Words For Healing

I have missed writing, but when I am doing advocacy work, I seem to fall in head first and get lost. It seems like everything is urgent because it takes so long to finally see the results of your hard work.  You can hardly tell that you are making any difference. It really is hard work to go in with credible information.  I applaud anyone that has made the trip to visit their elected officials and given them an education on what the chronic pain community is going through these days.

I have taken to twitter encouraging everyone in the chronic pain community to get their voices heard by reaching out to their legislators.  I had a few people that said they were too scared to speak out because of retribution, ie: they will lose access to the small amount of medicine that they need to be able to function.

I completely understand the fear in speaking out. I feel the same. Knowing that people are afraid to speak out compels me to be the voice for them also.  For someone that has no other legal and affordable options than their current opioid medications, it must be agonizing everyday counting their pills and worrying if this is the last bottle before the pain is unbearable. That breaks my heart.

If you decide to go to your representative, here’s a link to find out who you should contact and how to reach them.  If you want more information about advocating for the chronic pain community, contact me. There is plenty that can be done from home.

I also began a writing group last week.  There are about 8 of us and we are made up of 8 different perspectives, so I’m loving that.  So, far it has been mostly timed free flowing writing. I’m excited to see what the future groups will hold.  We are all looking for different things from the group.

I am thankful for the gift of writing.  Being about to express myself through words is healing.  I know most of you that are reading are writers also.  Do you stick to one style of writing or do you use different mediums – free write, poetry, prose, spiritual, song lyrics, blog post- to convey your feelings?

I believe that what every you write, whether it’s a tweet or a post, you should edify others. Honor them.  I am appauld by the comments I read on twitter and facebook; the unnecessary meanness in the words people type anonymously behind their computer screen. I do not understand why people are so mean.

But let’s be different.  Today, make a positive tweet about your life with your chronic illness.  Publish a uplifting post about another’s triumph over struggle.  Just put some love out there to combat the hate.

Much Love & Many Prayers,

Cindy

 

 

 

 

Sunshine Blogger Award

 

I would like to thank Wendi over at SimplyChronicallyIll for nominating me for the Sunshine Blogger Award.  Wendi shares her story of living simply with multiple chronic illness. Her words are honest, and I think you will be blessed by her thoughts so go check her out.

HERE’S HOW IT WORKS…

THE RULES

1.) Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you and link back to their blog

2.) Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you

3.) Nominate 11 new blogs to receive this award, and write them 11 new questions

4.) List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.

 

Questions for me:

  1. What is your favorite thing about blogging awards?    I love reading the answers and getting to know other people around the world.  The questions take us a little deeper into each other’s lives allowing us to see that we have many things in common.  Having this community to interact with about our chronic pain/illness helps removes the feelings of isolation.
  2. If you were a sports car, which one would you want to be and why?  It would have to be a Ford Mustang.  The family business was an auto repair shop. My two older brothers had hot rods, and I was raised by them to love Fords.  I was more of a tomboy than a girlie-girl, and I remember it as a time to spend time with my brother.  I usually annoyed him to death but, secretly, I think he liked it that I was interested.
  3. If you could only eat one color of food for a week, what color would it be? My first thought is green.  There is so many good for you foods that are green: Brussel sprouts, broccoli, butter beans (I’m a southern girl), asparagus, peas, and more than I cannot think of right now.
  4. What is your favorite movie line and why? From Hope Floats:  “Childhood is what you spend the rest of your life trying to overcome. That’s what momma always says. She says that beginnings are scary, endings are usually sad, but it’s the middle that counts the most. Try to remember that when you find yourself at a new beginning. Just give hope a chance to float up. And it will, too…”  I saw this movie for the first time during a new beginning in my life and the movie just resonated with me.  This line always stuck with me.  It is one of my favorite movies.
  5. If you had to leave your house and take only 10 things with you (excluding all living beings) what would they be? Cell phone to call people, pen and paper to write with, a box books to read, computer to keep up with the world, my favorite sweater that is a deep wine/cherry (somehow it goes with everything), my medicines, my cane. headphones (cannot live without music), my datebook (otherwise I won’t have a clue what I am supposed to be doing), and sun glasses to shade my eyes because I have sensitive eyes and have migraines easily.
  6. Describe yourself in two words. God’s Beloved.
  7. What is one sporting activity that you enjoy watching? Most anything racing or motorcross related. I grew up with brothers and they were big into fast cars. Now hubby and I are in to motorcross.  He rides, I watch or video whenever I am physically able to do it.
  8.  If you could give one piece of advice for all the world to hear what would it be? Do not be afraid to be vulnerable. There are so many misunderstandings because people do not say what they really feel.  Insecurities hold people back from allowing others to truly know them. Since everyone has had varied life experience, we have a completely unique perception of the world than the next person.  Hoping that the other person will figure out what you are thinking is setting yourself up for communication failure.  
  9. What is your favorite encouraging quote?  “You can’t fly if you don’t jump.” unknown. I am always too scared to jump. I am trying to overcome that. 
  10.  If you had to learn a made up language, which one would you choose and why? Pig Latin because it sounds cool.
  11.  If you were to learn to play an instrument which one would you choose?A very long time ago, I played clarinet and the piano.  If I had my piano, I would still play it. If I had time, I’d love to be able to play the guitar.

