Living with Chronic Pain
…But Living with Joy Anyway
When living day to day with a chronic illness or pain, it can be difficult sometimes to see the silver lining and stay positive. When the weight of your condition is constantly at the focal point of your mind, it’s understandable that there will be some days when you feel like you want to fall apart, but the key to living with joy while be affected by a chronic illness is to not let those low moments consume you.
It’s normal to find yourself saturated in your pity party, in fact, do it for as long as you need to; but discouraging as it may get at times, you need to understand that you can’t live there. While mourning the loss of health, working on sustaining a healthy, positive, and determined mindset is the first step in overcoming the challenges you’ve been served.
1. You need to put yourself first, and not feel bad about it.
Whether you require extra time to get ready, sleep, eat, whatever it may be, don’t rush yourself or feel that your condition has made you a burden to others. If you can’t be there for yourself, you can expect someone else to. Take it a day at a time.
2. It’s not your fault that you’re sick.
The last thing you should be doing is putting the blame on yourself. You didn’t ask to live with your condition, so you shouldn’t take every day as if you deserve it. This does not make you a failure and is not a deficit of your own character.
3. Take this as a lesson, not a defeat.
When you ask for strength, you get that by receiving hardships to make you strong. This wasn’t thrown upon you so you could kneel down and let it consume you. Viktor Frankl once said, “In some way, suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning.” Facing your illness head on helps to grow your character, educate and support others, and builds compassion and understanding.
4. Find a support system
The best way to not feel alone is to not be. Finding like-minded individuals who are either in the same boat or have supported you in your journey thus far are great to have around. You can never have too much encouragement and support from those who want nothing more than to see you happy.
5. Find a great doctor
This can be easier said than done, but if you can find a doctor that genuinely cares and takes the time with you and your circumstance, the difference it will make is amplifying. The more comfortable you are with your doctor, the more at ease you’ll feel to be more open and honest in describing your case to develop and implement the best medical treatment possible.
6. Be happy for not only yourself, but others.
We all know the age old saying “misery loves company”, but being bitter over those who are healthier than you does nothing productive for your state of mind. Anger and jealousy have no room in your positive hierarchy. If you want to receive love, you must radiate and send it out as well.
You may not have control over your pain or illness, but you will never not have control over how you perceive and cope with it. By following these 6 steps, you are well on your way of living a life with chronic illness, but living with joy at the same time.