Where so many who deal with chronic pain and illness fall short is in resisting the reality of their lives. We resist the pain, we debate the doctors, we fight and claw for our former place in life, and we resist the change that has occurred and that needs to occur in order for us to develop a strategy for coping and regaining control again.
Resistance brings a lack of peace and produces constant stress and turmoil. Now logically, of course we want to resist pain. Who enjoys pain? But resisting it, trying to be brave through it, denying it or hiding it doesn’t take the pain away. It only makes it worse.
So rather than resisting the pain, the fatigue, and the debilitating moments of flare ups, we must stop fighting the very things that are now a part of our lives. Rather, we must move beyond self-pity or even denial to finding acceptance of these conditions so we can effectively begin to think outside the box for ways to cope and ultimately thrive in spite of them and beyond them.
You might ask, “How long does this process take from diagnosis, to lifestyle change, to continued pursuit of your dreams?”
Well that depends on you! For me, I fought the change for fifteen years. I tried to maintain a regular work schedule and continue to build a career working forty hours a week.
I ended up struggling through five jobs in fifteen years with months and months of sick days during, and long breaks in between those jobs. I was resisting the inevitable. My body had changed, my energy level had diminished, my routine and structure had been forever disrupted, and I could not do what I had once done.
That did not mean I was not useful, productive, or that my dreams for what I envisioned for myself had to fall by the wayside. It simply meant that I had to shift gears, restructure my goals, stop resisting and think outside the box for ways to get to where I longed to be.
So this process is entirely up to you. You can either be miserable or you can stop resisting and begin to move towards the happy peaceful life that will allow you to fulfill your dreams and even be an inspiration along the way.
In the struggle to release yourself from the things that hold you inside the box and cause you to resist the changes in your life, there are questions that must be asked. These questions require courage to answer if you plan on continuing the pursuit of your dreams and the things that you desire in your life.
I suggest you take some alone time to ask yourself these questions. I had to pull away from those who were trying to smother me with care and love and help for a short while, to simply sit with myself so I could hear myself think.
My family meant well. They wanted to help me with the daily tasks that had become daunting. My employer wanted to cover for me and protect me from the inevitable. There is a fine line between helping and enabling a mindset of resistance and of denial.
So I found some time alone and asked those hard questions. What was I resisting most? Was it the pain? The reality of a career change? The fear of fragile relationships? The financial decisions? The loss of independence? Once I looked at myself and my life in the light of truth, I was able to begin my quest for positive solutions to some rather negative answers.
Next page: how to live outside the box