I know my post on Sunday wasn’t my normal positive self. I’d like to thank everyone who commented on it. You were the little extra boost I needed on Sunday.
Sunday was one of my bad days and I couldn’t even fake being positive until I actually was positive. I felt awful. My mind was swirling with a never-ending stream of all the hurts in my body and lots of other worries. I think I needed to be honest on Sunday about every little hurt I was feeling. Some days are like that. You wake up and you want to deny that you feel like crap. You want to wish the pain away. You want to twitch your nose like on Bewitched and have your normal life back. Unfortunately, those things don’t work. We can only be honest with ourselves and our loved ones about how we are feeling. I think the honesty with ourselves is hardest part for me. For a long time, I ignored my pain. I blocked it out of my mind. I pushed my body to function to my normal standards. I pushed and pushed until I couldn’t push anymore. My body let me know it was done. I had to step back and acknowledge my pain and eventually learn to accept it. Acceptance isn’t forever for me. It’s not something I achieve once and I’m good from then on. Some days, like Sunday, I wake up and some part of me deep down wants to deny all of my pain. Wants to go back in time to before I hurt so much. Once I wrote my post on Sunday, my mind cleared. It was like putting down each pain I was feeling wiped my thoughts clean. I didn’t have to try to break that destructive circle of thoughts that won’t stop unless you make it. Blogging about my pain cleared my mind and let me focus on what I needed: rest for the work week ahead. By evening, I was even able to do some light exercise. I wasn’t up to my usual amount of daily exercise, but that’s okay. At least I got up and moved around and stretched my muscles out.
Living in chronic pain is hard. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Mom, if you’re reading, don’t cry over this next part. I think it’s harder than suddenly losing my father when he was only 53 was. When you experience the pain of losing a loved one, eventually you learn how to grieve and accept it. That pain doesn’t ever fully go away, but it gets a lot smaller. It isn’t on your mind every single second of every single day. Chronic pain isn’t like that though. Sometimes it’s better, sometimes — like Sunday — it’s worse. But it’s always there. It occupies a large part of your thoughts all day, every day. You find your own ways to cope with it as best you can, because what other choice do you have? Life goes on, despite the pain.
I have the saying in the image above hanging on the wall of my sitting room. That’s the room where I do yoga and meditate. It’s my room. My space. When I found the print with this quote, I knew I had to have it. Life isn’t about waiting for the storm. Chronic pain is a never-ending storm. There is no waiting game. It’s always there. If you wait for the storm to worsen — like it did for me on Sunday — then you’re just wasting your time. It will get worse, but then it will get better. All we can do is learn to dance in the rain. I’ve learned a lot in the past few years. Chronic pain is harsh teacher, but has taught me some important lessons. One of those is to stay in the moment. Experience that moment as best I can. I’m not always successful at it. Sometimes, like Sunday, I get overwhelmed by the pain and all the ways its changed me, changed my life. I’m still learning to be mindful and stay in the moment. I’m still learning to dance in the rain.