Let’s face it, overcoming pain is difficult and in some instances, nearly impossible. I am not one to agree or disagree with it comes to a positive attitude and a chronic pain condition, but it all depends on the source of the information. I discuss RA and fibromyalgia on my blog in the way that it affects me. I am neither a doctor nor any other member of the medical profession; I am a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, an aunt and a friend. I have a hard time accepting advice from people who don’t understand what it is like living with a chronic pain condition. I turn to my fellow bloggers who also suffer from these conditions and I take from their lessons and experiences, and I make my own.
Along my long ten-year journey (many of those years in pain and in ill health without diagnosis) with Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia, I have learned more about myself, my capabilities and my compassions than I ever have in all my nearly 34 years on this earth. I know that I will never be the person that I used to be, but why would I want to go back? Having both these conditions and realizing that I am only human has given me a more realistic outlook on life.
The most important of all the lessons learned is that my attitude plays a role in my healing and feeling better on a daily basis. I have my up and down moments. Some days, I feel like I can conquer the world and other days, I just want to curl up in a ball and be miserable all alone. Let’s face it; I have good pain days and I have bad ones. When I have my bad days, I can really feel sorry for myself. I have found it easier on these days to look at those bad days as a godsend. I also don’t just save the positive attitude for the days I feel sorry for myself. I try to maintain a positive attitude everyday, and quite often, I do it without thinking. Sometimes, I hear myself saying “suck it up and move on,” and I do.
I count my blessings every single day. This is something that I would have taken for granted two years ago, but not anymore. I think about all the good things in my life, especially my loved ones. My children need me to be their mother no matter how I feel, and if anything, I need to be strong for them. I need to be strong for my husband, my mother and my sisters, as they need me in aspects of their lives as well.
I know and understand that my flare-ups will pass. They always do. I remind myself that I have good days coming and the bad ones, they don’t last, and I pray and I hope for those better days. I find ways to distract myself from my pain by focusing on other things and if I find myself getting depressed, I find a friend because I find that loneliness is not a good thing when dealing with chronic pain.
I have learned that it is my choice to suffer alone, but I am not required too. I find comfort when I am feeling like I just take the pain anymore or when my fears to start to kick in. I ask for help when I need it, and that took a lot of courage for me in the beginning. I have learned to understand my limitations and that has helped get through my feelings of not being the independent person I once was. I think that this was the hardest lesson my conditions taught me, and when I asked for help, you would be surprised how much I got, and I have learned not to be ashamed for asking.
I have made a choice to be positive about my conditions. That is the one thing I have control over, and since I have no control of my circumstances, that will just have to do. I remind myself that if being positive is not just about me, it is about my husband and my children, and everyone else who needs me. I have also found guidance and hope in my religion and I have learned to see beyond my pain. I have sought solace in prayer and looking to the Almighty for guidance. I have learned that maintaining a positive attitude takes practice and patience and through that, I have found resilience.