What pain has taught me
Pain has taught me that life doesn’t always go as planned, and that’s ok. Even if this isn’t what I intended for my life, that doesn’t mean it can’t be great. That even when I feel like I have to give up, that I cannot go on any longer, I somehow make it through the day, and that shows me that I am a lot stronger than I think I am.
It has taught me that most everyone suffers in some way. To reach out to the people that are hurting. It has taught me more empathy, compassion, and understanding. It has taught me that if someone is grumpy, angry, or isolated it may because they are suffering, or hurting mentally or physically. Most people don’t think about that, and see them as miserable people and don’t reach out to them. Because of what chronic pain has taught me I think beyond that. I wonder what made them that way, and I want to help them because I understand that suffering. I understand being perceived as something negative because I am hurting physically and mentally. Because I appear normal on the outside I am judged by many others when I’m not in a good mood, or down, or must opt out of social events because of this condition. I have learned that other people’s opinions of me do not matter, and that I don’t have to justify my actions or explain myself to others to try and get them to understand if I feel that they don’t believe me.
I have learned self-acceptance. I have learned its ok to not be perfect. I have learned that my self-worth is not based on how good I am at something. Before chronic pain and these diagnosis, I based my confidence and self-worth on my career. It was something I was good at and it made me feel valuable. When I had to quit working, and quit my career I loved so much, I felt like I lost a huge part of me. I had to find mew value in myself, and have found that I am good at a lot of other things I would have never recognized before. I have found these things are more important than my career ever was. In this process and because of my “diagnosis” I have lost so much. I’ve lost my career, babies, my physical and mental health, financial stability, relationships, independence, my self-worth, my self-esteem, my hobbies, my joy, and so much more. In loosing these things, I have learned that I can rebuild my life. I can rebuild myself, and to put total faith in God and His will for my life. I have learned that good can and will come out of this. I have learned to find and search for a different purpose than I would have thought my life was intended for. That this purpose will be greater than I had intended because if I surrender my life to God, He will make all things good.
Pain has taught me that material possessions have no meaning. When at one point in my life when I was financially stable I put a great deal of importance on material things. That the real meaning in life is to love, to give, and to help others. That in helping others, even if it’s just giving advice, being there for them, or being vulnerable and sharing my story, I can help change someone’s life for the better.
Pain has taught me to live in the moment. To let go of the past, and not worry about the future. It has taught me to try to find the good in everything, and in everyone. I can now see the beauty in so much more than I did before, and to be thankful for even the smallest things. That each day is a gift, so I need to do the best I can to make the most out of it, even if that’s just mentally, because maybe physically I can’t. Sometimes the days are so incredibly hard I end up spending most of the day in bed. I have learned that doesn’t mean my day has been wasted. I now know how important self-care is and I have learned to quit putting myself last, and to not push myself so hard when I need to rest.
Pain has taught me that accepting my life as it is doesn’t mean I cant strive for complete healing of my body at the same time. It has taught be to believe in something that most would see impossible, and that that belief gives me hope. Pain has taught me that I can’t do it all. Before chronic pain I placed a high value on independence and being able to do all that life threw at me by myself. I am no longer that person. I have realized I have to ask for help, and that’s ok. That other people helping me is a gift, and has helped me see other people’s love for me I didn’t recognize when I had the “do it all myself” attitude”. Pain has taught me to search for the positive in life and focus on that, and to not dwell on the negative. That through changing my thoughts and shifting my perceptions on what I have experienced in life, I can overcome anything, and use it for good.