Dr. Jacqueline B. Sallade offers advice for maintaining your mental health.
In real life, do we see the kind of courage they show on TV in shows like NCIS ? Well, I guess "The Little Couple," from TV is real life. Of course, off camera they might take a break from their sweet, brave smiles as they love each other through the trials of dwarfism, infertility, foreign adoption, and cancer. The real life cancer survivors I know cried, breathed, and stiff-upper-lipped through their diagnosis, treatment and recovery.
It isn't always dramatic when someone sits patiently in one position for a week to let her eye operation heal. Or a woman suffers 12 two-minute seizures throughout a work day, each one leaving her briefly dazed and disoriented, because she thinks she has no choice but to make it through the day. I've seen people die with grace, take care of their very sick loved ones with kindness, and try to raise damaged and disturbed children without losing their patience. They're everyday kind of brave and a stark contrast to the usual complainers, whiners and tempermental jerks or just ordinary folks we've all seen enough of (let alone joined in action sometimes).
Of course, not everyone who's put in the face of adversity, whether war, amputation, illness, death, or other misfortune is brave all the time or shaking in fear and torment all the time. There's usually a combination of emotions and reactions. What's really amazing, though, is that everyday, people face all kinds of really terrible problems with acceptance and forbearance, bravely doing whatever it takes to make the situation as bearable as possible. I like to think of it as a typical miracle.