chronic illness Uncategorized

When you are in a good mood and in pain

I may be chronically ill but I am also me. And me_ Well I am not afraid to be goofy or weird.So be you!

Sometimes you are in pain and you are in a very good mood. And isn’t a contradiction. It is life with chronic pain. I have a migraine today and it isn’t a pleasant one but I am in a good mood for no particular reason. I have also rested, used ice, migraine balm and a few other things to maintain this level of pain. And I am currently writing this post listening to ABBA gently in the background, because it is in my Groovy playlist. And I am in a Groovy mood. Gently, because I am rather sound sensitive. And unfortunately head bobbing is something I cannot do. So sort of sucks that migraines are ‘difficult’ when you are in a good mood such as they limit you substantially. All the fun I could be having and certainly cannot. Not with this one.  But chilling to some good tunes will have to do.

My point being Good Mood does not mean Pain Free. And nor should it. I don’t think I should be miserable because I am in pain and I don’t want to be. I am sometimes. And severe pain… sort of makes you hunker down and sucks the emotional energy right from you. But I am in pain all the time and it would take substantial effort on my part to be miserable all the time. This is aside from the depression which I am being actively treated for with medication that has been quite beneficial for me. Depression is different from a ‘mood’ though, isn’t it? Quite different. And effective treatment has made quite a difference for me.

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I get that smiling and laughter are often seen as a sign we are Not in pain and are doing well, when in fact we are not.

FACT: I can just be in a good mood and be in pain. Just not a substantial amount of pain that sucks the joy from my existence, in which case, you likely wouldn’t be seeing me in the first place.

FACT: I also use laughter and smiling to HIDE the pain so it does get rather confusing doesn’t it? I can be in pain and also in a bad mood because of it but due to circumstances I need to hide it and rely on societal norms to get me through.

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Fact is this, I want to be in a good mood. I want to cultivate a good mood and do things that make me feel better. Because it makes it easier to cope with the pain. And I’ll do just about anything to manage suffering. There are days when suffering, is suffering and it cannot be managed. You have to engage in some serious self-care. There are days you just have to rest and manage things. I Want to be coping, managing and in a generally good mood. It makes me feel like I can handle to pain better. Maybe it does. Maybe laughter isn’t the best medicine, but it certainly works with our medicine. I’ll take it.

I know pain means limitations, pacing, rest and often quiet. I know… mellow. I am always conscious of pain and my activities so I do not exacerbate it too much but also do not avoid things. I get right now doing anything would be too much. If it was a work day, it would be a triptan day. Just a fact. It is too intense to work with unless I utilized a triptan. So too intense to be doing anything other than anything really mellow. But my mood hasn’t been affected. I think because I have been doing a good bit of self-care and rest. And I feel very relaxed and chill. And sometimes we are just in a good mood because we are. No reason at all. Pain does affect our mood and we are very aware of it. But not all the time. Not All the time.

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8 comments

  1. Yes, yes yes! How many times have I had to explain at length and in frustration that because I am happy to see someone or participate in a birthday event etc doesn’t mean I am cured of my chronic pain or my disability. It means I want to be an active participant in my life, it means I have made a positive choice to not be ground down by my pain or allow it to make others miserable on my behalf. It takes tremendous effort and sometimes I don’t succeed but I am happy to try for everyone’s benefit, not least of all mine. 😊👏🏻👊🏻💜

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  2. Reblogged this on pearsnotparsnipsdotcom and commented:
    Having lived a life of intense pain through a series of injuries, it was refreshing to read such a positive post from Nikki on smiling through chronic pain and challenging the stereotype of misery by leading her life as positively and happily as possible, even though it often means people think she has experienced some miracle cure! I can identify with this. I remember many years ago having a visit from friends who hadn’t seen me for some time but knew of my physical difficulties. They were astounded to find me sitting at the table surrounded by course materials when they arrived, in the middle of writing an essay. I was smiley, sociable and happy despite being in appalling pain. They were very confused. It just didn’t compute. As Nikki points out, smiling and living positively is a way of coping with pain not evidence that you are cured or no longer need support. In my case, it is also a means of reassuring those around me, that they don’t need to worry or tiptoe around me. Being in a good mood is contagious, pass it on! 😊
    Please visit and comment on Nikki’s original post.

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