“If you are resisting something, you are feeding it. Any energy you fight, you are feeding. If you are pushing something away, you are inviting it to stay.”
One of my wisest readers Kate emailed me regarding the concept of non-resistance and I want to share with you her final question on this particular email: “What made it sane for you (chronic pain) acceptance or disagreement?” Do I want a life with chronic pain or any disease for that matter? No. I fought this invisible illness for ten plus years and with each fight and disagreement, my pain intensified along with my depression, anger, and eventually I faced a loss of will to live. It was not until I stopped resisting chronic pain and accepted it as part of my life that I began to live. I no longer wanted to die. I wanted to manage pain in a healthy way and at times I do want to fight it but without acceptance I know for a fact I would never have graduated college, have a family, or be the healthiest version of Jessica I can be despite pain. There are so many things in life that happen to all of us that we do not want but we are unable to change. We can fight and fight and fight but with each battle we just bring more attention to what we do not want because we refuse to accept it. However, once we do accept something whether we want it or not a sense of peace and the beginning of healing occur. So, this is probably the easiest question I have yet to be asked by any reader: I found my life through acceptance: disagreement came close to killing me.
Kate emailed me again regarding her fear of “exaggerating her pain” as those with different diseases seem to manage it better and maybe she in a sense is just being “weak.” No, you are not exaggerating your invisible illness. Comparison is the thief of joy. You have no idea what other people are feeling, how are they are acting, or coping with their particular illness behind closed doors. What you and many of us are doing is overthinking chronic pain and the ailments that come along with it. I have been around people from all walks of life with different medical issues and I will tell you right now, some of the strongest people I have ever met have chronic pain and most of their pain was non-visible. If you could turn your body inside out and the pain was visible, you would feel like a damn rock star and get the support and acknowledgement you deserve. Never doubt your strength, compare your illness with anyone else’s, or feel that you are exaggerating your pain. All of you can relate to Kate’s questions/fears/concerns/and doubts. This post is for everyone suffering from an invisible illness. I applaud Kate for her honesty and strength. Acceptance is key. It is the first step to the ‘healing’ process and will change your life. Beating yourself up for being in pain is counterproductive and you deserve love: love yourself and be proud of yourself. Saying that you should not be upset because someone has it worse is like saying you should not be happy because someone has it better. Focus on you and your journey with chronic pain.
I am so proud of all of you that read my writings. I hope this post reaches you and you give yourself a break. You are a rock star.