“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.”
As I was lying in bed last night half watching Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, ( guilty pleasure) I began going through all the pictures I have on my phone as I wanted to post what I am most grateful for on “Instagram.” I could not pick just one picture so I posted a few with a Jessica quote: “You do not know how much you are grateful for until you have to pick one picture or thing.” One of the biggest problems with our world is that we speak about our problems more than we talk about our blessings. I am totally guilty of this belief, however I am now cognizant of this and want to work on the words that come out of my mouth.
Most of you know that I do not talk about chronic pain, ever. Everyone knows I had a bike accident and I have had chronic pain for about fifteen years. Not talking about pain is one of the biggest tools I use to manage pain naturally and not think about my physical pain. Reason? The more I talk about pain, the more I think about pain. The body hears everything the mind thinks or the mouth utters and frankly I do not want to focus on my pain. Clearly, the routines and concepts I use to manage chronic pain and live a happy life work for me and I truly believe can work for anyone with an invisible illness. Why have I not used the same technique (not talking about my pain) in other areas of my life? Sure, I have a lot I could and do bitch about. Sure, I have not had the easiest life and I could spend a ton of time writing out each tragedy I have faced since birth and all the things I wish I could change in my life. I am not going to do that. That is not to say we should not vent and speak to people about what is bothering us or write our problems down. Of course we need to get that stuff out but do we need to do it endlessly? No. If we spend the majority of our conversations speaking about the negatives in our lives, the negatives will increase and you and I will end up with more things to complain about: this I know.
So, what I am grateful for? What better day to write my gratitude list here on my website for all to read. The first thing that will always come to mind first is my daughter, Kayci. She brings me so much joy, laughter, and life. I am so grateful to be a mother and I am damn proud of the mother I am. I always knew my “calling” in life was family and motherhood but I never thought I could love someone as much as I love my daughter. I think way too often about what I am doing wrong as a mother as opposed to all the things I do well. When I think about the things I am not doing “great” I realize how little they matter in grand scheme of life. No, Kayci is not yet potty trained and yes she is addicted to her binky. These two things will be okay. Kayci is not going to be a five yr old or twenty yr old wearing diapers and using a binky. It is no damn secret I cannot wait for the day my husband and I have another child. I spent so much time stressing and focusing on the fear that I would never get pregnant that my body was just too stressed to possibly do what I wanted it to. We will have more children but right now we are beyond blessed to have such an amazing, smart, funny, empathetic daughter who reminds me so much of myself it scares me. I look up to my daughter as her zest for life and happiness is something I lose way too often as an adult with chronic pain.
I am beyond grateful for my husband. Marriage is hard and it has been tested as most relationships are but I love him so much and truly need to work on focusing on all the amazing things he does instead of bitching about all the things that annoy me. He is hilarious and I love that I can totally be my quirky, odd, silly self with him. I love that he is always on top of bills and too often take for granted the little things he does daily such as making sure we always have bottled water, milk, and I have never once gone into our bathroom and there is not a roll of toilet paper. I know how silly that sounds but he is always on top of these things that I just forget to say thank you. Each night he makes sure that I have enough blankets and I never wake up in the middle of the night cold because he checks to make sure I am fully covered before he goes to sleep. I love that our love for one another is much stronger than I ever knew. He may drive me nuts at times and of course we have had problems but our love and strength keep us strong. Many say we are total opposites: Dharma and Greg. However, our differences compliment one another and balance our lives out. More importantly our similarities are what make us awake each morning knowing we each married our best friend.
I am very grateful for my family, especially my dad who has been my rock for thirty three years. He is the most giving, accepting, funny person one could ever meet. As I get older I see that he is human and has flaws and quirks just like everyone else. However, he is the closest person to an angel I have ever met. I am not just saying this because he is my dad: ask anyone, he is truly remarkable. I am just the lucky girl who is able to call him: dad. It would take me a long time to write about each family member I am grateful for but let me just say, being a Martin is pretty awesome. My family was extended once I married my husband and in the grand scheme of things I got pretty lucky with my in-laws. My father in-law and I have a bond that is very hard to explain but I love him so much and am so grateful he is my second dad. My mother in-law has a huge heart and is someone I can go to if I ever just want to cry and be held. My brother in-law is not only hilarious but loves me as a sister and although he may be disappointed with me at times, he is also extremely supportive and forgiving. He pisses me off as a brother would but days later I find myself texting him a joke or wondering how he is doing as he lives in Florida. I have to admit, as difficult as in-laws can be for anyone, I am truly blessed with mine. I love them all to the point that I truly hate the term in-law, they are my second Mom, Dad, and Brother.
There are many friends I am grateful for but Lindsay, who lives all the way across the country is not only the strongest woman I know but the person who understands me more than anyone. I do not call her my best friend as she has been my sister since I was twelve years of age. She always can see the good in me and we are so alike in every way it is no wonder that our friendship/sisterhood never changes despite the many miles between us. I am so lucky to have Lindsay as a sister. She is such a gift.
Finally (although, I really could write so many more things I am grateful for but number one on my list is now awake and yelling my favorite word “Mommy”) I am grateful for each person who reads my blog and is actually willing and strong enough to think outside the box regarding their chronic pain. I write this for all of you and know at some point this will help thousands with your support and encouragement. You are all amazing and as I have written before, you are so much stronger than you think. If I saw something about accepting and managing chronic pain naturally fifteen years ago, I would have punched the computer and be in total disbelief that my story is real and possible. You are much further in your path with chronic pain than you realize.
Happy Thanksgiving. If nothing else, let us all try and talk more about what we are grateful for and the things that make us happy and a little less time complaining and talking about what we wish we could change. Try and pick one picture or one thing you are grateful for. Good luck. Once you see that you cannot pick just one thing, you will then realize how blessed you are.