Two qualities that have served me well are Endurance and Perseverance (aka Grit.)
When you have a chronic illness you have to make a choice early on as to how you’re going to handle it. With despair or with determination. My pragmatism demands I accept the things I cannot change, so I just grit me teeth and get through it.
The same holds true for the rest of my life. Whenever things get seemingly unbearable, I try to focus on a point in time ahead that I will be past whatever it is that’s vexing me, and steel myself to endure until I make it through and get there. (Retirement, for example.) What might appear as confidence or contentment on the surface, is really just my acceptance of the inevitable: it is what it is and my only way out is through.
After all, I figure, if other people can find a way to forge through life, overcoming obstacles, facing challenges, and getting through everything life has thrown at them, why shouldn’t I?
And at least I get to do it with cute puppies.
See? Always a silver lining.