Like most people, I don’t ever want to be embarrassed, but I feel like I’ve discovered some things that most doctors do not take the time to tell chronic illness patients.
We spend time searching for answers about our chronic illnesses, and sometimes we eventually find peace with our life on our own, but that takes time.
I don’t want other people to waste another minute of life. I feel the need to shout what I have learned so that you can have a better experience. I’m willing to risk the embarrassment of being vulnerable.
Being so eager to tell the world my epiphanies reminded me of a movie called Jerry McGuire, where a sports agent finds out that life is so much more than money. He has his ah-ha moment and writes a manifesto for his life.
He bares his soul in it, things he hasn’t told anyone else that he believes in. He sent it to everyone he knew. And, he immediately regretted it.
That’s how I feel every time I hit the “publish” button on a blog post. It takes significant courage to hit the button each time.
Even though it is difficult, I want to be real about my own experiences with living with chronic pain while helping others and sharing other people’s stories.
I’ve talked with other chronic pain patients across the United States and in other countries. Speaking to others with varied backgrounds has helped me see past myself and my own chronic illness.
I have found out that while we are different races, ages, and backgrounds, we all live the same type of chronic illness lives and have the same challenges We have different diagnoses but similar type problems.
Life can be hard, but there is an opportunity to know yourself better in every circumstance. We can choose to either focus on the bad things that have happened or find the joy that life still has to offer.
Sometimes we lower our expectations in life so that we won’t be disappointed. You don’t have to settle just because you have a chronic illness.
You may not be able to change your circumstance, but you can change your mindset. Your mind is a private battleground of positive and negative thoughts that only you have control over.
People can tell you what you should believe, but you ultimately have the final say whether you suscribe to the same beliefs or not.
It’s only true if you believe it.
Stop and think about that statement.
It’s only true if you believe it.
You decide where your thoughts go. It takes work, but you do not have to let your life circumstances keep you from happiness.
Learning how to slow down your thoughts so that you can examine each one helps you to find the best life has to offer. When you listen intently to the soundtrack in your head, you will hear what you have been telling yourself for years. You might be surprised at what you learn.
I began doing this whenever my anxiety popped up. The words in my head would be all running together stirring up my fear. One thought after another sped through my mind not leaving enough time even to entertain what the thought meant and why it was there. When I slowed my thinking down, I found that I could challenge the thoughts one by one.
A good way to do a reality check is to balance every negative thought with a positive one and ask yourself a few questions.
- What is the evidence for the negative thought?
- Am I jumping to conclusions?
- Is there any other way to perceive this negative thought?
- What can I do to solve the problem right now?
- Am I safe right now?
Sounds time-consuming, but it isn’t once it becomes second nature. It just takes practice.
Think of it as a child learning to walk. Steps are slow and wobbly at first, but over time they become firm and confident.
Once you find that negative voice, you begin to smack it down faster each time with positive thoughts as time goes by.
Your thoughts determine your next steps in life. Shouldn’t you take time to consider where they are taking you?
Much Love and Many Prayers,