Here’s the thing: we all struggle to cope with chronic pain while trying to live a functional life to some extent.
No one said it would be easy or fair and, man, I wish we all could get a break once in a while, but it is what it is.
However, sometimes we get lost in the struggle to do what we need to do. It is taxing and draining and there is never anything left over to do something just for ourselves. As I said in the past I think we need distractions and hobbies to just do something we enjoy doing for the sake of the enjoyment. Not what we need to do. Not what we have to do. Not just for pure survival. Want we want for the pure joy of it.
For me, that is writing. I write novels and self-publish them. And I have a blog under my pen name you can check out for that Lily Hamilton. I enjoy both immensely and it gets me out of the pain a bit. No matter how ‘distracting’ work may be it is always fighting to work through the pain because I need to because I have to. Writing is about absorbing myself into an activity I take pleasure in, that takes me out of the moment of pain. And even though the activity is not considered important to others, there is no function for it, the enjoyment I receive from doing it makes it more vital than anything else I do. If we cannot find enjoyment in One thing then we will struggle with all the whys of why we have to struggle with pain, why we have to tolerate it, why we have to do all the things we do while we suffer. Just One thing needs to be for ourselves and no defined by the expectations of others and not defined by the need to tolerate pain. Something others cannot control or define, something the pain cannot take from us.
I reminded myself of that this weekend, after a brutal migraine month with the future looking to be just as brutal for awhile… I thought to myself why am I focusing on that? Yeah, there are things I need to do, just like everyone else in the same boat as me, and there are so many of us. Yeah, when I think about it, it just does not seem worthwhile to endure all that pain for a paycheque. Necessary, but not pleasant. And writing is not about others at all, yes you put it out there for others to enjoy, but it all comes from within. And I realized I needed to write more often, just for myself, just because it is an activity not defined by pain that makes me happy. It struck me that the act itself is just as necessary for my survival. So I relaxed this weekend working on a novel and on another blog post… and I felt good about the progress I made and I thought less about the pain I was in.
So whatever that One thing is for you I suggest you do it more because it is just as necessary to your survival, self-worth and your emotional wellbeing. I think we should promise ourselves that much. Just a little time to enjoy something just because. We do so much because we have to because we think we should and we lie to ourselves by thinking we need to do those things for ourselves but we know it is for others, and that is fine, but we owe it to ourselves to do something just for ourselves.