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A Day of Thanks

“When you find someone who will stick by you through the symptoms, the moodiness, the fatigue…….thank them!  Do it often.  It is hard to find someone who will love you and not judge you for what you are going through.  It is not easy to watch the one you love in pain.  It is easier to walk away.  So, when they stick by you appreciate them the best you can.”

I write a lot about the losses one faced when given a life with chronic pain: family, friends, jobs, hobbies etc.  I think today all of us should tell the person who does stick by you and always has thank you.  I am quickly thinking of some of my readers who I speak to daily or weekly and no matter what you have lost I know you have siblings, a twin, a mother, a friend that does stick by you and believes you.  The person who stuck by my from my accident on was my dad.  It scares me to think that during those awful ten plus years I did not thank him enough.  His life was put on hold many times to take me to specialists, pay for procedures, and be with me constantly on my search for a cure. I remember one time he found a doctor in the city who practiced hypnosis, meditation, and therapy for those with invisible illness’s.  I despised this woman right from the get go.  This was pretty close to the point of me packing up and driving to Colorado and I had seen over one hundred different doctors, surgeons, and therapists.  I had no more patience or faith left that anything would work.  After the appointment, my dad and I got in a huge fight as we drove back to New Jersey.  He wanted me to give this lady another shot and I was adamant that I would never go back to that “crazy woman” again.  Fighting with my dad was and still is the worst.  I hated the numerous times he was angry with me: I still do.   My dad was and still is one of the biggest pieces of my heart and the last person I ever want to fail or argue with.  Looking back now, he was as frustrated as I was.  I do not think he was genuinely angry with me because I refused to go back to this doctor in the city, I think he was just damn frustrated that we still after so many years had yet to find any help or relief for my chronic pain.  He loved me more than anything and who would want to see their child suffer the way I suffered?  Now that I am a mother I cannot imagine what he had to be feeling as he watched me slowly un-ravel.  Thinking of watching my daughter go through anything remotely close literally brings tears to my eyes.  Of course, I would do anything in the world to help her and stand by her no matter what but emotionally it would be very difficult.  Caregiver stress is extremely difficult.  I know what being a person with chronic pain feels like.  As a medical social worker I know how difficult it is to see people lose their abilities both physically and mentally and the best thing I ever did as a social worker was counseling.  But, I have never been a caregiver to a person with chronic pain: so I cannot truly understand the emotions and hell those whom are caregivers go through.  I know if you are going through the worst stages of your journey with chronic pain it feels impossible to thank others because you are in such pain and hell and believe that no one understands you but take a moment today to thank someone who has stood by you through the ups and downs of chronic pain.  I am quite sure I did not thank my dad enough all those years because I hated the life chronic pain dealt me.  So, just in case: Thank you dad.  I love you so much and would absolutely not be in a good place with chronic pain had it not been for you. 

Maybe today you can write a genuine thank you note to your greatest supporter if saying it out loud feels too difficult.  There are many ways to thank someone and it may make you feel a tad better as well.  I truly want to thank all the people who follow my blog and are actually giving what I say a chance.  I am proud of all of you no matter where you are in your journey with chronic pain.  I mean that.  Take five minutes today and thank someone you love that loves you right back despite your diagnosis.

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6 thoughts on “A Day of Thanks

  1. Good post. I thank my husband all the time for staying with me. I am so grateful to him. I could never repay him for all he has done for me. You were blessed to have your father to help you out. I’m sure the day you saw that crazy lady, he was just as distressed as you. That makes sense.

  2. Sam says:

    A very good post and reminder Jess. It’s very easy to get wrapped up in our own struggles and lives & although our loved ones usually know we appreciate the help & understanding, it never hurts to remind them & is good practice to look beyond ourselves. Even though they may not have the same struggles, everyone has things that weigh them down & make life hard or difficult at times. It’s so easy to be consumed by our own lives w/ or w/ out CP and I always feel most useful when I’m able to help someone else, even if that help is just in acknowledging the people that love us & have stood by us. I will do this today & tomorrow, since I have many to thank;) not all as caregivers or even ppl that have always stood by me but just to remind those that I love & care for that I appreciate them & my life wouldn’t be as meaningful w/ out having them in it.
    BTW- thank you so much Jess for all the comfort, understanding, help, inspiration, & encouragement you’ve given me and others in the short time I’ve known you. I truly appreciate how you’ve helped me & inspired me.
    With the utmost respect & sincerity,
    Sam

  3. Great post – I am blessed to have such a supportive family and partner! And the online community we have here is a very special supportive place! We have all lost so much, but that just makes the silver linings more precious.

  4. I read all your posts but somehow I missed this one and only read it today.
    Other than my family the person who has stood by me the most and has been there for me through everything was my high school counsellor, we are really close and I still see her when I visit Dubai and we email every week she knows me better than anyone else in the world and I wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for her. I sent her a email the other day actually just a thank you email for always standing by me, she emailed back saying she appreciated the thanks but there a thank you isn’t necessary and she would always be there for me. When I wrote the email I actually started to cry because her continued support has meant so much to me and I really owe her my life. It felt good to actually thank her for everything though, I’ve never actually said those words to her before.
    I should probably thank my mum too for standing by me but I find it really difficult to talk about my feelings with her, not because she’s not supportive because she is but I’ve just always had real problems with talking to her about emotions and feelings.

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