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Positive Thinking, Dream Boards and Happiness



Anyone who regularly reads my blog knows that this year, the last few years, I have been in an emotional and physical hell.  Over the past couple weeks something has changed.  I am still in pain.  As a matter of fact, I ended up needing an emergency root canal and had a severe allergic reaction to the antibiotics they gave me that caused my throat to start to close which landed me in the ER where they tried to tell me I was having a panic attack (next post!).  My health is still in shambles, my marriage is still over and my bank account is depleted, but here is the strange thing- I am happy!

I have recently realized something I have always known, if that makes any sense.  I am extremely negative and have spent my life waiting for bad things to happen to me.  By doing so, I think I really have brought about negative things.  Now, granted, I have recently been very positive and bad things are still happening, but wonderful things are happening as well.  My spine is degenerating and no amount of positive thought is going to change that, but I am finding my reaction to bad things is slowly changing.  Don’t get me wrong, though, this is taking am immense amount of work and energy.  I have to make a CONSCIOUS EFFORT not to be sad.

A couple weeks ago the reality of my life hit me.  My husband is not coming home.  BOOM.  I am getting a divorce.  BANG.  I will be fighting with pain for the rest of my life because there probably is not a cure. SLAM.  These realizations hit me one by one as I drove home from the gym, crying.  But then something wonderful happened.  I accepted it, especially the things in relation to my marriage and an amazing thing happened- the chains were gone.  The chains that had been wrapped around my heart and my mind for months, years even, dropped.

How did it take you so long to realize you were in pain? You might ask.  It didn’t, I know I am in pain, but I finally accepted this is just something I am going to have to live with and figure out.  In other words, this is something I have to control rather than let it control me.  With this acceptance, I took a deep breath, wiped away my tears and said out loud, “Done with that.”  It’s time to move on.  From everything, the relationship that didn’t work, the pain I can’t control that will always affect me, the depression that keeps me wrapped up in chains.

Will I never be depressed again?  Absolutely not.  There have been times since this revelation that I had a memory or I heard something that made me sad and I wanted to be sad, and I will be on some days because I don’t believe in fighting emotions, but right now I told myself, “Okay, that is sad, but try to hang on to the happiness, if you can.”  Giving myself permission to “just try” means that it’s okay if I can’t hold on to the happiness.  So far, I have been successful.  This new sense of freedom of happiness has also broken a pattern of isolation I have had for months.  I made it a point to make plans for a few hours every night of the week until tonight.  I saw my friends for a couple hours, went to a meetup, dinner with family, whatever.  The more I do, the less time I have to think.

I also looked up an article about making a dream board ( because I need a visual reminder of the things I want in life, the things I need.  I am starting to understand that what you think about, you bring about.  I read “The Secret” years ago and I wasn’t in the right place to understand it.  I thought it was over-hyped, but it’s true.  If I keep going, saying how much my life sucks, my life is going to suck.  But if I try to believe things will get better, I think they will.

Not to worry, I will still be honest about pain and deliver the same, no-holds-barred, biting articles I always have because there are still issues I face, as do many others.  My ER visit was another eye-opener as to just how badly people with chronic conditions are treated, however this time, rather than complaining about it, I took action with the hospital.

I hope this helps someone, anyone.  I have seen a lot of comments and I know the place so many of you are in, I have spent most of my life in that place and I am clawing my way out of it.  It’s a hard fight.  I don’t mean to make any of this sound cliché, easy or as simple as pasting some magazine pictures together and thinking happy thoughts.  I know what it takes to even think one positive thought when pain is tearing at your body.  Because of that I also know the reward if you can grab even a few minutes of that happiness.

Has anyone ever done a dream board?  Feel free to post pictures.  I will add one as soon as I finish!

Positive Thinking, Dream Boards and Happiness

Tracy Rydzy MSW, LSW

My name is Tracy and I am a licensed social worker. I was working as a Social Worker, when an emergency spinal surgery 2 years ago changed my life and my career. I live with chronic pain and, as a result, I have taken my social work and writing skills, and made them into this blog. This blog is a humorous, informative, no-holds barred honest look at life with chronic pain, depression and disability.”

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APA Reference
Rydzy MSW, T. (2013). Positive Thinking, Dream Boards and Happiness. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 15, 2020, from


Last updated: 12 Oct 2013
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