I woke up to 52 followers on my blog. I also hit over 560 views for all time. I know that is small numbers, but it is exciting to me. It means success because I have at least helped a few people or at the very least my post resonated with some. That’s all I am trying to do.
I’ve had views from all over the world, twenty different countries. Most are from the USA, Canada, and United Kingdom. Surprisingly, the 4th country is India at 7 and Australia at 5th. Thank you for the international views!
I love milestones. They give me a moment to reflect on where I am at in my journey. One and a half years ago, I was navigating life on autopilot. I was floating through life on one wave after another just trying to get to the other side, but I was not making any progress. But now, I have a purpose again. Chronic pain may have taken parts of my life, but it also gave me a new perspective on life. And that new perspective is what I want to share with others.
I’ve decided to begin sharing more of my daily life in detail while also doing the scripture verse studies that I like to do. I hope this will be helpful for others.
I am also an advocate for chronic pain people. I do most of this on Facebook @ChronicPainWithAHigherPerspective
I try to post the most relevant post that might be helpful to others: how to do your own advocacy for your illness, new treatments, and chronic pain news. Stop by and let me know you are there.
I wanted to thank everyone for welcoming me into the blogging community. I have met some great people here. I hope we continue to help each other in our daily walk with whatever physical or mental issue we are facing.
Tonight, my friend and I were discussing accounting strategies, and I was trying very hard to understand a specific way she processed something. I had to play “21 questions” to finally understand.
I could not see things from her perspective. It sounded like, to me, she did a lot of extra work, but she was certain her way was easier and maybe even quicker. We had the same end results but, we didn’t see the process the same. The differences in our lives created our unique perspectives. Obviously, no one has been through exactly everything you have been through; maybe similar, but not the same.
The questions I asked my friend led me to a mutual understanding eventually, but it was difficult. At first, I had a blank picture in my head of what she was talking about, but with each answered question I was provided a puzzle piece. Slowly, the picture emerged, and I began seeing through her eyes — her perspective.
The problem is that we always listen to respond and do not listen to understand. I wanted to hurry up and tell my friend my process, but when I started trying to see things her way and ask more questions to clarify, it became easier. James 1:19 offers some valuable insight and wisdom to help us:
How often do we find ourselves quick to listen and slow to speak? I know that’s not my first thought. I want to explain my point of view immediately. But when I listen with curiosity, the questions come easy, and the picture in my head quickly starts lining up with the picture in their head. Once I understand their perspective only then can I give them the information they are missing to see things from my perspective. This works both ways.
We must first try to understand others so that we can help add our puzzle pieces to their thoughts. If someone doesn’t see things the way you do, they may need more information that only you can give them from your life experiences.
Why is this important to people with chronic illnesses and chronic pain?
It creates empathy. Right now, the chronic pain community needs a tremendous amount of compassion because we now have our own epidemic along with the opioid addiction epidemic- an epidemic of untreated painful conditions that could lead to suicides because the pain is unbearable without proper medications. That’s why I am always saying, share your stories! No one can understand if we don’t get our voices out there. Write emails to your elected officials, track what different government agencies are making decisions on and make your opinion known. The U.S. Pain Foundation has an advocacy page that is a great place to start learning how to get your voice heard.
I love this quote that has been attributed to Roy T. Bennett: “Listen with curiosity. Speak with honesty. Act with integrity. The greatest problem with communication is we don’t listen to understand. We listen to reply. When we listen with curiosity, we don’t listen with the intent to reply. We listen for what’s behind the words.”
Begin by trying to understand others, then ask yourself, “How would I feel?” If every person did that, imagine what it could do to the world we live in!
Get our voices out there! Answer the questionnaire and let them know people with pain matter and that we are not all drug addicts buying off the street causing this “opioid epidemic.” Let’s give them some facts and be NICE!
I’ve had chronic pain for way too long, and I finally understand that I need to work on changing my mindset to help my health. Why it took me ten years to figure this out, I do not know. But I’m thankful I did, and now I want to do something productive with my good and my bad experiences with chronic pain by helping others find the information and encouragement they can use in their lives.
