Chronic pain takes a lot out of… a life. But not everything.
I get the feeling that people expect us to suffer even when we do not suffer. That we should just Dwell in suffering. Wallow in in it. How dare you enjoy yourself… that is for happy, healthy people. How dare you go on vacation… what do you even Need one for?
What is worse… I think we do it to Ourselves after a while. Like we are not even worthy of leisure time. I get this, I do. My insurance company recently told me how I was significantly improved because I dare go out a socialize once every couple of weeks, or every three weeks. How dare I? And surely, indeed that must mean I am cured, right?
It does in fact not mean that at all.
It does mean that I wanted to improve my mood, as told by my psychologist and others, and was told to socialize as a component to this. Even in pain. As it makes you Feel better about life in general. And to also not do things based on how I Felt, or I would never do anything, but rather to plan to do things and plan accordingly. That seems counter-productive but it does seem when you are in constant pain you simply never would feel like socializing or for that matter much else, to be honest. Which is why you plan and ensure you take into account your limitations and pacing. Or so the pain clinic explained to me. Obviously, with an acute migraine plans change, but sometimes I can take a triptan and lower the intensity. Sometimes I can go for a short time and when the migraine hits go home early, nothing wrong with that.
And get my gleams of sunshine. Which in fact, I think I deserve. In all this pain, don’t we? Deserve just a little joy when we can get it? Why do we insist we cannot rest. We must productive at all times because we are less productive so every moment must Mean something. When I was told to meditate I had a real hard time with it… because I felt like I was doing Nothing and Nothing is Wrong, right? Even if it helps me help myself, it is still wrong in my mind because it was not productive enough.
This concept we should be wallowing in our poor health and never doing anything that pleases us is really a form of stigma. When we do it to ourselves, a form of internal stigma. We are saying we must behave in a certain way because we don’t deserve to be happy.
Have your gleams of sunshine. Take them. Enjoy them. Damn what others think about that because it is for you and your quality of life… not theirs. And really their opinions are useless. They have no concept of chronic illness and its treatment. So you should do what is good for you. Not them.