Optimistic? Pessimistic? Realistic?

It’s been a while but I was inspired when I was watching the news earlier. Amazingly the story wasn’t about the pandemic, pupils going back to school or THE interview. Instead it was an interview with Malala talking about her next project which is to do with a TV deal where she will be working on documentaries, chat shows, and she even mentioned her love of Black Adder! The interviewer asked her about her approach, would she consider herself an optimist or a pessimist? I guess my question would be – why are those the only choices?

I have probably mentioned this before but E is now in my phone as Bloody Positive Friend and she frequently signs texts with BPF! This is because she does encourage me to try to see the positive when I’m struggling. HOWEVER she recognises the reality as well.

I can, sometimes quite easily, get drawn down into a dip. I try to look at things positively but sometimes I find it difficult and I need my BPF to try and nudge me out but I like to think at all times I’m realistic. I’m learning, I hope, to be more realistic at the moment. As I return to work, and I recognise,with the help of others, what is appropriate for me to do.

For me, I see being realistic as recognising what could happen for the best, but also what could go wrong, with the basis of what is actually realistic. I am aware that this sounds utterly bizarre so let me try and give an example…

Shockingly I’m going to use the example of my brain. Although things have not been great with my epilepsy over the last year or two, I know that I have periods of time when it has been much better. This gives me hope to optimistically know that it could be considerably more controlled, and I could be trusted in the kitchen to cook again, or I will be back doing my job to its full, and I will be able to go for a walk without having to text someone.

However, I can also be realistically pessimistic, knowing that I may be trapped by this illness. That I may well have to take medication for my whole life, and will always have limitations – this is where the BPF will say something along the lines of ‘there is so much you can do’ which will possibly be followed by a list.

I think we are probably all optimistic and pessimistic at times, that is fine but I think realism is most important and we shouldn’t push people to be optimistic at all times or tell people off if there is some pessimism.

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