what does it take to be happy?

    • Anonymous
      July 15, 2009 at 4:13 pm

      what is does it take to be happy?

      sometimes life throws some not so great stuff at us. maybe it is divorce, maybe it is terminal cancer, maybe gbs or cidp. whatever life throws at us is it possible to be happy?

      actually, we can still be happy. how? one word. acceptance. if we can only accept what life throws at us we can be happy. my grandmother lived a very tough life in montana. she had to deal with some difficult stuff. yet somehow she was able to accept what life so unfairly threw at her and as a result, she was happy. all she ever asked for was decent weather on sunday for the picnic and more food than everyone could eat.

      somehow she accepted what life threw at her and she was happy.

      i wish you all courage, strength, and the ability to accept what life throws at you.


    • Anonymous
      July 16, 2009 at 8:58 am

      I am in total agreement with you on this subject. Not only must one be able to accept what comes their way but also it is very important, in my opinion, to be able to view one’s circumstances from the perspective of finding the positives in it and not getting stuck on the negatives – what we can’t do. Changing, consciously, the negative thoughts into positive is crucial for me. I had a bad day yesterday. I woke with an overwhelming sense of foreboding, for no apparent reason, and could not shake it. Finally, I sat down at the computer and began a list of what I am grateful for. I haven’t finished the list yet but it helped. It took me till supper time to feel my mood had shifted but I enjoyed the evening. Today is another good day!

      I have been to quite a few Symposiums and have noticed that there are many participants who view their lives with a positive, enthusiastic outlook. Most had limitations of varying degrees but they found ways to deal with this, it would appear, and still enjoy life.


    • Anonymous
      July 16, 2009 at 11:58 am

      Dennis, don’t mean to hijack your subject, but this has the makings of a great thread.
      How about everybody posting things that make them happy. As the song says, “Always look on the bright side of life…”
      We can all check on this thread when we need a pick me up.

      Today is going to be a great day for me. I’ve got my 4 year old grandson all day. We are going to wander the farm and picnic by the creek. Seeing the world through his eyes and innocence is the best therapy I can get.

      Everybody have a good day.

    • Anonymous
      July 17, 2009 at 11:41 pm

      thanks for the awesome replies. have you ever seen those cool old windows that have all those multiple window panes? our lives are kind of like those windows. all the windows make up our lives. not just one. unfortuantely however, on occasion, one of the window pains gets broken or fogs over. if possible, dont forget the windows you can still see out of.

      courage, strength and hope to everyone.

      great idea on a section that people just write about the good stuff.


    • Anonymous
      July 18, 2009 at 9:33 pm

      I had the type of day today that fills me with happiness. I meditated in the morning, read a great book, and spent a few hours with friends. Then I worked in the garden until my legs gave out. Very simple day, but what joy to be able to do these simple things. Good thread. Jeff

    • Anonymous
      August 1, 2009 at 1:22 am

      I helped someone with their golf game. They hit the ball better and they were happier. I felt good that I could help someone.

      By the way, I am a CIDPer and just visiting the GBS side.

      Dick S

    • Anonymous
      August 4, 2009 at 6:47 am

      I agree. For a long time after GBS, I was filled with anger and negativity, and I hated my body for everything it could NOT do anymore.

      Then at some point, I realized that this was taking me nowhere, and I decided to just accept my new body the way it is. I may not be able to do everything I used to do, and I may not be perfect, but this body is all I have, so I’d better love it and take care of it the best way I can.

      Though I still get frustrated with my limitations, I don’t get angry anymore. I’ve gotten really good at taking deep breaths and letting the negativity wash over me. For every thing I cannot do, there are still a thousand things that I can do. And that is where my focus now lies.

      I’m only 33 years old, and I have a lot of life left to live! I will not let the impact of GBS on my body stop me from doing, going, or being ANYTHING I want to be.

      (Well, except for maybe an Olympic athlete. 😉 )

      Acceptance is definitely the key. And not just that, but also forgiveness. Once I finally forgave my body for betraying me, it was like a huge weight was lifted, and I could finally move forward.

      Great thread!

    • August 11, 2009 at 1:47 am


      I am still trying to accept the way things are now. It has been a little over 3 years for me and things are not back to normal like i was hoping. I am learning to roll with it, learn new things, listen to my body, and choose my battles wisely. I have also learned that slowing down is essential to well being. I find happiness in creating beautiful images, photography, and finding other neat things to use my creativity and artistic ‘talents’ on. I am spending much more time with my kids, especially my daughter…finding common ground with her has been difficult for me, but it is finally happening. Each day brings something new into my life, looking around and simply enjoying the sun the rain the grass under my toes or the wind singing a sweet song in the trees. Little things have always made me happy, but they mean a lot more to me now and they seem so much more significant!

