Lessons from Living with Chronic Pain

I wanted to talk about living with pain. I’ve been in chronic pain now for 6 months, that’s half a year already. It’s sciatic pain caused by a bulging disc in my lower back, and it effects my entire right leg. Actually, it effects my entire life; from poor quality sleep, to poor concentration, frustration and clumsiness, to issues with mobility.  I’m not able to do as much as I would like. I learned this weekend via an MRI scan that may need an operation to fix it.  While I’m in shock, I’m reminded that living with pain has been huge learning experience, and one I’m actually grateful for. So I thought I’d share  –

My Most Valuable Lessons Learned from Living with Chronic Pain:

Lessons from Living with Chronic Pain

  • Treat yourself kindly: give yourself the compassion and sympathy you’d show a best friend.
  • Time is limited: don’t waste it on things that will hurt or that you don’t want to do.
  • Live in the moment: when you don’t know how you’ll feel from one hour to the next, every pain-free moment is a bonus.
  • Celebrate the small successes: Got out of bed this morning? Yay! Had a great cup of tea? Yay! Managed to get outside today? Woo hoo!
  • Rest is precious: take it however, and where ever, you can.
  • Just Be: sometimes just being (as opposed to doing) is enough.
  • Boredom is good for you: it rests and refuels your brain.
  • Treasure Time Out from the virtual world: Less social media, less screen suck, less pressure to make, share, consume. The virtual world will keep turning without you!
  • Embrace assistance: sometimes it’s your turn to be the receiver; of care, of entertainment, of help. ‘See the art’ don’t ‘be the art’, for a change.
  • Positivity is possible: Even necessary, on the darkest days. Remember ‘this too shall pass’. There is always a light at the end of the tunnel, even if you can’t see it yet.

In the meantime, while I wait to find out what’s next there’s not a lot else I can do but practice self-care. I will take soothing baths,  read and do things I love, rest and refuel, and look for endless cups of tea and hugs, while holding onto the blind faith that it will get better if I be patient.

Pain is shitty but life is sweet. (And please please laugh at the photo, I did!) If you are dealing with something difficult right now, I hope you can find some purpose or joy. No matter how hard it might seem, sometimes there’s a silver lining if you look for it. Here’s wishing you a restful evening. And feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below. 

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12 comments

  1. I love, love, love this post! Thank you so much for sharing. You are brave and strong, and I’m so proud of you for taking this experience as an opportunity to learn and grow as a human being. These are all really beautiful lessons for everyone to apply to their lives. Always remember that I’m only a tweet, email or DM away whenever you need to talk. Even if all you want to talk about is Bowie. 😉 You can and will beat this, my dear! And I did laugh, not because of the photo but because of the caption. Xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Chiaki, and thanks for encouraging me to write it. Its nice to know you’re out there for a Bowie chat or some mental health cheer leading 🙂

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  2. Like Chiaki, I think your being really strong and facing this with a lot of courage, which is a difficult and beautiful thing. I’m sorry you’ve been dealing with this and that it’s going to take surgery. I hope that the treatment is a success and that your able to continue facing this with courage through the recovery. I know there’s not much I can do from this far away, but I wish I could. These are wonderful life lessons (in fact, I think I really need to apply a few). Thank you for sharing them and for sharing your struggle. Hugs and well wishes! Good luck with everything and keep us posted!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Anne, I wasn’t going to talk about it originally but I figured maybe it will help me to get it out there. And hey, if I’ve reminded you to really enjoy that cup of tea, then glad. X 😉
      And yes, I’ll let you know how it goes.

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  3. Add me to the list of voices thanking you for sharing. I’ve had my own chronic medical things to deal with, and it seems to me that the list of things to do post-surgery is pretty similar to your self-care list now. From my own experience, coming to terms with the way things are now is the trickiest bit. xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jess, how is your shoulder now? xo

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  4. Sorry to hear you’re suffering with this. Thank you for sharing your experience. Sending you hugs. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Emma xx ❤

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  5. […]  my life took a dramatic turn recently. An MRI scan investigating my chronic back pain picked up a dangerously displaced disc pressing on some […]

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  6. Hoping in another 6 months you already forgot the pain but keep the experience! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Ramona, I do too.x

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  7. […] the wrong size for me in the low style, which may have been a contributing factor in triggering my back pain last summer. The low-heel styles have a great foot-bed, but they run bigger than their […]

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