A LITTLE BACKGROUND
I began to have migraines at the age of 7. In my teenage years, doctors told me that they would go away after menopause, but those years are long gone, and I still suffer from migraines but mostly during the change of seasons. Thankfully, many treatments for headaches have changed for the better than what I endured as a child guinea pig back in the 1970s. I remember drinking straight black coffee because of the caffeine. It was a new trick to try. Someone is always telling you of new remedies that their Great Aunt Heloise had success with in curing an “enter whatever ailment here.” 🙂
Anyway, I’m not so much of a guinea pig anymore for migraine treatments since medicines are now are capable of stopping a migraine if taken in time. Now, it’s all about the back and nerve pain which I’ve had since 2007. When it started, the low back pain and sciatica I endured were short spans of time, but it always resolved itself with rest and medication. Slowly, it reared its ugly head all the time. 24/7. Now, many people still offer new remedies, and I still try almost everything that comes my way within reason. My treatment routine is continually evolving to determine what treatment works the best at that moment.
Chronic pain is exhausting.
I want to walk through the weariness with you and hopefully lift you up. I plan to blog about
my chronic pain journey and how it has affected my life and my faith
meditations, scriptures, prayers, and music
organizations that can help you along your way
chronic pain advocacy information
anything else that arises from questions I receive if I think it might be helpful to others
Sometimes I’ll carry you, sometimes you’ll carry me, and sometimes our faith in God will carry us both, but together we can have a joy-filled life. That is my vision and my motivation for this blog.
You are my motivation for this blog.
It’s hard to find current legitimate statistics on chronic pain and suicide because of under-reporting, but in 2015, a Psychology Today article by Judy Foreman stated that chronic pain sufferers were found to be twice as likely to commit suicide than the average individual without any chronic illness. This number was BEFORE the CDC released their new opioid prescribing guidelines and the DEA cracked down on EVERYONE! Imagine what the legitimate chronic pain patient is going through now trying to get a valid prescription prescribed and filled with the government getting in between the doctor and patient relationship. But that’s for a blog on a different day. : )
I’m sure the stats would go up if the researchers included all invisible illnesses. Having your pain or illness symptoms doubted equally destroy your self-confidence as does the actual physical illness that wrecks your body.
Chronic pain is any pain that lasts for more than three months. Keeping a detailed pain diary can help decipher your symptoms and improve the doctor’s ability to see the big picture of how chronic pain affects your life.
Chronic pain affects everything.
Living with chronic pain wears you down because you can never get recharged emotionally or physically without a support system around you, like online chronic pain communities such as my Validating Chronic Pain blog.
If you have ideas of harming yourself, I beg you to reach out to someone immediately either by calling or texting with the links provided within this post or dialing 911.
People do not want to mention suicide because it might “give someone the idea to do it,” but with today’s political climate in the middle of our healthcare, I believe we must talk about it to raise awareness; to STOP the suicides from the undertreated chronic pain in our world; not just our country but other countries as well.
I’ve felt the pain of wishing I wouldn’t wake up in the morning, but my favorite Bible verse helped me through, “Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning. (Psalm 30:5, New American Standard Bible)
I wanted the physical pain to stop, but no one seemed to know how to do that other than prescribing pills that sometimes seem to do more harm than good or suggest treatments not covered by insurance after traditional treatments failed. I wanted the emotional pain to stop because I felt isolated, I felt doubted, and like such a burden to my family.
I’m sure you have felt it too because depression usually comes along with the chronic pain and it will eat away at you if you don’t plan and surround yourself with a great support system. I believe my support system of my deep faith in God, my family and meeting others with chronic pain and sharing our journeys is why I never acted on my thoughts of suicide.
There is hope in the midst of pain.
This blog is part of my healing. It will be a learning process all the way.
I want you to be validated; which means to me that you feel important, believed, loved, accepted. I want to be part of your support team. Most importantly, I want you to acknowledge yourself as valuable. Valuable enough to stay on this earth a little longer and find hope. Valuable enough to seek out professional help for the emotional side effects of chronic pain and maybe to consider us helping each other along the way.
I encourage you to comment below but please do so with mercy. I am a real human being with feelings. If I am honest with myself, I know my blog will never be perfect, and I hope you can forgive that because my all intentions are good.
I also encourage you to email me your pain stories because telling your story will heal you and your story can heal someone else because it empowers you both.
Ask questions too. Also, if you send me your mailing address with your comment or story, I will send out a small envelope with a pain warrior bracelet and information about the U. S. Pain Foundation.
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