Staying Positive In Spite of Illness
This post was written by FLVS student Aislinn and originally published on her blog offering support for individuals with chronic pain.
However, that does not require it to be a negative change. Chronic pain can be defined as a pain that persists or progresses over a long period of time and is often resistant to medical treatments. Pain can be a brutal teacher, but it has the ability to teach life lessons that will go unforgotten.
Chronic pain teaches you how life changes in a moment; we truly have to live each day like it is our last, because life can change any second.
When a chronic condition hits, it can lead you into a world of frustration and uncertainty. Helplessness and hopelessness are incredibly common with chronic pain and various chronic conditions.
Chronic pain patients feel ignored by doctors due to the fact it is an invisible illness. Many people have the attitude that if the illness cannot be seen from the outside, it is nonexistent. However, remembering that you know yourself better than anyone can help to disregard comments that you’re “faking it” or “just wanting attention.”
Visual illnesses tend to result in much more understanding and compassion than those that are invisible. One of the worst things that can be done to someone suffering from an invisible chronic illness is make him or her feel like they need to prove how sick they are. Keeping the illness hidden and trying to appear as healthy as normal will lead to a feeling of loneliness. You appear to be living a healthy lifestyle on the outside, when in reality there is an abundance of suffering occurring within your body.
If you’re suffering from chronic pain or an invisible illness, speak out about your experiences and share your story with others.
Opening up about the pain will prevent you from feeling abandoned and alone. This leads me to a related topic – many people in your life may choose to leave you and not want to deal with your pain. Do no become so focused on the people who have left that you wind up shutting out all the people who have stayed. Be grateful for the people that are still in your life, because they are the ones who are your true family and friends.
Living a life of pain is a learning experience. Find what medications and exercise work best for you and also cope mentally by starting a blog or spreading awareness. When life is taken over by a chronic condition, your perception of yourself changes. It is important to keep in mind that you are not your illness. Separate yourself from the illness. Do not think of yourself as your illness. You are not your illness; you are a person who has an illness. Do not shut yourself down and focus on what has been taken, instead focus on what your body still capable of. Find the blessings and the beauty in everyday things.
Focusing on the small victories everyday will keep you motivated from one day until the next.
This post was written by FLVS student and club member Aislinn, a hospital/homebound student with a chronic illness that prevents her from physically attending school. She started a blog and manages an online support group to help others who suffer from chronic pain. Learn more here.