Here’s what loads will tell you but that I stubbornly disregarded about living with chronic pain – it takes a toll on every facet of your life. I was so busy soldering on that I failed to notice (and I tend to be a bit self-centered, which I hate but there it is). I slowly stopped doing much of what I enjoyed. I lost friends, depression took my self away, I aged more visibly, and I stopped taking care of myself.. hell, somehow it became too difficult to even wash my hair most days. I stopped interacting as much and often when I did, I was interacting negatively. I was tired all the time and all I really wanted to do was sleep.. which escaped me because the pain kept it at bay. This was me existing and honestly, part of me was resigned.. plus, my bed is super comfy.
Then came the reactions, post diagnosis, and not all of them stellar. I think it really made me stop and adjust my attitude a bit. I am fortunate for the support that I do have in those closest. To the others, though, I started out guarded. I tend to be a private person. Then someone made the offhand joke that now I have a free ticket (workwise). I silently wished for them to have to live a week in my place while I politely directed them to read up.. no one wants this ride. My better self whispered to be kind, they just do not know. I decided then to be more forthcoming in future in hopes for better.. but a fire was lit. I will do what I can to feel as healthy as I can. I will not back down or give up on myself. I don’t need someone to judge my pain, I live it everyday. It would be nice to encounter open minds and understanding.. otherwise I kindly request them to step aside. I am on a journey and need all of my energy about me. I choose not to waste it. I made my peace with the fact that this was my new normal and the rest would just have to be figured out along the way.