“Strength shows not only in the ability to persist, but the ability to start over.”
Both physical pain and emotional pain require a huge amount of strength. Chronic pain tests my strength on a daily basis. I have fallen down in my path with chronic pain many times. The worst is when I know what I need to do to manage my pain in a healthy way and choose the easy way out. I remember in my first few years working as a social worker and managing my pain amazingly well I agreed to hang out with my work friends and go out for drinks. I do not remember why but the subject of my bike accident and brain surgery came up and later my struggle with chronic pain. One of my co-workers offered me a pain killer and I took it for the next day as I knew I would be hung over. Long story short over the next few months I was able to ask for a pain killer whenever I wanted as I worked with this person. Before I knew it I was back on pain medicine and then trying random things I found on the internet for pain relief. One of the things I found was “natural” but apparently not good for me at all and it cost me an arm and a leg to obtain. Just like with pain medicine, over time one needs more and more to get the same result. Before I knew it I was back at square one and had to start from scratch. At the time I felt like the weakest person in the entire world. I was so disappointed in myself for screwing all my progress up. This has happened in my life multiple times but fortunately I must be a lot stronger than I think because I never did give up and more importantly always got up.
I have loved ones who do not have chronic pain but life throws curve balls at them and they are forced to start over. Sometimes it feels as if everything in your life is totally falling apart and you are literally drowning with only brief moments of air. Hitting rock bottom in life is the scariest, loneliest place to be but we all have the strength to keep going. We do not always know the direction we are supposed to walk in. I have written this before but it is important. My dad always said to me: “When you do not know what to do, do nothing.” Often times that is the hardest thing to do: nothing. Things always have a way of working themselves out. I look back on my “one liner journal” that I have been writing in now for four years and it astounds me how most of what I thought would happen did not and the challenges I was faced with changed my life for the better. I guess we all need to remember that when things are going awful for us. Sometimes just getting through the day and breathing is all we can do, and that is enough. We fall down, we get up, we persist, and we start over. That is strength.