Living with chronic illness is tough. It is draining and frustrating. When your pain level is high, it is hard to feel grateful. Personally I have found that if I turn my focus to the smallest of positives my mindset starts to change. Before long my pain level drops.
Having a grateful heart allows us to see more of the blessings we already have. It gives us the ability to tell a better story.
Take the time to enjoy all of God’s miracles. They are all around if you just cease the opportunity to look around. How often do you get to see a hummingbird perched in a tree? (Note- I took this photo in my
backyard yesterday morning)
Whether you are dealing with chronic illness, being overwhelmed, or any of life’s other downers you can still find positives. When we have grateful heart we open ourselves up to be able to taken in the beauty/miracles all around us. So, if we take a moment to just stop and take a breath we will find there are good things all around us. It could be a simple smile, someone opening a door for you, or just enjoying God’s beautiful sunshine.
Life is not always easy, but when we have a grateful heart we can all still find the positives. When we seek the positives, we discover our outlook can change allowing to keep moving forward and tell a better story. Miracles are all around us for us to enjoy.
Each day we open our eyes is another opportunity to keep moving forward. Even the smallest of steps is a step forward. When dealing with chronic illness some days feel like you take one step forward and 5 steps back. Between dealing with the pain, the medications, and daily life it can be overwhelming.
Yet, the smallest of steps is still moving in the right direction. Just sitting up for a few minutes at a time is a start. Remembering to allow ourselves to have down time is important. Just because one day is bad doesn’t mean all days will be bad. I know from my own experience that sometimes I may only one day where my pain is at a 6 to an 8 most of the day, while at other times it is 4 to7 days in a row. Making it difficult to see end through it all. During these times I pray a lot and make sure I allow myself time to recover. Focusing on every little positive step allows me to remember that any movement is movement forward. It is important to flood our brains with the positives instead of negatives because as humans we tend to focus on the negative.
Life can be full of negative moments, but there are many more positive ones. So, if we focus on those we will find ourselves more able to deal with our issues allowing us to keep moving forward and overcome so much more. Every day we have the choice to allow the negative moments to take over or to focus on the blessings we are given every day.
All we have to do is open our eyes and we can see all things He has created. If He created us and all things that surround us than how can we doubt that anything is impossible?
Have faith and hope because “Where there is faith, and there is hope, Miracles Transpire. ” No matter where we are or what circumstances we gave God is with us. All we have to do is ask Him. He loves us unconditionally and wants us to depend on Him.
Each morning I awake in pain facing the fact that I am disabled. Yet, I know that through every breath God is by my side. Even on the days I can barely get out of bed and requiring me to take extra medication just to move. He keeps me moving forward and helps me push through it all. Because of Him I am walking again instead of being in a wheelchair. Because of Him I am continuing to improve even almost 4 years out. They maybe baby steps but they are steps. Don’t give up hope because each day we are given is another day for a miracle to happen.
As someone who deals with chronic pain daily there are just some things, I wish people would stop saying to me and to others who suffer from chronic pain due to illnesses such as Spinal Cord Injury, Chiari Malformation, Fibromyalgia, MS, and Lupus to name a few. Me and my fellow suffers realize that people just want to be helpful and offer their opinions and/or advice to try to lessen the pain or help us find other ways to cope and deal with the pain. Rest assured that most of us that deal with chronic illness and pain daily want nothing more for the pain, fatigue, and other symptoms to just go away even if it is just for the moment.
So here are some things that others would not say to me or to my fellow suffers:
1) Your pain really is not that bad. Well, let me say for all of us who suffer from any chronic painful illness, IT IS REAL! The pain and fatigue are real. The sleepless nights are real. The intensity may vary during the day, but if we were not taking medication on a regular basis most of us would become non-functional and have pain of 10+.
2) We all get aches and pains as we get older. Yes, we all to get more aches and pains, but the pain most of us battling chronic illness have is intensified. And for a great many of us we begin to experience pain at an age when we should not hurt.
3) If you sleep more you will feel better. Well, sleep is important, but unfortunately the ability stay asleep is a challenge. Often even after a full night of sleep for people with SCI, nerve damage, Lupus, and Fibromyalgia we still do not awake refreshed because the body does not get into the deepest stage of sleep. Therefore, even if you manage to stay asleep for several hours, you are most likely not going to awaken feeling refreshed. This is the reason that sleep aids are often prescribed. And even then, they do not always help.
4) You need to get more exercise. Most suffers have treatment plans which include exercise, but it must be approached slowly and carefully to avoid triggering a flare. Currently, I exercise at least 1 hr. at least 4 times per week. When my pain remains low, I take advantage of it and exercise more. But we must also listen to our bodies and allow for down time even if it takes more than one day to recuperate. Some days just rolling over hurts.
5) You do not look sick. If we let ourselves go and really showed how bad we feel, then people would not want to be around us. Yet, when we try to focus on feeling better and put on a “brave face” then we do not look sick. I know that for me personally when I do my hair and make-up I tend to feel better even if I must rest afterwards. Remember, sickness has many different levels and faces.
People mean well. Most often the comment comes from a place of genuine caring and they just want to help. This note is for them. Please be considerate and think before you speak. It is not easy for those of us with living with illnesses that cause chronic pain. It can also prevent an extremely negative response for the person with the illness. People tend to be a bit grumpy when they do not feel at their best. May God bless us all as we go on this journey together.