“With chronic illness (chronic pain) you have a lot……of bad days strung together. Don’t give up! A good day is coming!”
People with chronic pain are the strongest people I have ever met. Most do not realize their strength but you must believe me it is there, hidden under all of your fears (False Evidence Appearing Real.) This post is dedicated to a woman who has recently began reading and emailing me about her difficult journey with chronic pain. Here is what truly sucks about chronic pain: you take a person who has run her whole life or been through terrible hardships such as divorce or loss of a spouse and their willpower and determination get them through these tough times. Then chronic pain hits, sometimes out of no where and those people cannot find that same determination and willpower to barrel through the tunnel of pain. This is true for me and I would bet a lot of money it is true for most of my readers. I have written this before but it is true: brain surgery, miscarriages, losses, financial problems, etc. were a cakewalk compared to my life with chronic pain. I was strong and positive and was able to manage awful events that have taken place in my lifetime. Brain surgery was awesome compared to a life with chronic pain. I spent a third of my life in total misery because of the physical pain I endured day and night. I could not find strength, determination, or any kind of willpower. I wanted to give up on my entire life. Chronic pain took all the amazing qualities in me away for a long time.
How do we find that gumption and positivity when it comes to chronic pain? You are not going to like my answer, I apologize. The answer to that question is that I do not know. However, that gumption and determination come out of no where: you just have no idea when that will be. Of course you want it now. Who the hell wouldn’t? You must turn your brain off when it comes to the questions no one can answer. Turn those questions into statements. “I do not know when I will find the strength and positivity to manage chronic pain but I know for a fact it will come.” I know this to be true. This is not to say one can just sit around watching television crying day and night, waiting for that gumption to return. Anything worth having takes a lot of work. A week ago I wrote a post on my regiment for managing chronic pain naturally which has allowed me to live a happy life despite chronic pain. I encourage you to read that post and I will write more tricks of the trade. I am not going to lie to you, you may be very hopeless and discouraged for a long time ( Man, I sound so positive.) I am just being real with you. It is okay to not have the answers because they are going to come to you. I remember walking around the lake we live on about six months following my stay at the Pain Rehab Center at the Mayo Clinic. I was with my dad and I had been working my ass off every day to the regiment of managing chronic pain naturally. We were just walking along the path looking at the lake, ducks, and trees. We were talking, about what I do not know but it was just a relaxing, fun walk just my dad and I. I stopped walking all of a sudden and had one of the most profound moments I have ever had. I realized for the first time since my bike accident and my years with chronic pain that I had not thought about pain for our entire walk. It was one of the greatest days of my life. I was happy. I had strength, determination, and hope. It came out of no where, just as it will for you.
As most of you know, my biggest tool regarding managing chronic pain is not talking about pain and using distractions to keep my focus off of how I physically feel. The same goes for what a lot of you are thinking about: “Where is my strength and determination?” “When will I be happy and not allow pain to take over my life?” STOP ASKING THOSE QUESTIONS. Turn all expectations off. Let it happen as it happened for me. Stop beating yourself up. The strength that has carried through hardships is the same strength that will carry you through chronic pain and lead you to a happy fulfilling life. It will happen. . However, the more you ask yourself these questions the slower your answers will come.
TRUST AND LET IT GO