Fieldset
TB & Me: Looking at life from a new angle

TB survivor Ulyosh blogs about how a little change in perspective can transform how we see our problems...

 
Recently, I was stitching Karakalpak ornaments onto a composition. Karakalpaks are an ethnic group in Uzbekistan, whose patterns are used in our traditional dress.
 
The last time I stitched these patterns was so long ago, and now I've almost  forgotten how.
 
I sat for a long while with my pencil and ruler, drawing and erasing endless times. Draft after draft was wrong, and I was getting nervous.
 
My daughter came and stared at my drafts, observing me.
 
- What’s wrong mom?
 
- Well, these rhombus shapes keep going wrong, I can’t stitch them in one line.
 
- Rhombi? Mom, look at it from a new angle.
 
- How? What do you see?
 
- I see “X”s in a row, and the rhombi are in between those Xs.
 
I looked at it from a new angle, realising that the rhombi were indeed between the Xs.
 
I quickly gathered my wits, and created the design in the way I imagined. Soon, I got there.
 
Atta girl!
 

One scene, different views

 
I remember another moment which surprised me; one morning I stepped outside to go to work and it was raining - not very heavily, with a pleasant breeze.
 
There was enough time, so I decided to walk and enjoy the nice weather.
 
On the way, the rain and wind became stronger. Despite the rain I could see wind spout in the streets.
 
I was fine and it didn’t make difference to me - I was full of pleasant feelings.
 
 
Optimists see that there are ways out of problems - there are caretakers, there are drugs, and you only need to take treatment until the problem disappears.

 

 
In a great mood, I entered the office and saw my colleagues. While greeting them, I exclaimed: “Yay, it’s so beautiful outside."
 
Right away another colleague of ours enters the office and utters: “!t’s a nightmare, so disgusting outside!
 
"The wind is so strong and it is raining so badly. I hardly reached the office, horrible...!”
 
Sitting by my computer, I thought there could be different reactions to the same sort of thing: that is, different views of the same situation.
 
One scene can make somebody happy, and upset another at the same time.
 

Rhombi shapes and X shapes

 
Why I am telling you all this?
 
Because there was a period in my life where I reached breaking point.
 
Tuberculosis (TB) was a disease that both frightened me (and everyone around me) but also became my saviour.
 
Being sick, going through treatment, having experienced everything with TB - I came to understand that any problem brings a positive solution.
 
My health condition (which made me feel worse in the beginning) made me take decisive steps. It made me cheer for every single pleasant moment of life.
 
Disease is a problem, but we make the choice to stay positive.
 

One needs to be joyous - no one can forbid us from doing that.

 
Optimists see that there are ways out of problems - there are caretakers, there are drugs, and you only need to take treatment until the problem disappears.
 
Pessimists see problems as sophisticated and do not pay attention to their solutions. They complain and consider that fate is punishing them in some way.
 
This is what happened when I saw rhombi shapes and my daughter saw X shapes.
 
It is so simple!
 
One needs to be joyous - no one can forbid us from doing that.
 
In regards to my designs of the rhombi ornaments (or Xs?!), I fulfilled my task proudly. Students used it and developed a composition of traditional stitchery.
 
It was just great, creating positive energy. What ho!
 
That’s how it works when you look at problems from a new angle.