Today in the prison one of the inmates who has a cleaning job on the segregation wing (think Red from The Shawshank Redemtion, only from Yorkshire) was changing the Thought of the Day on the notice board when I came in. The laminated A4 printout read “If you think positive things, and you do positive things, positive things will happen”. He pointed to the sign and then to me and said “positive thoughts doctor”. And with a smile he went off to clean the staff toilet.
Here is a man who has been in prison for years – I don’t know how long, or what for – but he is one of the most positive people I have ever met. He greets the staff warmly each morning, keeps himself busy with work, or making cups of tea for the guards, and he steers well clear of trouble.
You might think that a man in his position would be depressed; he his anything but. He has chosen not to be. All of us face hard times in our lives, some more than others, but ultimately we all have the choice of dwelling on the bad things (even if they can’t be changed) or to think positive and see any hardship as an opportunity. Most of us can be happy, just by telling ourselves that we are.
Lots of my patients smoke cannabis every day. In fact, I am no longer surprised when people tell me that they do. I have seen everyone from new-mums to grandfathers, labourers and lawyers who admit to using it. Some use it to relieve the symptoms of migraine and anxiety and others for chronic pain; some seemingly just smoke it for the enjoyment.