Technically I have been up since 10:30 am, but today was a day that I just wanted to stay in bed. (Now that I see the long list of things I need to do today, I wish I had gotten up earlier. Oh well.) And here is part of the daily reality of chronic pain sufferers and the many reasons we don’t do things according to your standards:
- It’s not just a natural form of tiredness, such as a lack of sleep, although many of us have that problem too. We’re also tired as a result of medication, various levels of pain experienced on that day, memory loss, physical inability, emotional and mental drain as well as the constant struggle to do the simple, daily tasks you take for granted.
- Worry and uncertainty. I know we’re “not supposed to worry and exercise faith”, but seeing your declining health and abilities is enough to cause anxiety and panic for anyone. Imagine having a Charlie horse that never went away and turned into paralysis. This is the life of chronic pain sufferers as we try to remain positive and hope for improvement, while balancing our changing reality and a growing list of things you no longer can do or must make adjustments for.
- Anger/Annoyance. The level varies from person to person, but both exist, even on a small scale. Some sufferers cannot get pass the “why me” stage; others are angered or depressed by the outward stares or remarks, depending on the outward appearance of their disability.
- Nutritional deficiencies. Depending on your state of health at any given moment, and what level of help you have, you have to make certain choices. Some days your greatest task will be getting out of bed and taking a shower. Other times you may feel like your old self and able to go to a social event, cook a quick meal or go to the movies. Nevertheless, depending on your life of illness or disability, eating, hydration and supplementation may not be a high priority on your list. Caution: this is a great way to break your body down and worsen your impairment.
For some, just reading this makes you cry or extend your sympathy. I always tell others, “Don’t feel sorry for me. Others would kill to trade places for the abilities I do have”. As The Joy Guru, I use my chronic pain as a reminder to not take life for granted and that we all can do nothing outside of God’s power.
Truly I am thankful and reminded of all the things on my bucket list that I accomplished before I even knew that a “bucket list” was. God blessed me with the wisdom, after surviving childhood abuse, depression and contemplating suicide, to find a way to enjoy life beyond what I saw or knew. He pressed upon me in my late teens, to work hard and save money so I could experience His handiwork in other parts of the world.
Looking at my current state of health, although I believe that it ain’t over or this is the end, I’m so grateful that I silenced the opinions of others and lived life on my own terms. Chronic pain or not, I will do the same today, but just on a difference level.
It’s 12:02 pm and I’m just getting out of bed: thank you God for the precious gift of life and my portion of health, life and strength on TODAY, so I could GET UP!
–Alesha Brown, The Joy Guru
Empowerment Coach, Motivational Speaker and Best Selling Author
CEO, Alesha Brown LLC