My  Questions:

  1. When was the last time you changed your opinion/belief about something major?
  2. If you could make one rule that everyone had to follow, what rule would you make?
  3. What is one of your favorite smells?
  4. What song or artist do you like but rarely admit to liking?
  5. What risks are worth taking?
  6. What small gesture from a stranger made a big impact on you?
  7. What makes a good life?
  8. What’s the title of the current chapter of your life?
  9. If you could make a 20 second phone call to yourself at any point in your life present or future, when would you call and what would you say?
  10. What are some of your personal “rules” that you never break?
  11. If you could have a never-ending candle that smelled like anything you wanted, what fragrance would you want it to be?

My Nominees:

Discovering Your Happiness

Reclaiming Hope

Looking For the Light

My Lil Place

My Loud BiPolar Whispers

Pointless Overthinking

Mom Life with Chiari

The Depression Free Garden

Simply Chronically Ill

Chronic Pain Supergirl

As always, I would love to hear everyone’s answers, but I understand if you are unable to complete it.

Thanks to Simply Chronically Ill for the nomination.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Sunday.

Much Love and Many Prayer,

Cindy

Check Out My 100th Follower

Yippee!

I hit 100 follows on on June 24, 2018.  I wanted to give a shout out to my 100th follow Phoebe Chi (Puppydoc)-Musings of a Puppy Doc.  

The Puppy Doc shares poetry about being a caregiver as a medical professional and helpful health related articles.

The depth of her caring is evident in her writing.  I hope you will go check her blog out.

Thank you PuppyDoc for helping me reach 100 follows!

Inside My Head Tag

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My dear friend SimpliWendi over at Simply Chronically Ill, I am finally completing your reward tag!  Thank you for the nomination. SimpliWendi lives with multiple chronic illness and faces them bravely.  She encourages others with chronic illnesses to live simply for a better life. Please go check out her blog where you will find honesty, vulnerability, and encouragement.

Rules:

° Thank & tag the person that has tagged you

° Attach the tag photo

° Answer the ‘This or That’ questions

° Tag 10-20 friends

 

Here we go:  a little about me……………..

° How do you feel at the moment?

Very excited.  I have a few hours that I can write without interruption.

 

° What do you need more in my life?

I need more self-confidence.

 

° What would make you happy right now?

To see my three grown sons.  They live over 600 miles away from me.  I miss them so much. They come every Christmas, but the time in between passes so slowly.

 

° What is going on in your life right now?

Very beginning of creating a chronic pain support group locally and online and doing chronic pain advocacy.

 

° What am I most grateful for? List 10 things.

