A gray cloudy sky with the sun peaking through

Chase the Clouds Away

I’m usually an optimistic person – despite living with COPD for eight years now; 8 years that I know of in any event.

Who knows – I’m sure it was developing in me years before that.

I'll always be sick, but I try to stay positive

But - every so often – it gets to me. And I get tired of knowing that when I wake up, each day, I’m still going to be sick. I’m not going to get “better.”

I do the best that I can to distract myself from thinking like that. It’s important to do so.

On some of the Facebook COPD pages and other websites I read, there are folks there who were diagnosed 20 and 30 years ago and who manage to live as full a life as possible.

And sadly, there are other folks I read about who seem to have miserable days, every day.

Hopefully, I’m closer to the former as opposed to the latter.

Some days are harder than others

On occasion, I get nostalgic for the days when I could breathe easy, take long walks on the beach with my wife, go swimming in the Atlantic Ocean and travel just about anywhere without having to worry about lugging oxygen tanks and medications and taking extraordinary precautions no matter where we went.

And yet, I have other days where I can accept all that, and acknowledge the responsibility for having chosen to smoke for 35 years without thinking much about the effect.

The effects of smoking

Like many young folks, my gang felt invincible.

Nothing was going to get in our way. Cancer? No way.

“Let’s eat drink and be merry for tomorrow we may die,” as it says in the Bible. That was our philosophy. We didn’t deny ourselves much of anything.

It was easier to get beyond self-pity when I was still gainfully employed. Just the daily routine of getting up, showering, commuting, working and returning home took almost 10-12 hours out of my day.

There really wasn’t much time to think about how I was feeling (aside from the occasional flu or cold) and work was demanding so, oftentimes, all of that got ignored.

Keeping busy to stay positive

Now – keeping busy by volunteering and other hobbies keep my mind occupied in a positive manner.

Once in a while, there are grey dreary days (like today) and that old self-pity raises its ugly head. (I’m just glad I don’t live in London or one of the Scandinavian countries! Lol)

But I’m also blessed with a supportive family. My kids are always there for me when they can be. I try not to bother them too much. They have their own lives now.

However, once in a while there’s just a project or a task around the house that I just can’t do by myself anymore.

And I never have to ask for help twice.

My wife is so supportive that she refuses my requests for assistance whenever she feels like I’m “taking it too easy.”

I know that doesn’t seem to make sense, but my point is she knows I’ll take advantage of their collective charity at times because I am indeed just being “lazy.”

And so, I try to be aware of that – even when I’m feeling most sorry for myself.

Therapy was supportive, but it wasn't for me

One of my doctors (I seem to have a bunch!) early on recommended seeing and talking to a therapist about how I was feeling about my life with COPD.

I went to two different therapists – both very supportive – but it wasn’t for me.

I especially didn’t care for the prescriptions I was given. They made me feel worse!

And so life goes on...and I’m so glad it does.

The sun just started to peak out from behind the clouds.

I’m feeling better already.

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