“I would rather die from passion than from boredom.” Vincent Van Gogh
One of the greatest things to do when you are suffering from any invisible illness is to distract yourself with your passion. We all have different passions and if you have not yet found yours, start looking. If you have been reading my blog you probably know my passions: writing, running, yoga, nutrition, holistic medicine, reading, and now that I have a daughter finding my inner child. I am passionate about being silly and fun and having a two year old allows me to do that without looking crazy and even if it did I truly do not care: its my life.
Having gone through brain surgery and chronic pain taught me so much and those lessons will never leave me. Life is about finding your passions, not settling, and being happy. We take the little things for granted so quickly it breaks my heart. The biggest event in our lives happen quickly and we never remember days, we remember moments. It took me almost thirty years to truly find myself and what I want out of this world and what it all comes down to is passion and happiness.
Following my run this morning I (shockingly) went to my Wa Wa for my coffee and a complete stranger walked up to me and asked if I was a personal trainer. Years ago I taught fitness classes and personal trained and I loved it! This was in between my life as a social worker. The woman who asked me this gave me very generous compliments but that is not why I offered to help her get in shape pro bono (always wanted to use that term like lawyers do but never had the chance, sounds cool though.) I offered to help her for free because she lit something up inside of me that I forgot about: passion. There is no better way to forget about your struggles whether that be your illness, chronic pain, or just your life circumstances than to do something you love. People who suffer with chronic pain have an extremely hard time not focusing on the pain non stop. I did for years: it consumed my life. Most of my readers are not in a good place in their journey with chronic pain and that is why I am writing this blog. If you are reading this right now and are having a difficult time, do something you love. We all have passions that are all so different: find yours. You have one or ten, I promise.
Life can end so quickly. Living your life for yourself and finding what you love is not selfish. I love being a mother, I love my passions, I love that I am able to help people. We complicate our lives so much with worries and fears about our past and future that we forget to just shut our brains off and listen to our hearts. We all just want to be happy and none of us should settle for anything less. Nothing worth having in this world comes easy: nothing. Look at me: I spent years of my life following my accident looking for a cure to my pain until I learned that I could live with it without treatment or medications. That was not and is still not easy but oh my God is it worth it!
Do what you need to do to be happy and never settle for anything ordinary. Most of you reading this have chronic pain or some invisible illness. I know what you are going through and I know there are days and hours when you want to give up. Do not do it. If you have taken none of my advice for the past year please take a little time to find what you are passionate about. Because that will be your greatest distraction from your pain. You are allowed to be happy, you really are. If you do not want to take advice from an amazing artist who unfortunately had some issues as he did cut his ear off, take it from me.