I spent the majority of my life looking to others to make me happy. In the midst of chronic pain I looked to anyone for comfort and love. During the darkest years of chronic pain I did not have the knowledge I needed to find my own happiness. All I knew was physical pain. The only thing that would help aside from medicine was love. I could never be alone. If I was alone, I was scared. The thoughts that ran through my head while alone scared me. I didn’t really want to be around other people either because I envied everyone I knew because they did not have chronic pain.
I wanted to be held all the time. I was scared, so scared that at times I couldn’t breathe. I could not find my own happiness so I looked to others to make me happy which in the end only made me feel more alone and depressed.
People always say: You must love yourself before you are able to love another. I think we have all heard that at some point in our lives. Why is it so hard to love others than to love ourselves. It takes a ton of work to love yourself. I feel like I have gone through break ups with myself. When I was managing chronic pain well and in a healthy manner, I loved myself. When I was not handling chronic pain at all I hated myself. Talk about a roller coaster. I was like an awful boyfriend to myself.
I am able to make myself happy now. And that damn cliché is true (bastards were right the whole time) the more I love myself the more I love my friends, my husband, and family. Maybe love is the wrong word because my love for them never changes. The happier I am and the prouder I am of myself, the happier and nicer I am to those I love.
I still long for extra love from my husband at times ( I am a woman and a true romantic…that will not change) but I do not need the attention and love that I craved my whole life. I’m happy with myself and more importantly proud of myself that I can be alone and be happy.
This is a lesson I want to teach my daughter. I want her to have the confidence and love for herself that took me almost thirty years to find. I want her to be able to be alone and be happy (but still always come to me when she needs someone lol.) I never want her to look for friends or worse boys/men to make her happy.
One blessing of chronic pain is that it has forced me to learn things I may never have learned and therefore never be able to teach my children.