In the decade since Ben Behind His Voices was published, I’ve had the opportunity to tell our family story to a lot of people – sometimes more than once, for it is ever-evolving.
If you love someone with schizophrenia, you know this all too well. It is a life lived like a never-ending game of Chutes and Ladders, with moments of rest here and there.
The question I am most often asked, after sharing, is this:
“How do you stay so positive?”
It isn’t always easy, as you may well know. But – here’s the thing that continuously reveals itself to me, no matter what the challenge:
Yes, living happier is a function of what happens to you – no one gets through life unscathed, after all – but it is, eventually, even more a function of what you tell yourself about what happens to you.
And so, I finally wrote a book about it, and it launches officially in a couple of weeks.
In it, I talk about the “Seven Core Phrases” of self-talk that get me through most situations, and keep me hopeful, though realistic – and, yes, happier.
Yes, living happier is a function of what happens to you – but it is, eventually, even more a function of what you tell yourself about what happens to you.
It’s how I “stay so positive.”
Let me be clear (and I state it up front in the book) – I cry too. Life isn’t about constant happiness. That isn’t even a goal. But neither is it about dwelling on the negative when the time for action has passed, nor about stressing about things that may never happen.
So here are the Seven Core Phrases (meant to be said to oneself, not as advice to others, please) and how they help me when our family deals with challenge or disappointment: