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Monday, April 30, 2012

Pain & Gratitude

I wrote this last fall in my hand-written journal, but I've been adding to my list (off and on). I thought of the journal entry the other day, so I thought I'd go ahead and share it on my blog.

*** Let me preface this by saying that this list is looking at things to be grateful for... that's definitely not to say that I don't want to work, or even long to be able to work... it's just something that isn't a burden to me during this time of living with so much pain and disability, and that's something I'm thankful for. ***


I've been struggling a lot with migraine pain, which is an ongoing reminder of all the things that my illness has changed and/or taken away from my life. But, I read an article today about cultivating gratitude by thinking of things I like about being sick. I hope to be able to expand and embrace the list of things to be grateful for about my illness. But, the first step is to start writing, so here goes...

Things I like about being sick (pain and gratitude):
  • I don't answer to an alarm clock.
  • I don't get stuck in traffic daily.
  • I have the perfect excuse to avoid events I don't want to attend. (I really don't like thinking of it as an excuse, but I do have to be much more mindful of what events I do and don't attend because my health will punish me later)
  • My "to-do" list is very short. (I don't know where I was coming from with this one... I have a long, ongoing to-do list)
  • I'm ill / sick in the Internet Age - less isolation because easily connected online to others.
  • I don't have to go to work.
  • I don't have a job I hate.
  • I don't have to deal with ignorant coworkers and employees (or dealing with office politics).
  • I get to spend a lot of time with Jeremy.
  • I've learned a lot about my health issues and medications.
  • I have time to read and write (still having trouble mentally, but blessed with the time to).
  • I don't have to buy new dressy clothes for work (or wear uncomfortable dress clothes/shoes).
  • I get to wear comfortable clothes (house clothes) a lot.
  • I don't have to shower very often. (can't believe I just said that!)
  • I've had a chance to connect with some amazing people online.
  • I notice and celebrate "the little things."
  • My diet has improved (much healthier).
  • I have time to cook (and try new recipes) with Jeremy. (often too nauseous to, but been able to do this more)
  • My life is less scheduled.
  • I have time to watch more movies and TV shows.
  • I'm more attuned to what's going on with my body.
  • I'm learning to live in the present moment better.
  • I can make Jeremy's work-lunch on (at least most of) his work days.
  • I have more time to pray and spend time deepening my relationship with God (I do need to work on this more, though).
  • My home is my world (or a very big part of my world).
  • I can go to bed and get up late.
  • I've become a cyborg.
  • I know so much about meds that I could almost be a pharmacist (and I recognize many meds on TV shows) - lol.
  • I save money on gas because I don't really drive anymore.
Trying to focus less on the things that I've lost or the limitations imposed on me by my illness... really trying to be grateful for the "little things" and enjoy the present moment.


This post was written as part of the Health Activist Writer's Awareness Challenge (HAWMC).

3 comments:

  1. Hi there,

    I'm a fellow chronic migraine sufferer and just came across your blog. Thought you might like to check out the charity on line exhibition of paintings I'm currently holding to help raise funds for Migraine Action? You can see the show at http://www.mikejory.co.uk.

    Kind regards

    Mike

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  2. Hi, chronic migraine sufferer of almost 2 years. Still working somehow but heavily medicated. My husband is trying to be understanding but looks at porn. I feel so sad, unloved unattractive and just at a loss to explain how much pain I am in. Any words would be helpful to help me get through this. On the 20th medication in 2 years and still the migraine is here. I don't know how to keep going anymore, so tired and no sleep wanting my husband to take charge and hug me and make it better but when in so much pain I turn away.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous, I'm sorry to hear that you're struggling with pain and your relationship with your husband.

      I'd encourage you to be more proactive in your relationship(s). Tell and show him what and how he can best love and support you. He may just not know. I know it can be difficult because you want him to just know and be there for you, but have the courage to ask for what you need... it makes a world of difference! Be open and honest. Good luck!

      Blessings!

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