public speaking coach, I have heard it all. I think we own every self-help, motivational book out there. The "Rah-Rah Whoopla" that spews out of the mouths of these multi-millionaires just rubs me the wrong way.
But in the last few years...Especially in the years since my diagnosis of Neurofibromatosis, I have begun to hear what these guys have to say, in a very different way.
I grew up in a very toxic and negative environment, and learned from the best, how to always look at the dark side of things....and assume the worst.
God was a monster, who cursed our family with a dreaded and debilitating "disease" and deserved nothing but blame for inflicting us. I was taught to hate...and brought up to hide and be ashamed of who I was.
When I would ask questions about what was happening to my older brother, Mike who is severely affected by NF, the response was anger-filled. My mother didn't want to accept or deal with what was happening to Mike...or to herself.
For me, it felt wrong to always be angry and hateful. I tried so hard to separate myself from the sewage I was living in. But being a kid...It didn't work so well for me.
I was wrapped so tightly, and held my anger inside. Not many know this, but in 8th grade (after a cruel dose of puberty) I swallowed a small handful of sleeping pills, just to make the cruelty of others end. When I woke up the next morning, I was disappointed....and extremely tired.
I knew something had to change...I just didn't know how to change it....and I was afraid that if I tried to change, and it failed...it would be just another thing in my life that sucked.
I pretended really well...and got through the rest of my childhood relatively unscathed. It wouldn't be until adulthood, after my diagnosis, that it would all catch up to me.
Everyone has a choice with how they live their life. Like my brilliant 15 yr old daughter says, "bad things happen everyday, it's up to you, to pick out the good in the bad, even if you have to use tweezers".
The "Rah-Rah Whoopla" now makes more sense to me than ever. You don't have to be famous, or a billionaire to have a positive attitude. You don't need to write a book and have 2 thousand friends. All you need is the will to look at things in a different way...then make the effort to change.