Sometimes hubby and I go to a motocross track on the weekend. Hubby races a sports quad, and I really enjoy going too because I grew up around fast cars because of my brothers. I am familiar with the noise and the smells. My dad owned a shop for car repairs, so it was something I was always around. The smell of grease and oil actually reminds me of good memories and that has continued with my hubby.
When we first started going to the track, I was in much better health. Traveling to the motocross tracks was easy, and I could run from jump to jump watching them ride. Since my pain level has increased, we’ve had to improvise.
Hubby brings a generator so I can plug in my heating pad. I have sat in 90-degree heat with it against my back. On the sweltering days, he brings a powerful fan that everyone enjoys. We have a pretty good set up. I know how lucky I am that he helps me to be as comfortable as possible.
The obstacles have been worked out so I can enjoy being there even though I have chronic pain. Hubby loads up all my extra bags of needed items for the trip. I will decide when to take medication or apply a patch, so it is all working together for the most extended moments of pain coverage during the trip and watching him race.
Before chronic pain, I made videos of the guys riding which I really enjoyed doing. Now, I video from a stationary position because I cannot run around the track anymore.
Everything in my life had to change to accommodate my illnesses and going to the track was one of them. At first, I fought it. I wanted life to be like it always had been for me, no struggle to do the things I love.
I am a creature of habit, so I am not too fond of change, but I needed to reinvent myself. I was tired of grieving my old life or the life that I thought I should have. I was profoundly depressed and full of anxiety, and I decided I needed to change. I am learning to reinvent the activities I love by finding solutions to each problem I faced. It’s been two years since I started the process of determining what I needed to do to have a fulfilling life even with chronic pain. Bottom line: I have to accept it.
You may cringe when I mention acceptance of pain. Change is hard, and many people think if you accept your pain, you give up, but it does not have to be that way.
Acceptance is only accepting that you need to make changes to your life. That is all you agree to. You need to look at it differently and get creative. If life gives you lemons, make lemonade!
This is accomplished by learning new ways to do things you love to do. The activity may not be exactly the same, but the passion will be there. You just have to look for it.
Life is messy and painful. It is so hard for me to accept that, but that is what we must understand when living with chronic pain. Reinventing yourself or your activities will not make it easier, but it can resemble the life you had before.
I encourage you to take an inventory of what you loved to do in the past that you can no longer do because of your illness. Break down each problem by finding solutions one by one, then you will reinvent your life.
Much Love & Many Prayers,
Photo credit: Cindy