The Impact of Chronic Pain


How Chronic Pain Changes Your Outlook

The Impact of Chronic PainI have friends and family who believe always being positive is what keeps bad things from coming into your life. Apparently everyone is a magnet, including me.

With fibromyalgia causing me variable measures of pain every day, they do not understand it is nearly impossible for me to remain positive. They point an accusing finger and say my outlook on life is very negative and that is why I am not getting better. They say that is why I have fibromyalgia.

First I ask, “Who says that to someone?” Do they point judgmental fingers at people with cancer?

Next, I understand having a positive outlook is indeed helpful in perseverance and how you go about your life, but that does not mean you are supposed to be fake when every day you are wondering how you will make it through. It is easy for them to have a positive outlook because they are healthy, and seemingly, nothing bad ever seems to happen to them.

I do try to have a positive outlook too, really I do. I appreciate the good days when I wake up and for some unknown reason, or my combination of medication and self-care actually come together perfectly, I am thankful and hopeful for having a less-challenging day. I achieve a positive attitude, but sadly, it is quickly dashed when I wake up the next day and it is all I can do to get out of bed without tears falling.

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Faced with this constant rollercoaster of uncertainty and debilitating pain most of the time, it becomes harder and harder to even pretend my outlook on life is positive, never mind feel it 24/7.

Confession: My Outlook Is Painful

So, that is my confession. My outlook has changed because of fibromyalgia and I don’t think being fake will solve the problem. Pain wears on you and that place deep inside of you; perhaps your soul.

You become weary from the daily struggles and keeping up with expectations from your job, friends, and family. Happy occasions and celebrations become one more thing you must get through or manage.

Spontaneity vanishes as you must plan ahead for everything in order to get through it. Life’s joy can be found in many of those spontaneous moments, and with fibromyalgia, your life is robbed of those moments.

Think about it. With fibromyalgia, I can no longer just take the kids on a surprise adventure, like going to the park and then out to our favorite bakery. Sounds so simple and enjoyable, doesn’t it?

But, I have to plan it on a day when I wake up and the pain level is in check, so I think I can handle all that is required; a lot walking and playing. Other people take the ability to do all of that, with no planning it out and weighing their health that morning, completely for granted.  I no longer have that luxury.

Why I Anticipate the Negative — Even When I Want to Be Positive

I also know that what I do on a good day will probably come back to bite me the next. I will hurt badly the next day and maybe be so exhausted I will struggle to get through my day. It will be a day that makes me regret my time of joy.

Next page: how to overcome negativity and change your outlook.

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