitude is everything." We have all heard that saying. But what happens when you have a really tough day? It's one of those days where you feel like giving up. Do you laugh, or do you cry? Sometimes, I do a little of both.

Feeling overwhelmed

I had big plans, but it didn't take long to realize I was in over my head. I love the spring because I love to garden.

Last week, I set out to start my annual yard projects. I was excited about the warmer weather and went shopping for flowers to plant. Unfortunately, it was only a matter of time before I was huffing and puffing.

What I thought would take several hours took several days and every ounce of energy I had. Digging the holes and adding the mulch almost killed me. I had a moment where I thought I might need to call in some help. I was new to this area and didn't know who to call, so I went into my house and cried.

To laugh or cry

Later that day I had a good laugh at myself. I thought of how ridiculous I must have looked trying to dig in a bed of rocks with an oxygen tank on my back. The expression on my face was one of sheer determination. As my grandmother used to say, it was probably a "sight to behold".

Realizing how much weaker I am this year just since last year was really depressing. It was confirmation that the disease was progressing. At the same time, it's a reminder to keep on moving. If I were to give up and quit moving, it would be the end for me.

I say this because, according to my doctors, I am in the late stages of COPD. I have come this far by exercising, a healthy diet, and determination or the will to live my best possible life. My lungs are scarred; they are functioning at about 30 percent. COPD has aged me and will continue to do so.

Finding joy

Living gets a little bit harder every year, but we still need to find enjoyment in living. Time ages all of us, with or without COPD.

After a certain age, everyone gets a little slower with each year of life. So, spending time being depressed over any of this is wasting precious time we could be enjoying life.

Who cares if it takes longer to plant the flower beds? What is so disastrous about calling for help? I say let's make the most of every single day. Take that walk if you can; if you can't get out and walk, get up and walk around the house. Do whatever it takes to keep living your life and enjoying every minute you can.

What works for me is to get up every day with the intention to do all that I can. We are going to have tough days where our inability to function as we once did makes us ever so aware of our waning health.

I am not trying to make light of the emotional impact that COPD can have on us. It can take us to a pretty dark place. But I find that looking for humor in the events of a distressing day makes it just a little easier to handle. Sometimes, we just must shake it off and have a good chuckle.

Adjusting your attitude when you're feeling down

I would love to hear how you overcome the feelings of despair. What do you do when you are having a tough day?

We must keep a positive attitude. How do you pick yourself up and keep on going?

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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