I blame genetics – and three decades spent working in public relations – for generally making me one of those smiley, glass-half-full, annoyingly über-positive personalities much of the time. Not even horrific symptoms during my heart attack could alter the weak happy face that seemed freakishly pasted on throughout that ordeal.
It’s as if I were channeling Elizabeth Banks‘ classic character in her short yet brilliant film “Just A Little Heart Attack“ – in which she attempts to smile brightly despite textbook cardiac symptoms, and even taunts her concerned family:
“Do I look like the kind of person who’s having a HEART ATTACK?”
Don’t make a fuss. Chin up. Don’t worry, be happy. Just get on with it. I’m fine, just fine.
Trouble is: people like me who sport a perma-smiley face may not be “fine”. Not at all. And I now believe that feeling obliged to pretend we are what we’re not can be both physically and psychologically damaging. Continue reading