Living with Pain – The new ‘normal’
Living with pain is a huge pain in the neck. it is my new ‘normal’. I have had constant pain for the last 3 years as a result of a car crash. It presented itself to me the day after the accident, and it has been my constant companion since then. It has varied in intensity from a 5/10 to an 8/10. It has also woken up my MS again. This has now caused problems with my leg. The muscles are tight and unresponsive.
Ok, this is nothing new for people who live with a chronic illness, and now, for me, it is nothing new too. But what amazes me is the ability of the human mind to somehow accept this new reality. In the last 3 years, this level of pain has become the new normal. For this to happen, I had to make the conscious decision not to rebel. By the gradual acceptance that this is not something that I can change easily, or without some risk (that might be unacceptable), I have managed to relegate this pain to a secondary role in my life.
Don’t misunderstand this. This situation has had an impact on many areas of my life. (Some of my invisible symptoms) Cognition and concentration are poorer. My day has to take a different course, with meditation (or body mapping) and journaling an essential part of my bad. The ability to work, and earn a living like I did is no longer possible. These are all impacts that could lead me into depression, melancholy and despair. For people with MS, the vast majority (over 50% of MS Warriors) have or will have to deal with this. I have skirted these problems, but I made the firm commitment to focus on the positive. To take all the joy that I can from every day.
Seize the Day
For example, today in Connemara it is a beautiful day. Sunny, warm and very little breeze. After the last week of torrential rain, it has been a welcome respite. Despite the fact that the sun causes pain in my eyes, and that I have difficulty walking, I had a walk around the town. Enjoying the fact that I could walk around town, even slowly. This afternoon, I am getting the chance to sit in the sun (with dark sunglasses and a hat). I will benefit from the Vitamin D that the sun is creating in my body. This is a joy for me, and I am grabbing this joy with both hands. I have to, as it might rain for the rest of the year ??
My point with this post is that I have learned to accept the things that I cannot change, and in my head, this is the new ‘normal’. Fortunately, the human mind has this incredible ability to adjust to a different reality. The key, in my opinion, is that we have to dictate to our subconscious mind what we are accepting, and not rebelling against. This is not always easy, and I know that I have shed tears over these changes. But that is the point, I shed them, and I have moved on. I focus now on what I can change, and what I have control of in my life.