Inspiration through Chronic Illness

I think this is as important a part of the deconstruction of fibromyalgia as any chronic pain illness. Just as there are misconceptions about chronic pain there are so many inspirational thoughts, which people in the non-pain community can learn from and perhaps see their chronic pain friends and family in a different light.

Ten Ways Chronic Pain Inspires

1.)Find joy in all things- It’s not easy, but pain teaches you to appreciate every small way in which there can be some measure of joy. Whether it is an undisturbed nap, or a moment of play-time with pet or cuddle time with a child, there is joy to be found in those moments.

2.)Appreciate every day- Good or bad, happy or sad, find a way to appreciate every day because you may not have another. Chronic pain is in its own way, terminal, and you learn to appreciate everything about every day. Even if you do not have a chronic pain illness, our time here as humans is short, just a brief glimpse in the span of the universe. Love the time you have here and make it worthwhile.

3.)Appreciate Your Friends and Family- Those that stick with you during your times of struggle and who make an effort to understand what you are going through and who make you smile are worth every ounce of extra attention you have to give. Make them a priority, make them feel special because we all need people who love and care about us in our life. This is important to all of us, as humans, we need people. So do not take them for granted.

4.)Do Not Take For Granted Your Job- If you have a job, whether it is one you can do from home or one you travel to, be thankful for it. As someone who recently lost her job because of chronic pain, you don’t know what you have until you lose it. And it is not simply because income was lost, it was because a feeling of self worth was lost with that job. We all need to feel like we are doing something constructive in our lives, that we are making a difference even if it is only that paycheck that we bring home and enables us to live an easier life. So don’t take it for granted.

5.)Playtime: Not just for Kids – This may sound absurd, especially coming from someone who deals with chronic pain, but play time is so important. Even if it is only for 5-10 minutes, playing fetch with your dog or getting out the feather and messing around with your cat, or even a game with the kids or by yourself. Play time is essential to disconnecting from reality and having a laugh which sends endorphins to the brain and makes you feel better. Not only is this critical for chronic pain, to help alleviate it some but everyone can benefit. Laughter is amazing medicine.

6.) Naptime Does the Body Good- Like playtime, naptime is essential. You don’t have to nap every day, but sometimes you need to so heed the call of your body and take 15 minutes or so to rest. Most times, even people with chronic pain feel restored after a small nap and can press on with the rest of their day.

7.)Sometimes It’s the Small Battles- Get excited about those small conquests. Sometimes it’s not about winning the war. People forget that, chronic illness or not, that sometimes it’s the little things that matter and that we should get excited about. The journey starts with one small step. Be joyful about every single small step you take.

8.)Remember You Aren’t a Pizza- We all have a way of trying to be superhuman. Whether it’s working too much, or trying to get all the kids to different sports or hobbies, or trying to please everyone. It doesn’t work, ever. There is a cost to what you sacrifice and it’s not worth it. Slow down, take a breath and remember you are not a pizza and you can’t please everyone. You’re also not Superman and you can’t do everything. Those around you will understand and will enjoy you more if you take a moment to respect your body and its limitations and rest. Listen to your body, not your mind.

9.)Find Acceptance- This is not easy but it is crucial for one’s sanity. There are so many things in our lives we can’t change that we might not like, but we need to accept things and find peace so we can move on and grow as individuals. Also, so many things become more manageable when we find acceptance. Our priorities shift and our goals change and we become happier.

10.)One Day at a Time- Each and every one of us has things we deal with. I never have been the sort to measure struggles of others against my own and say “Oh, my stuff is way worse,” but i know others have. Our problems are relative to our lives and though some might seem like their problems are nowhere near our own, to them it is. We need to accept that as friends and also, in our own life and give ourselves time to deal with things. Small steps. One day at a time. On the bad days focus on one positive thing and let that carry you forward. We all need to have that beacon shining in the dark.

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