  1. God.
  2. My hubby and sons
  3. The gift of writing and expression.
  4. My life situations because looking back, I am one strong woman because of them.
  5. Laughter.
  6. Medicine that helps my physical pain.
  7. The opportunities that this blog has given me.
  8. People that believe in me.
  9. My fan beside my lazy boy because hot flashes are killer.
  10. Pepsi and coffee

 

° When did you experience joy this week? 

Today, sharing laughter with my hubby.

 

° List a small victory/success?

When I started spiraling down into depression, I pulled myself back up in the same day.  I think the tools I’ve learned are beginning to work for me.  All I know is that it is challenging work to be consistent.

 

° What is bothering me & Why?

Family issues because I always believed that “blood was thicker than water,” but through my struggles, I have found that is not true. It’s a death of the dream of what family meant.

 

° What are my priorities at the moment?

I am learning to take self-care for my chronic pain seriously.  When I am consistent with that, I feel so much better.  It helps me to be able to participate more fully in my life and live in the moment.

 

° What do I love about myself?

I can make people laugh.  I love my excitement. I love my new attitude.

 

° Who means the world to me & why?

There are 4 people that mean the world to me and if they read this, they will know I am talking about them.  One reason: unconditional love.

 

° If I could share one message with the world, what would it be?

(SimpliWendi: I stole your answers!!  They were perfect!)

Be nice………..you have NO IDEA what other people are going through.

Be generous……….there are SO many needs in this world.

 

° What advice would I give my younger self? 

Be smarter with my love and respect myself.

 

° What lesson did I learn this week? 

I have to relearn this every week.  I have to learn to be emotionally flexible.

 

° If I had all the time in the world, what would I do first?

I would have to have qualifiers to answer this question.  I would need to know if I would have my chronic pain or not.
With chronic pain, I would be helping people in some way like I am trying to do with the blog and through writing. I don’t want what I go through every day to be in vain, and I don’t want anyone to stay stuck thinking that their life is over because of chronic pain or chronic illness.
Without chronic pain, I would go back to college and get my psychology degree while working to pay for it. (I miss working and interacting with people in person.) Then, I would do the same thing but with even more knowledge to help others.

 

° What’s draining my energy?

Chronic pain constantly drains every ounce of energy.  It really sucks some days when there is very little energy to do basic tasks.

 

° What does my ideal morning look like?

To wake up without an alarm clock.  The noise is a shock to the body and brain.

 

What makes me come alive?

Spring time in the South makes me come alive.  The suns starts warming the earth and everything comes alive.

 

° What/Who inspires me the most?

All of the people with pain in this world that get up one more day and do it all over again.

 

° Where does my pain originate?

This would have to be a series.

 

° What are my strengths?

I am an intuitive thinking and encourager.

 

° What is something I’ve always wanted but too scared to get?

One of the new Ford Mustangs.  I would probably kill myself in it.

 

° What is something I would love to learn?

Calligraphy.

 

° Where would I want to live my ideal life?

Somewhere with many, many more sunny days than rainy days.

 

Where would you like to travel in the next 5 years?

I would love to have a motor home and travel everywhere it can go.

 

° What can I do to take better care of myself?

Say no without guilt or shame.

 

° What hobbies would I like to try?

Pinterest DIYs

 

° When have I done something that I thought I couldn’t do?

I didn’t think I would ever travel again but in the past year I have been to Denver and Chicago.

 

° At the end of my life, what do I want my legacy to be?

She was a Mary in a Martha world. Luke 10:38-42

 

My nominees not in any particular order: 

Discovering Your Happiness

My Loud Bipolar Whispers

LETITGOCOACH

Pointless Overthinking

FightMSDaily

Can’t wait to hear everyone’s answers but if it is not your thing, that’s ok too.

Much Love and Many Prayers

Cindy

 

New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

 

Chronic Pain Support Group Training

Whew!  I am starting to catch my breath from the trip to Chicago for the chronic pain support group training last weekend.  I am experiencing more pain than I expected, and it has slowed me down tremendously.

