“Change is a process, not an event.”
So many of us chronic pain or not, have things in our lives that we would like to change. We come from a society of immediate gratification: when we want something, we want it now. How many times do you turn on the television or see a magazine that is describing the new: Lose Weight NOW campaign. Walk through the grocery store and half of the vitamin section is filled with weight loss pills or weight loss programs that promise: FAST results. Coming from a social work and health/fitness background there really is no fast/easy way to lose weight and really the goal should be to get healthy but that’s another story. In my experience the only way to lose weight is to change your behaviors: eat healthier/maybe less and exercise. Losing weight is not an event it is a process/lifestyle change just as managing chronic pain naturally is.
If you have chronic pain of course you want it gone NOW! Who wouldn’t? As someone who lived in pain from sun up to sun down non stop I wanted to cure immediately. I trusted every doctor and health care provider because I literally would have given my right leg to get rid of my physical pain. I’m not joking, if a doctor told me: “Jessica, we can take away all your physical pain but we have to cut off your right leg to do so” I would have been on board in two minutes literally excited to get rid of my leg if it meant getting rid of my chronic pain. I had to learn that my pain would never truly be gone but I could manage it and be happy and rarely think about. However, this was a huge process. There will never be an event for my chronic pain management, every day is a process and I am at peace with that.
There are things in my life that I still need to change and I need to remember that it is a process, not an event. My anxiety is still high at times and there are things from my past that I do not think I have worked through that I need to face. I did not have the easiest of childhoods at times and I see that more now that I am a mother. I ended up crying last night for a good thirty minutes after my daughter went to sleep and it took me a while to figure out why. Today has been a good day but I know there are still more changes in my life I need to make. I am very hard on myself as so many people with chronic pain are. Perfectionism and chronic pain go hand in hand a lot of the time. Which came first: the chicken or the egg? I do not know and it really does not matter. I was able to do a meditation today as I did not have work and my baby girl napped and my mantra for the first time was: “I love myself.” Sometimes we forget how important it is to love ourselves. It truly is more important than having anyone else in the world love you. Self love is also a process, not an event. Anything worth having in this world is a process. Let us all take this weekend and remember this: change is a process, not an event. And more importantly, lets all take some time to love ourselves no matter where we are in our journey. You will get to where you want to be but being hard on yourself will only take you backwards.