The To Do List

Through tears after dinner last night, I told my hubby that I finished everything on my to-do list. I was so happy that I had finally done that one more time.

It had been years since I crossed off everything on my daily list of things to get done. Chronic pain had changed every aspect of my life.

Once upon a time, completing daily tasks was something I was proud of doing every day. They were always long lists, and I believed that meant I was having a successful day, that I was a successful person who was not lazy or unorganized.

Whether it was at work or home, it suggested the day had gone smoothly, and I could be proud. The checked boxes indicated I had been prepared for every snag or dealt with them efficiently.

But tonight, I am in severe pain. I was so excited that I placed an “X” in every box, but I was crying because of the physical pain I was enduring from being so “successful.”

Then I realized what I was doing to myself. I was judging myself by the number of checked off boxes on my notepad.

I have worked very hard to change my perspective about living with chronic pain and to live as positively as I can regardless of my situation. I have been diligent in finding what isn’t working and changing it, but this one snuck in on me.

Why do we push ourselves so hard mentally or physically past the breaking point when while living with chronic pain?

So many dreams die one by one when you are diagnosed with a chronic illness. Yesterday was almost as if I was trying to prove to myself I could still do it. Well, I did do it, and it isn’t pretty. I don’t think it was worth it.

Don’t do this to yourself either. You only have one body. That family member that thinks you are lazy or the friend that just thinks you are unorganized isn’t going to donate you their body when yours gives out because you were judging yourself by what they thought of you.

I need to stop comparing myself to others and realize this is my life, not theirs and I’m the only one that needs to be happy about it. I need to decide on new ways to consider myself successful, and I need to nurture those ideas.

Today, I have put aside “the to do list.” I’m going to rest and recharge my batteries. Hopefully, I can start again tomorrow.

Be kind to your bodies out there.

Much Love and Many Prayers


Help Support My Misson

Update on the new chronic pain support group I am starting:  I have spoken to a local mental health agency in my county about using their space for our meetings.  They seem to be very interested in the idea of a place they can send their patients who are seeing them for depression and anxiety from either chronic illness or chronic pain.  I think they were just as excited as I am. I am hoping this community agency will be a perfect match for our support group. Keep your fingers crossed.  


27 thoughts on “The To Do List

  1. Yes, I try not to push my body more than I should. It’s hard though, as a stay at home wife, I want a to do list, want to get things done but know it’ll be too much. So I understand the tears you shed and where those feelings were coming from. Congratulations on the support group you’re setting up! So important to continue to raise awareness for those suffering from chronic pain, anxiety, depression and so many other things – it’s a reminder that they’re not alone. 😊🙏🏽

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Thank you so very much for this post, as it is exactly what I needed to read today. It is one of those bad days……my head is so painful I want to cry but it will make it worse, and family just doesn’t understand why I can handle loud talk and music and kids screaming at a get together…… you so beautifully stated, they aren’t going to donate their body to me when I need it.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Yes! This is so important! The temptation to push ourselves then pay for it later. For me, the problem is that when I’m having fun socially I forget about the monster and party like it’s 1999. 🤪 Âge and MS always remind me …for at least a week after.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yup, this has been a lingering pain since middle of June but I really ramped it up bad this time. I’m kinda upset with myself because I know better. I agree about forgetting when I am out socially. All the happy endorphins come out from being around people, and I think I can push myself a little bit more….

      Liked by 1 person

  4. What an outstanding post! I think one of the hardest things for many of us is to let go of having to be “doing” all the time. We attribute so much of our self-worth to what we’ve accomplished we can’t seem to accept the fact that we need to slow down and let go of our need to constantly be productive.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Fantastic and extremely beneficial advice! I do think I do a decent job maintaining my to-do listsI always make the most difficult tasks is the first on my list. I think saving the most complex tasks for last may set us up from failure because we are often worn out at that point and do not have the energy of completing what we wanted to!

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Cindy, I never realized how hard it must be to get things done with the pain you are experiencing. I applaud you for always striving and giving it your all. I hope, though, that you do cut yourself some slack sometimes. Sometimes we have no choice but listen to our bodies and set aside what our mind wants just for the time being. I wish you all the best and that you feel re-energized soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I understand your point to well. With years of therapy I worked thru the quilt of child abuse, sexual abuse, my fathers suicide and lifting the quilt felt like a new life.
    Now five years into Chronic Lyme Diseases and the others illnesses it causes, the quilt comes back. Logically there is no reason for quilt or lazy feelings, it’s what my brain does with all the time it has spinning around thinking about what I want to do & need to do. The pressure doesn’t come from anywhere but me. It’s up to me to continually talk to God and myself about what is important. A mess in the kitchen is not more important than my health, physical and mental.
    Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I constantly have a to do list but I allow myself to tick things off as and when. Some days are great and I tick off many, but flare weeks are slower or none exsistant.
    Either way, experience has taught me to be kind to myself, live within my limits but not be defined by them.
    We’re still capable of living a meaningful life, it’s just a lot slower than our healthy peers.

    Liked by 1 person

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