Op-ti-mism (op-tuh-miz-uhm). noun. --a disposition or tendency to look on the more favorable side of events or conditions and to expect the most favorable outcome.
Synonyms- confidence, hopefulness, cheerfulness
Antonyms- pessimism, cynicism
I like to think of myself as an optimistic realist. I always try to be optimistic, exuding confidence, hope and cheer to everyone who comes in contact with me. Studies show that optimistic people live healthier, happier lives than cynical, pessimistic people. However, I choose to be optimistic for different reasons; I know that optimism is key to living with CF.
You see, to me, optimism isn't having an unrealistic expectation that life will always be perfect. I'd be a fool if I said it was. I've experienced hospitalizations, surgeries, and therapies that I'm not even going to try to explain. I've been "sick" since birth, never really getting a break from CF. And you know what, I'm not going to lie, it's crud sometimes. Instead of being down all the time or always expecting the worst, however, I strive to see the good in life and not throw a pity party. In my opinion, when life throws a curve ball, I have two options: get stuck in my own misery about how unfair the situation seems or take life as it comes, trusting God in everything and knowing that eventually I will be in Heaven where "He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away." (Revelation 21:4 ESV)
To me, the second option listed is always better than the first. If I pouted every time CF got me down, I would always be a depressed, lonely young adult. Seriously, who wants to be around someone like that? Although I don't recommend suppressing emotions, I know I can't take every hit thrown to me by CF and complain about it mercilessly.
I will leave you with a quote from a fellow CFer and this final thought. Optimistic realism is so vitally important to good health. Never remain lost in your own bad situation that you lose sight of the beauty of life.
"Life always throws curve balls. At least with CF we know what the next pitch is. Use that knowledge to your advantage. Take your best swing!" Dave Davidson, CF patient