An open letter about chronic pain or illness……..

frankl

It’s funny. I don’t feel I fit in with anyone. Some people with chronic pain or illness (certainly not all) find me irritatingly positive in my attitude and approach. Which is understandable when you consider we are all at different stages in our experience of chronic pain or illness, and that some people are still struggling to come to terms with it as I once did. This would be fine, but those who are fit and healthy find me very different to them in my limitations and strange adaptations to doing things. Healthy people want to feel sorry for your pain or let you know that they are aware of it. But I choose not to make a big focus, and my healthy friends seem to feel uncomfortable doing the same. Which is completely understandable! I imagine that it feels unusual to play down someone’s health concerns.
I guess I’m a bit of an odd mixture. I have such a complex pain condition which affects my lower back, bladder, pelvic region, right leg, and hip, and over the years it has started to have an impact on the function of some of my organs. Now, as I said this is a cheerful blog, I only say this to show my understanding of how difficult that makes playing down my health.
The way I see myself is as a young woman who has this little niggle of a health concern. I give it the attention it deserves, but nothing more. I have such a full and enjoyable, with so many other facets to it that are just the same as other peoples. I study, I work, and I volunteer (albeit all of these involve adapted hours, adapted practicalities, and regular rest). I have a partner, amazing friends, and I travel and push myself to try new things healthy people often don’t try. Those are the things I like to focus on day to day. Those are things that give my life purpose and fulfilment. And those are the things that I love to talk about with people, just as they do.
I am happy. Be happy for me and enjoy joining me in my explorations and adventures. 🙂

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