The next person who tells me to “cheer up, it might never happen,” or to “be positive” about my ability to do something will have reason to be thankful that I’m not strong enough to smack them in the mouth.
Whilst I agree that mental attitude plays an important role in physical recovery, there is such a thing as physical disability, and no amount of positive thinking can overcome the fact that your body doesn’t work properly. No-one would dream of telling a blind person that being “upbeat” would give them back their sight, but it is seemingly acceptable to assure a lame person that, unless he is completely paralysed, it is just a question of mind over matter. I come in for more than a bit of this because I can walk for short distances and don’t use my chair around the house. So, I’m not really disabled, am I? I just tire easily, and need to be kept cheerful. Actually, I do tire easily (that’s why it’s called Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) but that is not because I am not trying, it is a physical, inescapable fact of life – my life at any rate.
Add to the mix that I have depression (genuine, clinical depression, not just an attack of the blues!) and you will see why I get so riled when cheery people try to cure me with kindness. Like I said at the outset, it is only my weakened condition that has saved some people a broken nose. Forget positive thinking – some people should just try thinking!