      I am in the process of redefining myself and my life. A new journey full of new ideas, new skills, new joys. Lots of stress and fear, but I hold on to the hope that everything will work out just the way it is supposed to. I may never accept what GBS have left me with or how it has changed me physically, but I do not regret the learning and discovering along the way. It has also shown me how much my family dearly loves me…that alone is priceless!

    • Anonymous
      August 18, 2009 at 9:06 pm

      It takes peace of mind, and being able to meet my needs for me to be happy.
      I find it easy to be happy if the core of my inner self is strong and contented and on the right track.
      Also, in order to be happy, my needs must be met. If I’m hungry & thirsty, cold, tired, sick, injured or in pain, I find it hard to be happy until I’ve dealt with those needs.

      Years ago, I could put my needs on hold for long periods of time by concentrating on positive thoughts. I learned to be spartan and stoic about problems, privations and pain. But now I feel extreme stress, exhaustion and illness until I meet those needs, and more so with the GBS symptoms. So it’s a constant challenge to cope with the things that threaten or interrupt my well-being. I am struggling for survival.

      Two of the things that have always helped me to cope better are: food and sleep. And more food and more sleep (though I’m not obese or narcoleptic, LOL.) That does wonders for my disposition and outlook, more than any lecture or self-help book, or meditational exercise.

      Another thing that helps me to be happy is to recognize and experience the happiness I already have access to. That’s a very long list, when all blessings are counted.

      One thing that I continually have to deal with in my life is dealing with people or things which would rob me of my happiness. It doesn’t take much for me to be happy, and often I feel very happy. Then some “tool of Satan” comes along with a bad attitude or snarky comment, or personal attack, and it’s like a knife in the back. My happiness can be short-circuited by it, and sometimes it takes me a long time to recover.
      For Example:
      Last weekend, a pleasant Saturday, feeling happy and content and grateful for my blessings, GBS back-pain lessening–bringing relief. Suddenly, late at night a bunch of teens in several cars drive up to the front of my apartment to have an outdoor party with the babysitter next door. Baby in a stroller on the street till 2 AM; teens noisy, drinking, smoking, smoke getting into my house, and I needed to open my windows because it was a heat wave. I go out to ask them to keep the noise down. Up till 4 AM. Next day–condom on the front lawn; trash everywhere. (I was not happy; spoke to neighbour who came home next AM; we cleaned up the yard together. Felt happier than before, but still not happy; more like–annoyed and outraged.)

      And sometimes problems come up which I do not know how to solve and they take a toll on me. My washing machine broke down; I’m broke and can’t fix it or buy another one. Walking is getting too arduous and exhausting for me even with my medical walker, and I wish I had a scooter, but can’t afford one. I am always struggling. At times I am happy, but it’s like the hard-won spoils of a temendous, relentless battle. My troubles are often overwhelming, but yet if I can regain my perspective, I can face them and keep on coping.

      Most of the time, no one else knows how I feel inside, because I have to be a responsible, mature person, and not be a problem to anyone. So, trying to be positive and cheerful is sometimes an exercise, not a reality, but I’ve lived long enough to also know that this is the way life is.
      “Life knocks you down, and what are you to do?
      A man takes it for his share, and goes on…” (The Yearling)

    • Anonymous
      August 22, 2009 at 4:32 pm

      Thanks Dennis,

      This is a great thead! It took me a long time before I accepted my disablities and sometimes I still wake up in the morning hoping to be out of this nightmare.

      After being in a hospital watching the paralyzes go up to my chest before stopping, I look at everything differently. The grass is greener, big macs taste better. I’m a different person. Only if I could get a handle on my residuals.

      Take the rest of the day off,


    • Anonymous
      August 28, 2009 at 5:25 pm

      Great thread. Happiness comes in enjoying simple things. The grass [B]is [/B]greener than it was before. My children took me to the zoo and pushed me around in my wheelchair yesterday. I felt like a kid again. The elephants looked bigger when you sit down and look up at them. The lions look you right in the eye. I was very happy. I can’t think of how I was before the GBS, it makes me very sad, but if I think of how far I have come in recovery, I can be happy. I find myself staring at the beauty of all things in nature, marveling at how much my children have grown, realizing how much my family loves me and is watching my progress, applauding every accomplishment, these are the things that make me happy.