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Self Worth and Chronic Pain

“You alone are enough.  You have nothing to prove to anybody.”

Maya Angelo

Yesterday, one of my closest readers whom I speak to daily as she is the definition of “mini me” regarding being a great teenager in the midst of chronic pain hell.  Honestly, I believe anyone that reads my blog who suffers from chronic pain is going to find their way through and have a happy life.  I don’t know when but I know you will.  When I was eighteen the last thing I would be doing is reading a blog on how to accept and manage chronic pain naturally.  The fact that any of you especially my teen readers are even reading my blog proves your self worth, determination, and strength.  I mean that with every fiber of my being.  You are way ahead in the journey with chronic pain than I was at the age of eighteen. 

Mini me asked me yesterday if chronic pain ever made me feel worthless or useless during the many years I have had chronic pain.  OF COURSE!!!!  Self worth is one of the first thing we sadly lose when we have chronic pain.  For at least ten years I felt like the worst person in the world with nothing to offer my friends or family.  I thought all my dreams would never come true and sometimes honestly thought everyone would be happier if I just disappeared: part of the reason I left New Jersey for Colorado without telling a soul.  Part of me believed a new place would “cure” my chronic pain and part of me felt everyone at home would be better off if I was not around.  For people without chronic pain, imagine having a migraine or the flu that was with you twenty four hours a day seven days a week with no help to find.  Yes, we can all handle a migraine for a couple days or the flu for a week but once you hit a whole month and then a whole year with the same symptoms with no answers from doctors, anyone would start to feel like they are worthless.  No wonder so many people with chronic pain isolate themselves or self medicate or unfortunately take their own lives.  However, there is a silver lining.  After living in literal hell for ten years with chronic pain, I found a way to be healthy, happy, and gained self worth.  I did not do it alone.  I had major help and guidance from the Pain Rehab Center in Minnesota but I did the work and changed my life. 

Looking back in time, prior to my experience in Minnesota I know I felt worthless but in reality I wasn’t.  I was loved and people (not many) thought I was amazing and funny and a good person.  All of these things were true but I did not believe them about myself and if you don’t love yourself, you will never believe what outsiders say.  You can believe what I say.  I will never lie to any of you that email me or come to me for help.  If I say you are amazing, I mean it more than you know.  If I tell you, you will be in a good place one day despite chronic pain, I mean it.  The hard part is putting your health first and letting everything else go.  I have written this on more posts than I can count but until I stopped my search (ten plus years) for a cure to my chronic pain, I was not truly living.  I wanted a cure, everyone does but maybe for some of us there is not one.  I totally get if you are looking for help and a cure: this is your personal journey with chronic pain.  I write what has worked for me but will never tell you how to manage your pain.  There are still times I feel worthless or useless when I have difficult days but the difference is that I know things will get better.  Wednesday was one of the most difficult days/nights I have had in a long time.  I cannot believe that used to be my life every day of the week/month/year.  For many of my readers, my Wednesday is your every day.  That is why I applaud you so much.  You are so much stronger than you think if you are reading this right now.  I would not be reading this in my younger years if I ever had the will power to read because of my pain levels.  You may not see it now but you really are worth a lot!!!  Many of you have helped me just by your positive feedback and letting me know that I have helped you even in just a small way.  Remember this is a journey and the path you are on will not always be going the same way.  One day at a time and you can and will get to a point in your journey with chronic pain where you live the life you never thought possible.  I will be with you every step of the way. 

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3 thoughts on “Self Worth and Chronic Pain

  1. Realizing that everything I need is already inside of me is something that I’ve been working on lately. Reading “Nothing Changes Until You Do” by Mike Robbins helped a lot, along with the meditation that he included in the book. If I don’t see myself as worthwhile others won’t either so looking outside of myself is just silly. But, pain does tear us down and eat us up. We hurt and we take it out on those who are closest to us and in turn they bite back making us feel even worse. It’s a vicious cycle, but if we can remember that we are more than our pain, and that no matter what our pain is keeping us from doing we are valuable, we can lash out less and holds those close to us closer.

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