I have done a lot of hard work in therapy throughout my adult life. I’ve had two therapists especially who I credit with helping me to make my biggest breakthroughs so that I could function as a healthy (albeit imperfect) adult.
Because of all of this hard work I am generally able to maintain my moods and emotional well-being with extremely low doses of a particular medication and a heaping mountain of self awareness and self-care practices (thanks social worker friends!) Diet and exercise also play a roll.
Throwing chronic pain into my mix, though…I didn’t see that freight train coming, y’all.
For a long time I accepted my meager earnings as “part of the deal.” In exchange for the opportunity to do life-changing, world-changing work I had to suck it up and make less money.
After some years, though, acceptance turned into deep resentment and I stopped dreaming, stopped looking to the future. I was just trying to survive, and just barely doing so.
I invested in my business days before Thanksgiving in 2016. I haven’t looked back since.
The simple secret of loving someone or interacting with someone who has an invisible illness and/or chronic pain, is this:
“That really sucks. I’m sorry that you’re dealing with that, it sounds like Hell. Is there anything I can do to help?”
I love ice cream.
Like, I’m the girl from Michigan who’s all, “It’s 55 degrees guys! Time for ice cream!”
I never don’t want ice cream.
It’s a running joke in my relationship. I’d rather get ice cream than flowers or jewelry. Ok well maybe not jewelry. But I love ice cream a lot is all I’m saying.
Have I yet mentioned that I live in a town in South Central Tennessee that isn’t super alternative-diet friendly? They put meat in everything in the south, y’all. Even green beans. Green beans have meat. Let that sink in…
There was a period in early June, before my doctor and I got the Gabapentin to levels that made a significant impact in which everything is a blur and I lost chunks of whole days because my brain dissociated. Pain that intense creates a sort of mental prison that the sufferer can get trapped and lost in. At least that was the case for me.
There were times when I was home alone or at night when I needed to be sleeping and the pain was so intense and sustained such high levels that I would be crying and wishing for escape, thinking, “If this is what life is going to feel like long term, I don’t want to live.”
I was lucky because I never had to be alone for very long.
When I first launched my business I was guilty of defeatist thinking.
“Will people think I’m a sell-out?”
“Will they think I’m annoying?”
“What if no one wants to buy the products?”
That type of thinking made me take like two or three weeks to really start posting about my business after I made the initial investment.
Guess what happened? Two people that I consider friends/family expressed a negative view of what I was doing. Two.