But let me tell you about the training instead!  Pain Connection (a program of US Pain Foundation www.painconnection.org. www.uspainfoundation.org) held the training. Every one attending and the leaders were awesome. We all connected almost immediately.  Many different personalities in the room and different belief systems, but we all came together as one to learn how to help the chronic pain community by starting support groups in our local areas. We also learned things that we can apply to ourselves for self-care like guided imagery and meditation.

We went through so many aspects of chronic pain/chronic illnesses and how to have an effective treatment plan so you can have a good life. I will have plenty of topics to write about and use in a support group setting; too many to name it all here today but I cannot wait to share it all.

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My biggest take away is the Treatment Tree. The Treatment Tree idea and planning can help you to find tools and skills for every aspect of your life: physical, emotional, spiritual, social, career, hobbies, and organization. It recognizes that we have many different ways that chronic pain affects our lives and helps us to find solutions that work every day.

I have never had a doctor that considered all these aspects at one time when deciding different medical treatments for me.  We must be our own advocates. I intend to give the information I have learned to you so we both can take it to our doctors so they can see the big picture. We need more than just a prescription!

I also learned more about our pain being so much more than just in the physical area of an injury. There are so many aspects of our lives that affect our pain, and the brain plays a very large role in ways that I never knew before. As I learn more, I will pass it on.

Chicago was nothing like I have heard about it. I pictured dirty and unfriendly.  We seemed to be in a more industrial area in the north west of Chicago.  It was very clean and everyone we came in contact with was very kind and helpful.  I couldn’t have asked for a better trip.

I love meeting new people and hearing their life stories and this was no different.  It exceeded my expectations and I am so thankful that my hubby and I we both were able to complete the training. 

At the end, we had to pick a stone with a word on it and tell why we chose it.  I chose happiness because I have always chased happiness.  I didn’t say anything profound because being put on the spot like that shuts down my brain.  😁  But I always thought happiness was living without any troubles or sorrows and when I got to that point, I’d be happy. But I have found out that happiness can live amongst the troubles and sorrows. With this knowledge, I became unstuck.

JOY IS BUT THE SIGN THAT CREATIVE EMOTION IS FULFILLING ITS PURPOSE.
– CHARLES DU BOS

That’s what this blog is all about: changing perceptions. Changing the perceptions other people have of people with pain and changing our perceptions of ourselves and our chronic pain journey. 

Knowledge is power.  Go out and get you some!

I am excited!! I am 6 followers from 100.  Help me out!  Follow my blog!

Much Love and Many Prayers,

Cindy

Good Medicine

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I wanted to check in with everyone. I was missing in action most of May, but it wasn’t on purpose. Mostly, physical issues prevented me from doing all the things I wanted to get accomplished. My migraines are always worse in the Spring and the Fall times of the year. We’ve also had a lot of rain on the east coast of North Carolina. That has contributed to more pain from my back and legs.

But today I feel fantastic. All my meds are working well, and there is sweet sunshine today to encourage me further!

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I did my stretches outside this morning in my backyard. We have a neighborhood pond close to us, and I am very thankful for the view. It is very relaxing early in the morning or late in the evening. Here in the south we already have crazy heat indexes. It’s no fun to be in the miserable heat in the middle of the day.

But I have something else that has been keeping me busy. I am trying to start a support group in my area and online. I am flying to Chicago for a chronic pain support group training. I am so excited and scared! Hubby is going with me to help so I know I will be okay with his help.

I will be learning about how to start a support group specifically for chronic pain warriors to help each of us to not just muddle through life but to continue to get up each morning and find hope and a purpose.

That is coming up in the next couple of weeks so preparing for that and then recovering when I get home will take some time. I plan to blog some repeats for those that are just jumping on board.

Chronic pain has created some very rough times in my life, but it has created opportunities for me to grow stronger as a person in ways that I never dreamed I would be doing.

I am only taking my unplanned life circumstances and turning them into opportunities to help other people. And I think that is the best medicine in the world!

What’s your perspective on these thoughts?

Much love and many prayers,
Cindy

Photo Credit: Cindy @ChronicPainWithAHigherPerspective

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