I am blogging for National Invisible Illness Awareness Week. The topic for today: just one memory you made that you treasure, despite how much pain you were in.
I have more than a few memories I treasure despite the pain. There are times when we do things even though we know the consequences of those actions. Or times when we want to establish memories with our family because it is important to us.
I look back at a time in my life that was very important to me but also quite difficult in terms of coping with the pain. I was newly away from home which is difficult to adapt to on its own but adds a new edge to coping with pain as you try to establish limits and moderation. Not to mention I was developing migraines on top of the fibromyalgia at the time. This would be for my undergraduate studies at a small university in a small city near to where I grew up.
I treasure this time for many reasons. Mentally I thrived in that academic enviroment. So the experience is something I will always remember fondly. The knowledge something I will always value. The life experiences something that I really rather enjoyed. I may have had to live within limits and moderation… but I lived. I enjoyed. I had some fun in my twenties with my peers.
It was also when I met my spouse so I will always remember that time fondly. Those are all extremely good memories to me. It can be difficult to meet someone with a chronic illness. To figure out how to even date them in a way that works within your limits but we did and it worked for us. We went out on days when I could. Stayed in we, with my roommates, would play a card game called canasta instead. I know, wild and crazy nights. Understand though, I had to live within moderation then and now.
My spouse and I took a trip together to Halifax back then which is another memory I quite enjoy. There was pain. I remember that from all the walking. There were migraines. I remember that from timing when I could take a triptan. However, there was also a lot of fun stuffed into that visit as I met his family and childhood friends as well.
When we look at the past nostalgically it is not always ‘I can no longer do want I once could’ or ‘look at all the compromises I had to make’ or look at all the possibilities I had to loss due to my health’. Sometimes we can look at our past and see what we could do with our health. The good memories. Our family. Our friends, Our spouse. How we were able to work with or around our illness. How well we coped. Or how we were able to cope better. The new coping tricks we picked up along the way. The fact is we learn all these ways to cope and utilize them, never looking at how much better we get at it… we always look at what we fail to do, not at the successes.