You are Not Your Pain

By Irene Roth

Cover photo by: Road Trip With Raj

Many chronically ill individuals identify with their pain. They make statements such as,”I am in pain”. Or “I am experiencing pain”. With either of these statements, it would seem that we are closely linked to the pain. Therefore, our identity and who we are also linked to the pain.

It can be hard to separate yourself from your pain since it affects every part of your life and especially your attitude and mindset. It is when you realize that you are so much more than your pain that you can thrive and live a wonderful life. Each one of us can do.

So, how can we do this?  Well, here are a few easily achievable tips I’d like to share with you.

First, watch what you tell yourself every day. Many times, what you say to yourself over and over can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. In other words, if you keep telling yourself that you will never get better or that you’ll be in a wheelchair, your life will become even harder to manage.

Further, our negative self-talk can affect our attitudes and mood. For instance, if you keep telling yourself that you’re having a bad day, it can impact how your day unfolds. Therefore, it is especially important to become mindful of what we tell ourselves about our chronic illness. If we try to be as positive as we can, this will positively affect our overall health and well-being. But, unfortunately, if we keep saying negative things to ourselves, this too can impact how we live our life.

Second, realize that having a chronic condition is not all negative. There are many blessings to slowing down, decluttering unnecessary parts of our lives, and doing some of the things we enjoy every day. Taking the time to figure out what these things are can have a significant impact on your health and well-being.

When we were in our younger years without chronic illness, we probably overdid it a lot of the time. We may have had a difficult time to make time to do the things we enjoy. We even could have had a hard time figuring out what we needed to do to make our life more meaningful. Now we have the rare chance to really honor our needs and wants.

Third, you are so much more than your arthritis or any other chronic condition. You don’t have to identify with it. Remember, you have a chronic condition, it doesn’t have you unless you believe it defines you. This can be a hard statement to understand, so here is a further explanation.

Yes, we have our chronic condition. We will have bad days and good days. But we are still in control of our lives. We can take the time to rest and be. We can enjoy ourselves. And we could live a good life.

So, take stock today and asses how you are feeling about your chronic condition. If you are struggling with a chronic illness, know in every fibre of your being that you can live a good life. Now that spring is around the corner, it can be a great time to take steps towards renewal and replenishment. You have the key to bring this about, my dear friends.

Aging can be hard. And aging with agility and resilience can be even harder. But by tweaking a few of your mindsets and attitudes, you can be well on your way to refocus your life and creating balance in your life so that you can do all the things that you want, despite low energy levels.

You are not your chronic condition or your pain. You are a wonderfully authentic human being with amazing potential, with or without your chronic condition.

I wish you good health and an especially wholesome attitude,

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